New research suggests that people can control weight with more fiber in their diet. Simply adding more fiber to your diet may be as effective as a more complex diet, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Diets often fail because they are too complex and require keeping track of a long list of restricted items and guidelines. Another problem with traditional diets is that people sometimes add unhelpful items to compensate for restricted items. Low-fat recommendations, for example, can lead to higher consumption of refined carbohydrates.
The new study compared adults who followed a multicomponent American Heart Association (AHA) diet to a simple diet that focused on increasing the amount of fiber in the diet to at least 30 grams per day. After one year there was no significant difference between the two groups in weight loss, though weight loss was modest in both groups: 2.1 kg in the high-fiber group and 2.7 kg in the AHA diet group. In both groups the authors found modest improvements in blood pressure, dietary quality, and insulin resistance.
A spokesman for AHA, quoted in Forbes, noted that the study demonstrated that the AHA diet offered a comparable or superior benefit to the high fiber diet. However, the authors of the study concluded that “a simpler approach to diet that emphasizes only an increase in dietary fiber might be a reasonable alternative for people who do not want or are unable to make more complicated dietary changes.” They noted that only 7.1% of adults between 40-59 years old consume 30 grams or more grams per day of fiber. Dietary guidelines from the Institute of Medicine call for 30 grams of fiber per day for adults who are 51 years of age or older.