Dietary Fiber – More Tips & Tricks
Fiber protects you from heart disease, cancer, and digestive problems and, depending on the type of fiber, it lowers cholesterol, helps with weight control, and regulates blood sugar.
In order to get the full benefits of fiber, we need to consume at least 25 grams a day from a variety of sources.
Here’s how to sneak a little extra fiber into your daily diet:
- Eat cereal every day for breakfast. Reach for a whole grain, unsweetened cereal with at least 4 grams of fiber a serving. Cereals to consider include Kellogg’s All-Bran Original, Kashi GOLEAN, and Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.
- Mix your regular cereal with the good stuff. Just 1/3 cup of All Bran packs 8.5 grams of fiber. Mix it with an equal amount of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and you’ll barely know it’s there.
- Make a yogurt mix every once a week for breakfast. Take one container of yogurt and mix in 1/3 cup high fiber cereal, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, and 5 large, diced strawberries for 12.2 grams of fiber, nearly half your daily allowance.
- Snack on baby carrots and broccoli 3 days a week. You’ll not only fill up the empty afternoon void in your stomach, but you’ll also get about 5 grams of fiber in each cup of veggies.
- A tiny cracker can make a big difference and 10 and ten of them will give you 5 grams of fiber. Next time, spread your peanut butter on whole grain crackers instead of bread for a different taste and treat.
- Keep a container of nutritious treats in your car and office. Mix together peanuts, raisins, a high-fiber cereal like All-Bran, and some chocolate covered soy nuts. When you get the munchies, grab a handful for a sweet, yet high-fiber, snack.
- Two apples every day will keep the doctor away – and the weight off. Because apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber that contributes to a feeling of fullness and digests slowly, they will leave you feeling satisfied for up to four hours.
- Add kidney beans or chickpeas to your next salad. Just a quarter cup adds an additional 5 grams of dietary fiber.
- The first ingredient in whole grain products should have the word “whole” in it, as in “whole wheat,” or “whole grain.” If it says multi-grain, seven-grain, nutra-grain, cracked wheat, stone-ground wheat, or enriched wheat, it’s not whole wheat, and does not pack some of the vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber, found in whole grains.
- Replace rice and pasta with one exotic grain, like bulgar or amaranth, once a week. Mix in some steamed carrots and broccoli, a bit of feta cheese, maybe a can of tuna or a couple of ounces of cut-up chicken, and you’ve got dinner.
Fiber-rich foods may not naturally be the first priority that comes to mind when hunger strikes. But a little forethought can increase your chances of success in upping those fiber levels and taking another step toward optimal health!