How Fiber Can Help Maintain A Healthy Weight

How Fiber Can Help Maintain A Healthy Weight

MenoLabs News | Thu, Dec 24, 2020

Women can gain up to 3 percent of body fat each year as they go through the menopausal transition. Changes to the sex hormones can cause a chain reaction in the body and impact the body’s ability to metabolize energy, fats, and how fat is distributed in the body. These changes can lead to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and other related illnesses. 

Finding ways to help reduce the absorption of fats can help support weight management for women in menopause. So, how can you help your body better absorb what it needs and lower the things it doesn’t need? Fiber can help!

Fiber-rich foods can help your body better obtain the nutrients it needs and help you manage weight gain more effectively in a number of ways. How can it do this?

Slows Down Digestion

Fiber helps slow down digestion. There are two types of dietary fibers that play a part in the digestive process, soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers are fibers that dissolve in water (or stomach acid). When they reach the stomach, these fibers turn into a gelatinous substance that the bacteria in the gut then feed off of. When these fibers become gelatinous, it slows down the body’s ability to digest foods. How is this helpful?

The human body can’t consume fiber. However, the millions of bacteria that populate the body’s gut microbiome can consume these fibers. These bacteria help send nutrients into the bloodstream and information to the brain to help direct the absorption of those nutrients, as well as the functions that different bodily systems have to perform. Slowing down the digestion process allows the body to gain more of those nutrients from food and helps the body better maintain other systems like strengthening bones, improving the immune system, and protecting the brain from toxins and other infections. 

Improves Nutrient Absorption

Now we know that slowing down digestion can help improve nutrient absorption in the digestive tract, but why is that so important? As women go through the menopausal transition the body begins to lose the ability to produce certain tissue cells. As a result, women often experience bone density loss and loss of muscle mass, among other things. 

The body helps replenish these tissues with compounds found in nutrients, like vitamins and minerals. However, absorbing these nutrients into the body becomes more difficult as women age. Having a fiber-rich diet can help improve the absorption of these nutrients into the bloodstream, and help the body more effectively produce necessary tissue cells again. 

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

One of the many dangers to women’s health is high glucose levels or high blood sugar. High blood sugar can cause a variety of cardiovascular problems for women as they age. High blood sugar can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Finding ways to manage sugar intake and sugar absorption into the bloodstream is crucial to lowering the risk of these health issues. A fiber-rich diet can help with this process. 

Fiber helps slow down the digestion process, this we know, but because of this, fewer sugars get absorbed into the bloodstream. Slowing down the rate at which those sugars get absorbed into the bloodstream causes more sugars to be expelled through waste. This can keep your blood sugar from spiking and can help your body better absorb other nutrients to help lower blood glucose levels. 

Prevents Overeating by Suppressing Appetite

Another way that fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight is by preventing you from overeating. Fiber helps suppress appetite to a degree. Fiber helps the body create a chemical called acetate, which sends signals to the area of the brain responsible for regulating hunger. 

Suppressing your appetite after you’ve eaten a healthy meal that is fiber-rich can help prevent you from overeating. Often when sex hormone levels change, it causes women to suddenly feel hungry even after a filling meal. As a result, women will often overeat when on their period or during the menopausal transition. The acetate that’s released in the stomach after consuming fiber, helps to prevent the brain from triggering a hunger response and suppresses appetite. This helps prevent overeating from occurring and helps you maintain your weight more effectively. 

Adds Bulk to Stool

The other type of dietary fiber that is crucial to maintaining overall health is insoluble fiber. Insoluble fibers are fibers that do not dissolve in stomach acid. Instead, they get passed through the intestinal tract and added to stool. Now, there are a few reasons why this is beneficial to the body. 

First, it helps clean the intestinal tract, and specifically the colon. It helps flush out the buildup of bacteria and other elements out of your intestines more effectively. Second, fiber helps soften stool so that it’s easier to pass and reduces constipation. Third, fiber helps add bulk to stool which helps add to its weight, helping your body expel more waste rather than hold onto it. 

All three of these things can help you better manage your weight, improve your regulatory, and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. 

Connect with MenoLabs Founders Vanessa and Danielle

Connect with Founders Vanessa and Danielle

Join our newsletter to hear from V and Dani! Get advice, tips and tricks for managing your menopause journey the happy and healthy way!

By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to receive emails from MenoLabs and accept our privacy and cookie policies. You may unsubscribe at any time.