Fiber: Your Partner in Healthy Weight Management‡

saladSuccessful weight loss has a lot to do with what you put on your plate—especially if that plate includes plenty of fiber.‡ On top of countless other benefits including heart health and improved digestion and regularity, fiber has been shown to support weight management when included as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.‡

In a recent study conducted by the University of Calgary, researchers found that when obese mice supplemented their daily diet with a prebiotic fiber source, they were more successful at losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight than those who were not fed fiber. What’s more, the gut bacteria of the fiber mice changed over time to resemble the gut bacteria of leaner mice, indicating the fiber source had a positive effect on gut bacteria.

Just How Does Fiber Help with Weight Loss?
Numerous studies have shown that fiber has unique appetite-suppressing properties.‡ It expands in the stomach, taking up more space and helping you feel full.‡ It also slows the digestive process to help you stay satisfied after meals, and it triggers the release of a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK), which tells the brain the stomach is full.‡ Foods high in fiber also help to “flush” unused calories from the body, essentially blocking their absorption and eliminating them via healthy bowel movements.‡

Are You Getting Your 35 Grams a Day?
Leading experts recommend consuming up to 35 grams of fiber every day, and eating more non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits is one of the best ways to increase your daily fiber intake. If you still find it a challenge to get 35 grams a day, fiber supplements may help. Look for a high-quality supplement that:

  • contains a balanced ratio of both soluble and insoluble fiber;
  • is made with natural and organically grown ingredients;
  • includes lignan-rich flax fiber, soluble acacia fiber, or natural chia seed; and
  • is psyllium-free to prevent cramping, gas and/or bloating.

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Study: Why Procrastination May Hurt Your Heart

woman_making_heartThose of you who consider yourselves procrastinators—and you know who you are—may want to listen up: your foot-dragging ways could be taking a toll on your heart. In fact, researchers from Bishop’s University in Canada say routinely putting off important tasks may lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as high blood pressure.

The findings come from a new study published last month in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine. For the purpose of the study, scientists asked a group of people to complete a series of online questionnaires focusing on health and personality traits. Some participants had been diagnosed previously with CVD and hypertension, while others were in good overall health.

When analyzing the survey results, researchers found that the procrastinators in the group were those more likely to suffer from heart disease, possibly because the same inclination toward postponing tasks leads folks to drag their feet when it comes to things like exercising or eating healthy foods—both of which are critical to heart health. Not only that, say experts, but by the time procrastinators finally do get around to these things, they may be even more stressed out about them than normal, the result of which is even more strain on the heart.

Unfortunately, say researchers, the putting-it-off-until-tomorrow gene seems to be a tough one to shake, but it can be done. Try making a personal “to-do” list when it comes to your health, and start with small tasks you can complete each day such as eating more heart-healthy foods or using the stairs instead of the elevator. In addition, consider asking for help from a friend or family who can provide support and encouragement.

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