Fiber and Weight Loss – An Essential Combination A high fiber diet should be part of your eating plan, especially if you want to lose weight. But what is fiber and how can it aid your weight loss? Fiber is one of three types of carbohydrates (the other two are starch and sugar). Fiber can be found in the roots, stems and leaves of plants and it aids in the digestive process as it moves through your system. This is what makes it so valuable to your health. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble and each kind reacts differently in your system. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and it’s known as roughage because it’s well, rough in texture. This type of fiber goes straight through your system and helps with issues like constipation. Generally insoluble fiber has no calories. Soluble fiber does dissolve into water, turning into a jelly textured mass. This effect is great for diabetics as it helps slow down sugar absorption in the blood, helping to prevent sugar spikes in blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber does have some calories, about 4 of them per gram, which is comparable to other types of carbs. So how does fiber and weight loss go together? Since foods containing fiber are generally vegetables, they tend to take longer to chew. This helps you eat slower leaving you time to feel fuller, so that you eat less overall. Fiber rich foods are also dense foods, basically bulk, that allows you to eat a lot without consuming a lot of calories. So what are so fiber rich foods? Soluble fiber is found in fruits, beans, barley and oats. Insoluble fiber is found in nuts, wheat bran and vegetables. Sometimes fiber is hidden in other foods, like yogurt with live pro-biotic cultures in them. The recommendation for how fiber you need for weight loss vary. While some people find it easy to eat enough fiber rich foods others turn to fiber supplements to get the benefits. However your body doesn’t always absorb fiber from a supplement as readily as it does from “real food.” The best way for fiber and weight loss to work together is to try get as much of it in its low-calorie “raw” form. The fiber will help your digestive track run smoothly and the bulk of the vegetables, fruits and beans will fill you up with a relatively low calorie count.