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Focusing on Fiber May Help Weight Loss
People

Focusing on Fiber May Help Weight Loss

People who only focused on eating 30 grams of fiber per day lost almost as much weight as those who followed a more complicated diet, according to a new year-long study.
A “permissive” dietary plan, like focusing on increasing fiber, may produce more beneficial effects than a “restrictive” plan, like reducing saturated fat, said lead author Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.
“We chose dietary fiber because it exerts clinical benefits on several components of metabolic syndrome, including waist circumference, glucose and lipid homeostasis, and insulin control, in addition to body weight and regulation of certain inflammatory markers,” Ma wrote in an email to Reuters Health.
For the new study, Ma and his coauthors divided 240 obese adults with metabolic syndrome into two groups. One group followed the American Heart Association (AHA) diet plan and the other aimed to eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day.

 Metabolic Syndrome
About 25% of adults worldwide have metabolic syndrome, which includes symptoms like a large waistline, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of HDL cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The AHA eating plan recommends that adults consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily from foods, such as vegetables, legumes or whole grains, although the average American only eats about 15 grams per day. The diet calls for increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grain or high fiber foods and lean proteins, minimizing sugar, sodium, alcohol, saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, and eating fish twice weekly. People on the AHA diet were given individualized calorie and saturated fat goals.
After one year, people in both groups had lost weight and improved their blood pressure, dietary quality, and insulin resistance, according to the results online February 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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