What is fiber? Fiber is found in healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains.
- A high fiber diet helps to normalize bowel movements so constipation will not be an issue.
- Helps decrease the risk of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease (small pouches in the colon).
- Heart health: Decreases cholesterol levels by lowering the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Also helps with decreasing blood pressure.
- Helps control blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve the sugar levels. This will help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Other health benefits include helping to maintain a healthy weight. High fiber foods are typically more filling so you’re more than likely will stay satisfied longer.
How much fiber do you need?
|Age 50 or younger||Age 51 or older|
|*Institute of Medicine|
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
Increasing your intake is as easy as adding beans to your salad, eating oats for breakfast or snacking on fiber-rich nuts and seeds.
Here’s some great high fiber choices:
- High fiber cereal – 5 or more grams of fiber per serving
- Whole grain breads – look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the food label.
- Brown Rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pastas
- Legumes – beans, peas, lentils – great sources of fiber.
- Fruits and veggies – rich in fiber as well as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
Don’t add too much fiber at one time… Gradually increase your fiber intake to avoid intestinal gas, bloating and cramping.
Last, but not least, drink plenty of WATER! Fiber needs water to work the best! Check out my post on hydration.