How Changes in Fiber Effects Obesity


Bowl of High Fiber Cereal

As the developed world gets heavier, more research is being done regarding the causes and effects of obesity.  More information has been gathered in the last two decades than it has in the previous century.  New insights make weight loss a more achievable and sustainable goal.  Weight loss and gain is a far more complex process than was initially thought, and the digestive tract involves far more than science has yet discovered.  But the bottom line is, even as science makes the process more transparent (more obvious), the real core of weight loss revolves around both food and behavior, and eating in a way that tackles both healthier foods and behavior management makes long term weight loss and healthy living possible. 

Fiber is one of those big health subjects that science continues to prove important to both health and weight loss.  Fiber is the big issue that makes bad carbohydrates into good ones, which increases the complexity and nutritional value of many starchy choices.  The problem with fiber is actually a behavioral problem, because as food historians preach, the Western World (and much of the rest of the world as well) has sold out flavor to textures. 

The creamy texture of mashed potatoes, white rice, and fluffy white bread has replaced a multitude of healthier options with a broader range of textures.  This has happened alongside the industrial revolution as farming, manufacturing, and baking has replaced manual labor heavy tasks with machinery that plants a straight row for a single crop, processes flour and kneads bread, and hulls our grains with ease.

While this has helped to reduce hunger by making a lot of expensive foods more affordable, it has made the developed world move away from the fiber, flavor, and nutrition rich options in favor of a silky feel that melts in the mouth and overly sweetened foods and drinks have masked a world of natural flavor complexity. 

 

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