This Carbohydrate is a Boon for Reducing Belly Fat

by Caitlin H,

Apr 22, 2024

  • Reduce Belly Fat

One of the biggest struggle areas many of us have is undoubtedly around our bellies. Belly fat often seems to be the quickest to burgeon and slowest to go away.

Unfortunately, studies show belly fat increases the risk of things like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It also can be uncomfortable and make finding clothes that fit challenging.

Thankfully, there is good news for those of us who want to target this problematic area — and the solution may lie in boosting your soluble fiber intake.

What is Soluble Fiber?

Soluble fiber is a carbohydrate that can slow down how fast your stomach releases digested food into your gut when it mixes with water. It’s a bit different than its counterpart, insoluble fiber, which helps our bodies form stools.

What are the Benefits of Eating It?

Several studies explore the benefits of increasing how much soluble fiber you consume. In one 2012 study, researchers found that participants who increased their soluble fiber intake by 10 grams had a 3.7% lower risk of gaining belly fat.

Another 2012 study found that higher insoluble fiber consumption meant lower belly fat and inflammation. Still, another 2009 study concluded that participants who reduced their fiber intake had a higher risk of gaining belly fat.

People who eat soluble fiber also have a higher number and diversity of good bacteria living in their guts. These bacteria assist with vital physiological processes like creating vitamins and processing waste. A 2016 study found a link between gut bacteria variety and lower belly fat, and several others found the same link with better health outcomes in life.

What’s more, soluble fiber is a potent appetite suppressant. That may help you reduce the number of calories you eat, which in turn can help with weight loss.

What Foods are Good Sources of Soluble Fiber?

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends men consume 30-38 grams of fiber per day, and that women should aim for 21-25 grams daily.

Experts recommend people who don’t currently eat high levels of soluble fiber increase their daily intake gradually to avoid unpleasant side effects like bloating, diarrhea, and stomach aches.

Foods with high levels of soluble fiber include:

  • Apricots

  • Oranges

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Oatmeal

  • Legumes

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Broccoli

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Flaxseeds

  • Hazelnuts

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Barley

  • Carrots

  • Beans

  • Peas

  • Avocados

  • Turnips

  • Figs


  Can You Take Supplements to Boost Soluble Your Fiber Intake?


While it’s best to get soluble fiber by eating the foods that have them, it is possible to use supplements, too.

Soluble fiber supplements come in various types, with the most popular being:

  • Inulin

  • Psyllium husk

  • Glucomannan


Some studies have looked at how each of these supplements impacted belly fat and found 👍 

  • Inulin: A 2015 study found that people at risk for type 2 diabetes who took inulin rather than cellulose (insoluble fiber) lost significantly more belly fat and weight.

  • Psyllium husk: A 2012 study found a belly fat reduction in teenage boys who took this supplement.

  • Glucomannan: A 2012 study found that men taking this supplement saw a reduction in belly fat.

Ultimately, incorporating more insoluble fiber into your diet can go a long way toward helping you reach your goals and may reduce your belly fat. Consider talking to your doctor or a nutritionist to create a plan for gradually adding foods rich in insoluble fiber into your meal plan.



Author: Caitlin H

Diet-to-Go Community Manager

Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.

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