Fiber — or what Grandma called roughage — is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. It’s the stuff your body can’t digest. It passes through your body mostly intact and helps you poop.
As important as that is, eating enough fiber can also help you lose weight.
High fiber foods take longer to eat, allowing your brain to catch up with your stomach and know when you’re full. That means you’re less likely to overeat. They also give you more bang for your calorie buck … they have fewer calories for the same amount of less fiber-y foods.
When you eat high fiber foods, you tend to stay full longer, so you don’t eat as much.
Another benefit of high fiber foods is that they tend to be more natural and less processed than many other foods.
I’m guessing you already knew all that. So now I want to give you a list of good sources of fiber. Even the laziest among us can eat from this list every day. Aim for between 30-40 grams of fiber every day, but if you haven’t been eating much fiber lately, you might want to take it a bit slowly. You don’t want your plan to, ahem, backfire. Increase your water, too, as you increase your fiber.
The average American only eats about 15g of fiber every day. If you’re not sure how much you eat, track your normal diet for a week and see. It’s hard to get too much fiber from food (and that’s where you should get it, not from supplements). Fiber is like exercise — some days you get a little more, some days a little less. Average it over a week and see where you are, then act accordingly.
11g Breakfast — smoothie: almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, pumpkin, cranberries
4g Snack — apple
13g Lunch — salad: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach
3g Snack — handful of nuts
5g Dinner — have baked beans with your burger
BLAM … 36g of fiber
10g Breakfast — oatmeal with blueberries, and toast with peanut butter
1g Snack — popcorn
10g Lunch — burrito with refried beans, spinach and guacamole
2g Snack — vegetable juice
11g Dinner — baked potato with black beans
POW … 34g of fiber
11g Breakfast — Grape Nuts with almond milk and a banana
3g Snack — prunes
8g Lunch — peanut butter sandwich
1g Snack — carrot
14g Dinner — bowl of chili with 2 Wasa crackers
ZOUNDS … 37g of fiber
Holy simplicity, Batman!
Take a tour of your pantry and read some labels. What high fiber foods do you have? Add your stuff to this list then post it on your fridge to remind you to eat more fiber. It’s such an easy, healthy thing to do.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick a couple items from your list and check labels to find the brand with the highest fiber. Tortillas, pasta, crackers and cereals are great places to start.
Maybe I’ll eat my morning bowl of Grape-Nuts with beans, carrots and strawberries so I’m fibertastic all day. I can’t see any flaw in THAT plan!
What’s your favorite high fiber food?