Fiber is required for healthy intestine function, contributes to cholesterol reduction, to managing blood sugar levels and to the reduction of cardiovascular disease, obesity and some cancers.
It also helps you feel fuller longer. However most of us aren’t getting the recommended 20-38 grams per day. Increase your fiber intake with these easy changes to your diet.
What Is Fiber?
This category includes non-starch polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, beta-glucans), oligosaccharides such as inulin, lignins and other vegetable ingredients such as waxes. Also, a type of starch, also known as resistant starch (contained in pulses, semi-milled grains and cereals, and some breakfast cereals), are also fiber.
The Two Basic Principles For Getting Enough Fiber:
- Return to brown: replace white, bread, pasta and rice with their respective whole grain options. Read labels to distinguish the best options (for example, one slice whole wheat bread contains 2.1 grams of fiber while whole grain bread has double that)
- Don’t stop eating gluten or wheat unless you have to. Gluten-free products usually also have less fiber. If you suffer from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, replace fiber by upping your intake of fruit, vegetables, pulses and beans, nuts and seeds and other starchy foods like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Where Will You Find It?
Fiber is found in all plant-based food, like fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals. It is sorted into two categories: soluble and insoluble (depending on whether they dissolve in water or not)
Both categories are found in all plant-based foods, but in different quantities. High fiber foods include oatmeal, barley, legumes, fruits and vegetables, potatoes, whole wheat breads and cereals, seeds, nuts and brown rice.
- Add these to your meals.
- Eat fruit with breakfast and lunch.
- Add more vegetables and salads to your main meals.
- Sprinkle seeds over salads, yogurt and cereal.
- Add nuts to cereal and salads.