Individuals who are intent on losing weight can adopt a variety of lifestyle changes to lose those unnecessary fats that could increase their risks of developing health problems such as diabetes but getting sufficient amount of fiber in the diet appears to also do the trick.

Findings of a new study suggest that people who only focused on consuming at least 30 grams of fiber a day lost nearly the same weight as their counterparts who adopted a more complicated diet.

For the new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Feb. 16, Yunsheng Ma, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and colleagues divided 240 obese adults who exhibited signs of prediabetes into two groups.

Participants in the first group were assigned to the American Heart Association (AHA) diet, which is recommended for individuals with increased odds of developing diabetes. It calls for increasing the intake of whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins as well as reducing the intake of sugar, alcohol, saturated fat, sodium trans-fat, cholesterol. Individuals on this diet were also provided with goals for their calories and saturated fat intake.

The participants in the second group, on the other hand, had a very simple diet that only focused on increasing their intake of fiber to at least 30 grams daily.

After a year, the participants on the AHA diet lost an average of 6 pounds while those who focused on consuming at least 30 grams of fiber daily lost an average of 4.6 pounds. As for reduction in wait conference, AHA dieters trimmed 0.4 inches on average while the participants in the fiber group gained an extra 0.1 inch.

Nonetheless, participants in both groups lost weight, lowered their blood pressure as well as improved their insulin resistance and dietary quality. Seven of the participants in the fiber group though developed diabetes while only one in the AHA group did.

Although the AHA diet has better results, experts said that a high fiber diet is easy to follow and thus leads to more successful diet compliance. Researchers also observed that the individuals who were advised to focus on getting more fiber adopted other healthy eating habits.

"The more complex AHA diet may result in up to 1.7 kg more weight loss; however, a simplified approach to weight reduction emphasizing only increased fiber intake may be a reasonable alternative for persons with difficulty adhering to more complicated diet regimens," the researchers wrote.

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