You’ve heard all the buzz surrounding protein—it helps you slim down, gain muscle, and curb cravings. But if you’re filling up on lean meats and still struggling to ditch those last few pesky pounds, you may be forgetting to add an essential nutrient to your diet.
It’s fiber. A study in the published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that trying to aim for 30 grams of fiber daily can not only help your waistline shrink, it can also lower blood pressure and improve your body’s insulin response. To come to these findings, researchers divided 240 participants into two groups where one group followed the American Heart Association’s diet, which is comprised mostly of high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins, while the other group was solely instructed to consume 30 grams of fiber each day. While each group averaged a 19-gram daily fiber intake, the group following the AHA diet lost 1.3 pounds more than the high-fiber group.
Both groups were able to maintain their weight loss for a year following the experiment, which proves that adding a significant amount of fiber to your daily diet can result in maintainable weight loss. “In addition to weight control, higher-fiber diets can also help to prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Frank Hu, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health explained, adding that your fiber sources should come mostly from food rather than supplements. Wondering how to seamlessly fit this magical macro into your diet? Check out our 43 Best Foods For Fiber.