Mother always said, be sure to eat more fiber. You hear it on television, read it in ads and even your doctor may mention it to you, eat more fiber. If you’re one of the many who are counting calories, you’ll want to be sure to include more fiber, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. However, it’s not as easy to add fiber to your diet as you may think. In fact, it may be a big challenge.
Fiber: Heatlh Benefits
If you, like many American’s, need to add more fiber, you’re likely only getting about 11 grams of fiber each day. The national recommendation is from 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day.
Eating more fiber can not only help to make you ‘regular’, it can also help you in a myraid of other health benefits. Here are a few:
Protect your heart. A diet rich in fiber can help to protect your heart. A study of 72,000 women showed over the course of 18 years, that women who eat a diet that is rich inwhole grains, vegetables andfruits (all great sources of fiber), have a reduced risk for heart disease when compared to those women who ate less fiber.
Fiber rich diets also contribute to a healthier pregnancy. Eating foods that are rich in fiber help to reduce preeclampsia (a rare pregnancy related high blood pressure). Women should add 5 extra grams of fiber or two slices of whole wheat breat to their diet daily in order to reduce this risk by up to 14 percent.
Fiber rich diets may also reduce the risk of cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research shows that a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables as well as wole grains, may also help to reduce the risk of cancer especially colon, kidney, esophagael and pancreatic cancers.
How To Get Started:
One easy way to get started is to simply replace a low fiber food that you enjoy with a high fiber food. Example: in lieu of white bread, replace it with whole wheat bread which is high in fiber. Eat an apple in lieu of beef jerkey. By using this method, you can increase your fiber one meal or snack at a time.
If you’re eating cereal for breakfast, chose a high fiber alternative. Skip the Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies and replace it with a high fiber cereal. Choos ewhole grain cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber for best results. It’s great and better than grabbing a donut as you run out the door.
Other Great Sources Of Fiber:
Vegetables and fruts that have the skins on (scrub them well)
Potatoes with skin left on
Lentils, black beans or other high fiber beans
Whol grains like barley, bulgar wheat and oats (watch serving sizes)
Those who watch their carbs also need to know that they can deduct their fiber counts from the total carbs count. This won’t reduce the calories but it will help increase the fiber.
Increasing Your fiber Intake:
Eat more fruits and vegetables at the table. High fiber foods are really much lower in calories than other foods you’ve eaten. This of course isn’t your only strategy but it will certainly help. You should have whole grains an dfiber supplements as well if you’re lacking in fiber. A fiber supplement like Metamucil or Benefiber is natural and wil definitely help you.
Lastly, when you increase your fiber, do so slowly. Be sure to drinka lot of water and only increase the fiber by a few grams each day so that your digestive system has plenty of time to adjust to the change. It’s important to increase your fiber, but be sure to do so wisely and be sure that you leave out the other foods that don’t have as much fiber for you.