The Truth About Fiber

Staff Writer
One surgeon cautions his patients that by sticking to a fiber-rich diet, they won’t necessarily lose weight

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

One doctor tells the truth about fiber's role in weight loss in the midst of many fad diets and disputing nutritionists.

In a world where every fad diet and magazine article has a different opinion on what you should and should not be eating, one doctor is here to tell you the truth about fiber and weight loss.

Joseph J. Colella, a bariatric surgeon that has performed over 4,000 weight-loss surgeries, somewhat challenges the conventional idea that a high-fiber diet is the key to successful weight management. Far from being an easy solution for weight loss, Colella characterizes a high fiber diet as “helpful …with some caveats.”

What are those caveats, you may ask? Colella cautions those looking to slim down against getting “lost in a sea of endless suggestions” about dietary guidelines, which may advocate anything from a low fat diet to a no carb diet.

From Colella’s perspective, the most successful long-term weight loss strategy is to adopt a simple high-protein, low-sugar regimen.

This is where his issue with fiber comes in — often people get wrapped up in the idea of a high fiber diet, and make it their mission to consume more fiber at any cost. That is, they eat the fiber-rich oatmeal, but then they’ll drown it in brown sugar, milk, and honey, which increases the sugar content and negates the beneficial effects of the fiber.

Similarly, many fiber-rich granola bars can contain as much as nine grams of fiber per serving while also packing in upwards of 20 grams of sugar.

Colella does advocate fiber-ful foods, however, like naturally sweet fresh fruits and vegetables that can pass through the digestive tract with minimal sugar molecule absorption, thus giving you the fibrous benefits without an influx of sugar.

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Avocados, lentils, and beans also provide healthy doses of fiber, among other nutritional benefits.