Did you know that less than half of Americans consume the proper amount of fiber? The ideal amount of fiber we should have in our daily diet is 20-35 grams; most Americans get less then 14-15 grams a day. That’s not too surprising when you consider what the average American eats on a daily basis. We get most of our fiber from things such fruits as fruits, vegetables, whole grains nuts, seeds and beans. A typical American doesn’t have a lot of fiber rich foods on their plate during each and every meal. Eating a higher fiber diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and improve and prevent constipation and slow digestive systems. Fiber has been shown to slow the rate that food passes through our digestive system, therefore makes it easier for our body digest food in an easier.
Joanne Slavin, PhD and obesity researcher at the University of Minnesota says studies have shown that large amount of fiber in a diet can help regulate blood glucose and insulin levels, these may be reasons why people with higher fiber diets tend to weigh less and are less prone to weight gain as they age, “The best protection is at the highest fiber intakes– at least 25 grams a day is recommended for women,” says Slavin.
Eating the proper amount of high fiber foods can lead to an overall more healthy lifestyle. It helps with weight control, may reduce your risk of colon cancer, may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, may also slow down build up a cholesterol in the arteries, and is an over all great resource for protecting your heart.
Here are Some Great Sources to get Some Yummy Foods with Fiber:
Bran (wheat, corn, rice, oat)– For breakfast, eat a half cup of unflavored oatmeal. To add some flavor without the calories of sugar, throw in a pinch of ground cinnamon. Brown rice is always a great side for a hearty lunch right before the gym.
Dark chocolate– Watch out for the calories, but a good craving killer is a small dark chocolate Hersey Kiss.
Flax and Sesame seeds– for a yummy snack, add some flax seeds to your fruit and yogurt.
Edamane– These veggies are a great fiber rich snack. Watch out for the sodium so grab the low sodium version and have a half a cup between lunch and dinner.
Sun-dried Tomatoes– Add this flavorful veggie to your sandwiches, stir fry, or chicken to get an extra fiber boost.
Nuts(almonds, pecans, pistachios)– These also have the healthy fats you need in a good diet. Eat with some fruit or yogurt to get the vitamins and nutrients every snacks needs.
Beans– Infuse your brown rice with some Kindey, Navy, White, and French beans. You can also mix these beans together with some roasted garlic, pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and herbs to get a fresh, healthy, fiber rich bean salad.
It’s not always easy to get great souces of fiber in every meal in one sitting. But if you add little fiberous ingredients to each of your meals, you’ll catch up to 30 grams of fiber in no time! Your body will quickly adapt to the benefits of fiber and thank you for it.