Did you know that fiber-rich foods do way more than keep you regular? Fueling your body with high fiber foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent a variety of diseases, such as: heart disease, diabetes and diverticulitis.
What is your recommended intake? For women 50 or younger, the Institute of Medicine recommends at least 25 grams per day. For women 51 or older, the recommended amount is at least 21 grams per day.
A few simple switches can really boost your intake:
- Substitute a piece of whole wheat bread for white bread and gain 2 grams of fiber (double that for a sandwich!).
- Swap 1/2 cup brown rice for white rice for an extra 2 grams of fiber.
- Change up your pasta and gain an extra 6 grams of fiber by eating whole wheat instead of white pasta (per cup).
- Serve up a side of beans or lentils with your meal, or toss some into your soup or salad. A half cup (cooked) has about 7 grams of fiber.
- Have an apple or pear and some almonds for a snack, and you will be adding another 6-7 grams of fiber.
- Try snacking on 1/2 cup of veggies with 1/4 cup of hummus and get 6 grams of fiber.
- Popcorn is another great snack option. Enjoy 3 cups of air-popped popcorn, for another 4 grams of filling fiber.
- Add a new grain to your shopping list. Try amaranth, buckwheat, barley or quinoa.
Check out this website for more ideas and information on the fiber count of popular foods: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/063008p28.shtml
Always remember to drink plenty of water – especially when you are increasing your fiber intake!