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Healthy Intestines do more than just make you feel good—they can also help you get slimmer. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says two specific functional fibers—polydextrose and soluble corn fiber—can lead to more “good” gut bacteria, Bacteroidetes. Plenty of this beneficial bacteria may help weight-loss efforts. In fact, subjects in the study who showed more Bacteroidetes in their gut tended to be leaner.
The best way to foster these do-good bacteria is to eat plenty of plant-based, fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, says Torey Armul, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Research has shown that eating fiber from whole foods, as opposed to fiber in beverages, can be more satiating than supplements. Aim for the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day.