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Inulin: Can it help you lose weight?

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  • What is inulin?
  • Which foods contain inulin?
  • Can inulin help you lose weight?
  • Take inulin correctly
  • Conclusion: Eat more fiber instead of supplementing

What is inulin?

Inulin – not to be confused with the hormone insulin – is a natural, water-soluble fiber. We humans cannot digest fiber because we lack the necessary enzyme. Nevertheless, they are incredibly important for the body, especially for our intestines.

According to studies, inulin is one of the so-called prebiotics. These are indigestible food components that are used as “food” and fermented in the large intestine by the good intestinal bacteria. The fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids and vitamins that have a very positive effect on the intestinal environment.

Which foods contain inulin?

Inulin occurs naturally in some foods and plants, such as

  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Parsnips
  • Salsify
  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • Allium plants (leek, garlic and onions)
  • Plants: agave and chicory

But the fiber is now also added to various foods and sold as a pure supplement (for example in powder form). The currently popular flavor powders also contain inulin as a base. For good reason, because inulin tastes slightly sweet but contains hardly any calories. It is therefore becoming increasingly popular as a sugar substitute.

Can inulin help you lose weight?

Inulin powder or capsules are often advertised with this statement: Inulin is supposed to help you lose weight. But what is true about the statement?

The fact is: All types of fiber from food – not just inulin alone – can in principle support the weight loss process. Why?

Numerous studies show that fiber…

  • ensure longer satiety,
  • have a positive influence on blood sugar levels (increased insulin sensitivity),
  • no nutritional value, ergo: have no calories,
  • stimulate your digestion and
  • Counteract constipation (assuming you drink plenty of water at the same time).

Scientifically confirmed: According to the Food Safety Authority (EFSA), natural inulin from chicory root helps to support bowel movements and increase stool frequency – if at least 12 grams of it are consumed daily.

There are many sources of fiber and they can all help you lose weight

Since inulin feeds your good intestinal bacteria, studies show that the natural fiber effectively supports your (intestinal) health. The balance between “good” and “bad” intestinal bacteria plays a major role in your general well-being and also influences your psyche, your performance and your immune system.

Brand: However, taking inulin as a supplement will not automatically make you lose weight. In any case, you need a calorie deficit. You can read here what exactly that means and how high your calorie needs are when losing weight.

Take inulin correctly

You can still incorporate inulin into your diet as a powder (up to 5 grams per day) and, above all, use the satiety effect to achieve your weight loss goals. The water-soluble inulin powder can be easily stirred into drinks, yoghurt or soups.

Our tip: Inulin is the main ingredient in flavor powders, such as ESN’s Flav’n Tasty, and can be used in this form as a low-calorie sugar substitute. You can use it to add sweetness and flavor to boring low-fat quark or natural yogurt without breaking your deficit.

If you have previously eaten a low-fiber diet, increase the amount of inulin step by step, otherwise you could end up with flatulence or diarrhea. As a rule, a total of 30 grams of fiber per day is well tolerated, but everyone reacts differently to the indigestible food components. Caution is also advised if you suffer from fructose intolerance, as inulin is made up of fructose molecules.

Conclusion: Eat more fiber instead of supplementing

Inulin is a healthy fiber that can complement your diet and help you lose weight. But you don’t necessarily have to take nutritional supplements or eat foods enriched with inulin. A balanced, fiber-rich diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes is much more effective. We have put together the best fiber suppliers for you here.

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