12.20.2009

Getting Your Daily Fiber

Most Americans only get about half of the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber each day. High fiber foods help with digestion and help fight certain cancers. Fiberous foods help you stay fuller longer so they may aide in weight loss.

Use these simple tips to help reach your fiber goals.
  • Scan for Bran- Look for “bran” and “whole wheat” on product packages and ingredient labels.
  • Grab the Whole Food- Munch on a whole piece of fruit, in place of drinking a glass of juice. The skin is where the fiber is, so you’ll get the vitamins and the fiber too.
  • Savor the Skins- Eat fruit and vegetables with the skin on. Eating the skin helps to bump up the fiber, plus it provides texture and a bonus of other nutrients.
  • Screen for Beans- Replace your typical side dishes with high-fiber dried peas and beans, such as kidney, pinto, lentils, or black-eyed peas. These fiber-packed legumes make it easier to meet daily fiber goals. (1/2 cup canned red kidney beans = 8 grams fiber)
  • Go Nuts- Jazz up salads, vegetables, snacks, and desserts with almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, or soy nuts. Nuts and seeds add fiber and add a crunch to foods. (1 oz. roasted almonds = 3 grams fiber)
  • Be Berry Wild- Choose raspberries, blackberries, and boysenberries to add variety to your cereals, yogurts, and ice creams. These berries have twice the fiber of many other fruit selections. (1/2 cup fresh raspberries = 4 grams fiber)
  • Bring on the Brown- Use brown rice instead of white. Switch to whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat breads and whole-grain crackers instead of regular white versions. (1 cup brown rice = 3+ grams fiber)
  • Skip the Chips- Select snacks that are a good source of fiber. Instead of potato chips, go for low-fat popcorn, whole-grain pretzels, or oven-crisped whole-wheat pita crisps. (3 cups popcorn = 4 grams fiber)
  • Drink Up- Water is a healthy beverage choice – especially as you eat more fiber. Your body needs more water to help process the added fiber you eat. Aim for eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day.

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