Lack of fibre can lead to weight gain
To understand how fibre controls weight, it is necessary to know why we put on weight. Nature has designed the body to survive under different conditions. However, now, technology has altered the nature of foods.
Yet, our fat cell metabolic system is the same as it was eons ago. It enables the body to stockpile fat cells for present and future use. Experiments have revealed that subjects fed sugary drinks had higher fat deposits as compared to those who were given the food in its natural form — with its fibre intact and not removed during processing. Moreover, since refined foods have lower fibre content, they can be consumed in greater quantities, leading to increase in deposits.
FOOD RICH IN FIBRE
Fibre is that part of the food, which is not digested by the body and yet is important to maintain good health. Fibre deprived foods like chips, white bread, white rice, pizzas, burgers, fruit juices, pastries tend to appeal more to our taste buds as compared to wholewheat bread, brown rice, whole fruits, cakes made from whole wheat flour, etc. Removing fibre from foods leads to easier conversion of food into fats, which get stored in the fat cells and the blood. For example, the caloric value of two slices of whole wheat bread is nearly the same as that of two slices of white bread. But white bread is more easily stored as fat than whole wheat bread. Also, we tend to eat more food in the absence of fibre, which also leads to weight gain. You feel full when you eat four oranges or four apples, but one glass of juice made from the same four oranges or apples is not as filling. Similarly, brown rice is more filling than white rice.
Another characteristic of fibre is the feeling of satiety it induces. The water holding properties of fibre make it bulkier. A reasonable quantity of fibre will fill your small and large intestines with watery material, giving a feeling of fullness. Thus, you stop over eating. Try it yourself — the feeling of fullness that one apple eaten whole induces is far higher than the juice of one apple. It prevents low blood sugar, which is responsible for the ‘I am hungry, feed me’ signals to the brain.