Fiber: Part II

 Given all the health benefits of fiber, I feel that this topic is worth discussing in detail.  Therefore, this is Part II of a series of posts discussing fiber.  Please refer back to Fiber: Part I to learn about the benefits of fiber and a table that lists the fiber content of some high fiber foods.

As a review, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are some of the best sources of fiber in the diet.  The following are some tips to help you increase the amount of fiber in your diet:

  • Choose products that have whole grains as the first ingredient listed on the label. To make sure you’re getting whole grains, look for the following words:
    • Whole oats, whole wheat, whole rye, whole grain corn
    • Brown Rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Popcorn
    • Graham flour
    • Bulgar
  • For simple ways to switch from refined grains to whole grains, try:
    • Using whole grain bread instead of white bread for sandwiches
    • Whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta
    • Starting the day of with cereals or waffles made from whole grains
    • Putting whole wheat or whole rye crackers in your soup
  • Sneak in more fruits and vegetables:
    • Try adding shredded zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms or peppers to pasta sauce.
    • Load your pizza up with vegetable toppings
    • Turn left-over vegetables into a vegetable or minestrone soup
    • Top your cereal with fruit
    • Mix in fruit with your yogurt
    • Have fruit or vegetables w/ low-fat dressing as a snack
    • Make sure to eat the skin of fruits and vegetables
  • Incorporate legumes (i.e. beans, lentils, lima beans) into your diet
    • Put beans in pasta dishes or on salads
    • Mix beans and tomatoes in when preparing your rice
    • Try lentil soup or put beans in with your vegetable soup
    • Have a bean burrito or put some beans in a quesadilla.
  • Remember to always increase fiber gradually and drink more water as you increase your fiber intakes!