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Dietary Hack: Fill Up Healthy

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A healthy diet is a solution to many of our health-care problems. It’s the most important solution.
-John Mackey

We’ve all been there and felt the wrath of the Hangries. You’re watching the clock tick down till your next opportunity to eat again, all while your mood slowly depletes and you have the patience of a goldfish on a sugar rush. To get the benefit of satiation for feeling-full sake, fiber and how you supplement fiber will make all the difference.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber attracts water, holds that water, turning into a gel during the digestion process and as a result, slows digestion. Not only does it help you feel full longer, through slower digestion, but may even help lower heart disease [1]. Foods in which this fiber type is found includes nuts, seeds, some fruits, and vegetables.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble Fiber is mainly found in fruits and vegetables. This fiber cannot be easily broken down and adds to the bulk of your stool, helps the digestive system pass faster, and helps reduce the feeling of bloating associated with some foods such as diary. Here’s the best part, you will never get fat eating vegetables, no matter how hard you try. Sure, you won’t feel as full eating vegetables (insoluble fiber) as you would seeds and nuts (soluble fiber), but you can eat vegetables until you’re tired of eating and all you would do is add more micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals), water, and insoluble fiber to your diet without the fear of overeating.

Chia Seed Hack

Using chia seeds are a personal favorite of mine to add to puddings, soups, salads, and anything that would add to the bulk of my meal to make me fill up when I’ve already reached my micro-nutrition count. Chia seeds will absorb whatever liquid you add and thicken into a nice gel-paste of sorts. This can change the consistency of your food, so caution and trial-and-error is suggested when you start adding to soups and liquids. My favorite chia meal is a Chia Pudding:


Chia Coconut Pudding

¼ cup chia seeds

1 cup coconut milk

1 packet Stevia

Pinch of salt

*Add other flavors to taste

Directions

Place ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Refrigerate for 2 up to 24 hours or until it thickens throughout. Will make 2-3 servings.


Fiber should be a staple in every diet. On a personal anecdote, when I over eat on carbohydrates, or I eat too much sugar on a weekend cheat meal, adding a healthy amount of fiber to my meal helps mitigate my horrible sugar crash feeling. Not only does fiber keep your digestive track clean and healthy, you may feel full longer between meals, and most fiber sources are packed with dense nutrients. Ironically, despite all the benefits, the Western diet is lacking this source of nutrition the most.

 

Reference

[1]  Threapleton DE, Greenwood DC, Evans CE, et al. Dietary fibre intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2013;347:f6879. PMID: 24355537 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24355537.