Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

I know I need to get more fiber but I don’t know which foods will help me. What are some foods I can eat to give me more fiber?

It is wonderful that you are trying to increase the amount of fiber you eat every day because most people don’t get enough in the foods they choose.

The daily recommendations for fiber are 31-38 grams for men and for 21-25 grams for women and kids should have 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories they eat. Fiber helps keep bowels regular reducing constipation, make bowel movements easier to pass therefore reducing hemorrhoids, lower cholesterol, help maintain weight, slow absorption of sugar thereby maintaining blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full longer.

Foods that have fiber include fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grain breads, cereals and rolls; whole wheat pasta; brown rice; skins of vegetables; beans; nuts; and seeds. There are fiber supplements available but you should be able to get enough fiber if you add these foods at each meal. Be sure to read the nutrient label to determine how much fiber is in the food you are eating. A serving of food that has 5 grams of fiber is considered an excellent source and 2.5 grams per serving is considered good.

Suggestions for adding fiber — add fruit to cereal; eat nut/seed/dried fruit mixes for snacking; substitute all pasta, rice and bread to one that contains whole wheat; eat high fiber cereals or add wheat germ; eat the skins of baked potatoes, fruits and vegetables instead of peeling away just scrub in water; choose whole fruit instead of fruit juices; include beans into your menus instead of noodles or rice during the week; and sprinkle nuts into salads.

 Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help process the increased amount of fiber and add fiber slowly over a few weeks to give your bowels time to adjust to the added fiber.

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