A recent study in mice led by researchers from Georgia State University in Atlanta suggests fiber in the diet can help prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels), and promotes the growth of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. Foods high in dietary fiber include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and legumes.
For the study, researches fed mice either a grain-based rodent food diet, a high-fat, low-fiber diet, or a high-fat, high-fiber diet for four weeks. They discovered that a diet enhanced with a type of fiber called inulin reduced weight gain, restored gut health, and protected the mice against metabolic syndrome induced by a high-fat diet. Inulin also lowered cholesterol levels and helped prevent abnormal blood sugar levels.
Results of the study, which was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation were published in Cell Host & Microbe.