We are all aware of the many health benefits of fiber in your diet. But, do you really get all the dietary fiber you need?
The sad reality is most adults get less than 15 grams of fiber per day, far below the recommended 20 to 40 grams per day. This is cause for concern. Why? A low fiber diet can increase the risk of some cancers, particularly colon cancer. It can also help to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels, and can prevent the development of constipation.
How can you go about adding more fiber to your diet to get these wonderful health benefits? Here are some ideas:
1. Skip the fruit juice and eat more whole fruit
When you drink a glass of juice, you get the health benefits of the antioxidants in the fruits, but you miss out on all the healthy dietary fiber. Enjoy an apple or a pear in its whole state and get all the amazing benefits that fruit has to offer.
2. Skip the white bread and choose whole grain
When you choose bread at the grocery store, stop and study the label. Make sure that whole grain or whole wheat are listed as one of the first ingredients on the label. You can boost your fiber intake by replacing white bread and rolls with healthy grains.
3. Reconsider your choice of cereal
Check the label on your favorite cereal and see how many grams of fiber it contains. Many fiber-based cereals can have as high as 15 grams of fiber per serving, which takes care of more than half your fiber requirements for the day. If your cereal is weak on dietary fiber, consider a high fiber cereal such as All-Bran or Fiber One.
4. Add some nuts or flaxseed to your cereal
Nuts and flaxseed are both high in fiber. Plus, they give your cereal a deliciously nutty flavor.
5. Replace white rice with brown rice
Not only is it more nutritious, it also has more dietary fiber and is less likely to rapidly raise your blood sugar level.
6. Replace your regular snacks with high fiber snacks
Some good choices are popcorn without butter, whole grain crackers, nuts, and whole-grain pretzels. Yes, popcorn is considered a whole grain.
7. Add veggies to everything you can
Having pizza for dinner? Add some spinach, broccoli, and any other vegetables that appeal to you. If you’re having a sandwich at lunch, pile on the veggies and eat it with a side salad. Do this consistently, and you’ll greatly increase the fiber in your diet.
Getting more fiber in your diet doesn’t have to be hard. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of making healthy substitutions. Why not make your next meal a fiber feast and reap the health benefits?