Fiber Can Help You Lose Weight — But Only A Specific Type

Fiber Can Help You Lose Weight — But Only A Specific Type

Fiber is an important nutrient that’s often overlooked.

Put simply, fiber refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested by your gut.

It is classified as either soluble or insoluble depending on whether it dissolves in water.

Insoluble fibers function mostly as bulking agents, adding content to your stool. In contrast, certain types of soluble fiber can significantly affect health and metabolism — as well as your weight (1Trusted Source).

This article explains how soluble fiber may promote weight loss.

Fiber Feeds Your Friendly Gut Bacteria
An estimated 100 trillion bacteria live in your gut, primarily in the large intestine (2Trusted Source).

Along with other microbes found in your digestive system, these bacteria are often called the gut flora or gut microbiome.

Different species of bacteria play important roles in various aspects of health, including weight management, blood sugar control, immunity and even brain function (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7).

Just like other organisms, bacteria need to eat well to stay healthy.

This is where fiber — soluble, for the most part — steps in. Soluble fiber passes through your digestive system mostly unchanged, eventually reaching your friendly gut bacteria that digest it and turn it into usable energy.

The fiber that benefits your gut bacteria is known as prebiotic fiber or fermentable fiber. It is considered very beneficial for health and body weight (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

Certain insoluble fibers, such as resistant starch, also function as prebiotics.

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