Eating high-fiber foods helps you feel fuller, which helps keep your appetite in check - a good thing when you're trying to cut calories.
But there are high-fiber foods you may actually want to eat, and then there is the seaweed supplement that was the focus of recent research that went totally bust.
The study looked at whether a seaweed-based fiber supplement could help people stick to their diets.
The problem, as Danish researchers discovered earlier this year, is that - to put it bluntly - seaweed supplements are kinda nasty. They don't taste that great, and they cause rather, ahem, unfortunate side effects, like bloating, nausea and diarrhea, as Reuters reported.
People in the study found it hard to keep taking the supplement, even if it helped them lose weight. (Or maybe they lost weight because the supplement made them nauseous and they didn't eat as much?)
There is an easier way to feel fuller and satiated longer: Eat normal food that happens to be high in natural fiber.
While you may think you know which foods are high-fiber - like bran flakes - you might be surprised at others.
Quick, which are higher in fiber, prunes or raspberries? If you think prunes, think again.
For some other surprises, here are five questions from a Reader's Digest "fiber face-off" quiz, based on the book Reverse Diabetes.
Which has more fiber:
An avocado or a cup of whole wheat pasta? Good news for guacamole lovers - it's the avocado. One whole avocado has 18 grams of fiber, while a serving of whole wheat spaghetti has about 6 grams.
A cup of bran cereal or a cup of oatmeal? A serving of bran cereal has a whopping 10 to 14 grams of fiber. Cooked oatmeal has just half that amount.
A cup of raspberries or five prunes? Despite their reputation for helping you stay regular, canned prunes contain just 3.3 grams of fiber per serving and dried prunes have 3 grams, whereas raspberries have 8.4 grams of fiber.
A couple of handfuls of almonds or a half cup of frozen sweet peas? Take your pick; they have the same amount - 3 grams.
A cup of blackberries or a half cup of cooked black beans? Surprisingly, the two are equally high in fiber, with blackberries at 7.6 grams versus 7.5 grams for the beans.
In other health news:
New nondrug relief for severe asthma - but insurance won't cover it. A new procedure called bronchial thermoplasty, the first nondrug therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with severe asthma, works by using a bronchoscope to heat the tissues of the airways gently, the New York Times reports. After the procedure many asthma patients have fewer attacks and require less hospitalization, but the treatment is expensive, and insurance won't cover it.
Java junkies rejoice: Coffee reduces pain. The Los Angeles Times reports on new research from Norway that finds that coffee appears to reduce physical pain. The small study found that office workers, given tasks known to cause shoulder and arm pain, reported less pain if they had drunk coffee beforehand.
FDA approves drug for constipation and irritable bowel disorder. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug, for use in adults, to treat chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Reuters reports. The drug, linaclotide, will be sold under the brand name Linzess and should not be used in patients 16 or younger, the agency said. An estimated 63 million people suffer from chronic constipation, and about 15.3 million people cope with IBS, which causes abdominal pain when accompanied by constipation.