Staci Tobolowsky, MCN, RD/LD
Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? A lot of individuals are not getting enough fiber through their nutrition. Women need 25 g of fiber and men need 38 g of fiber each day. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, and grains. Fiber has many health benefits ranging from improved digestion to increased satiety to cholesterol control.
Let’s start with the different types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. It is important to consume both soluble and insoluble fiber.
· Here are some forms of soluble fiber:
o Oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, strawberries, flaxseed, squashes (winter, butternut, acorn, pumpkin), barley, and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables).
· Here are some forms of insoluble fiber:
o Fruits with edible peel or seeds, vegetables, whole grain products (such as whole-wheat bread, pasta, and crackers), bulgur wheat, stone ground corn meal, cereals, bran, rolled oats, buckwheat, and brown rice.
How should you incorporate more fiber into your diet?
1. Slowly increase the amount of fibrous foods you consume. When you quickly incorporate more fiber, it can cause digestive issues. I recommend slowly increasing your fiber intake.
2. Try incorporating beans/legumes instead of meat in one meal per week. A good example would be making a vegetarian bean chili recipe.
3. Add beans/legumes into soups, stews, and salads.
4. Incorporate more whole grains into your diet. You can try choosing wheat bread over white bread or whole wheat pasta over white pasta.
5. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake by making sure your meals contain fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
6. Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of juices.
7. Try having fruit for dessert.
8. Make sure your plate has at least 3 colors of fruits and vegetables at each meal.
9. Make sure you are hydrating as you are increasing fiber intake.
10. Start your day with more fiber by incorporating grains like oats.
Let me know if you have any questions about this topic. Have a great week!