Eat Fiber. Poop More. Lose Weight and Live Longer.

Seriously. This is no joke. Americans are only eating about half the dietary fiber recommended. When we eat more fiber – the rough parts of plants that aren’t easily digested – we lose as much weight as any diet, even when we eat more calories (remember from a previous post that counting calories is useless).

In addition to weight loss, studies prove eating more fiber reduces food allergies and boosts the immune system by increasing the diversity of our microbiomes. Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University, explains that “people who eat more dietary fiber are actually feeding their gut microbiome.” Inversely, people who are obese consistently report eating less fiber. Scientists in Australia found that people who eat high-fiber diets have an “almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life.” They were also less likely to suffer from diabetes, dementia, depression and other illnesses.

How do you eat more fiber? The easiest guideline is to eat out less and cook at home more. Restaurant food is notoriously low in fiber because quality ingredients rich in fiber cost more. (Once again, we see people putting profit margins ahead of your health.) You don’t have to munch on raw kale either. Cooked vegetables and legumes are excellent sources of fiber. Eat tacos. Corn tortillas, beans and salsa are excellent. Remember, according to recent studies, the more you poop, the more weight you will lose and the longer you will live.

Dr. H.