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July 15, 2010 / Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN

Fiber-Are You Getting Enough? My 10 Tips for Getting More

Many  conversations I have with clients involve fiber. I keep hearing how they are making an effort to get more in their daily diet. But when questioned about how much they are consuming daily, I usually get an “I don’t know”. Of course fiber is good for you. Every gram counts!  But to really get the benefits it’s good to have a handle on how much you need and the best sources to obtain it from. According to the recent report from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily fiber requirements are 14 grams per 1000 calories. Thus a 2000 calorie diet should include 28 grams of fiber. To make sure you meet your daily quota a good rule of thumb is approx. 8 to 10 grams of fiber per meal. Here is a good fiber list so you can check how much you typically eat daily.  Just remember to increase your fiber slowly as well as drink more fluid. Your body requires more fluid to push the fiber along the intestinal tract.  Fiber is found only in plant foods which include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In addition to promoting intestinal regularity, fiber can also decrease cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose and enhance weight loss by causing early satiety.    Gradually increase your fiber until you are consuming at least 20 to 30 grams per day. Read my 10 tips to see how you can get enough fiber in your daily diet:

1. Have a serving of fresh fruit with each meal.

2. Choose a whole grain cereal at breakfast that has at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. good choices = Kashi Heart to Heart, Raisin Bran, Barbara’s Cinnamon Puffins and Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls.

3. Add chickpeas to your salads. 1/2 cup of canned beans = 8 grams of fiber.

4. Make a delicious sandwich with hummus, sliced cucumber and tomato on whole grain bread.

5. Use whole grains in place of refined. Try whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole wheat couscous, barley and quinoa.

6. For a late afternoon snack enjoy
one tablespoon of almond butter spread on apple slices.

7. Make a veggie platter to have with your dinner. Try raw broccoli, fennel, cauliflower, carrots and grape tomatoes. Have a low fat dip or hummus.

8. Add fresh berries and nuts to your salads. Sliced strawberries, raspberries or blueberries along with sliced almonds or chopped pistachios add color, taste and fiber!

9. Make grilled veggie burritos with whole grain tortillas, grilled veggies, black beans and sliced avacado.

10. Center your meals around whole grains, beans, fresh fruit and vegetables. Use lean protein in small amounts, not as the main part of the meal.

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