In addition to helping to keep you “regular,” fiber boosts the activity of beneficial probiotics in your GI tract and it’s a natural cholesterol cutter. It also helps to keep blood sugar levels in check and that, in turn, can turn off some of your carb cravings.
If fiber is so good why don’t we eat enough of it? Nine out of 10 of us don’t get our daily recommended amount of fiber of 14 grams for every 1,000 calories we eat or about 25-40 grams per day. Average fiber intake for adults has been about 14-15 grams a day for decades.
If I’m not eating 5+ servings of fruit and veggies a day, it’s pretty hard to get all that fiber in…without resorting to fiber-fortified foods and beverages. And, it’s best that we don’t rely on foods that are plumped and stuffed with isolated fibers as they don’t carry all the same benefits of natural, fiber-rich foods.
It’s no surprise to me that most of us are lacking fiber in our diets.
Less than 1% of Americans eat the recommended number of servings of produce and fewer than 10% meet the recommended servings (at least 3) of whole grains.
Produce for Better Health, USDA-ERS
I love all the amazing health benefits of fiber, but for me, fiber’s biggest asset is that is can temper my appetite. (For those who know me, know that I’m always up for eating, probably because I exercise so much.) Because it adds volume or bulk to food (minus calories) it helps to make a calorie-reduced diet more satisfying. When you eat a large fiber-filled food your stomach’s so-called “stretch” receptors tell the brain that it’s satisfied, when you probably really haven’t had too many calories. In essence, it’s like fooling yourself full. Research on fiber backs this up.
Five Fiber Finds
OroWeat 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins: For just 100 calories, these pack in 5 grams protein and also 5 grams protein.
Progresso High Fiber Soups: The hearty vegetable and noodles soup has just 90 calories but 7 grams of filling fiber! There are several other great-tasting varieties in their fiber-rich, calorie-poor line worth trying.
s just under a grams of fiber. Have four and you get 100 calories and almost four grams fiber. Other compounds in prunes also aid to healthy GI tract function, so their benefits go beyond the fiber in the dried fruit.
Brownberry Healthfull 10-Grain Bread: This new bread is one of the best I’ve seen. It has five grams of protein per slice (just one shy of an egg!) and four grams of fiber. All that nutrition in just an 80-calorie slice.
Fiber One Complete Pancake Mix: I’ve recently discovered this pancake mix, which has five grams fiber per serving, and keep sugars in check. The pancake mix even has six grams protein thanks to the dehydrated egg whites in the mix.
Lean Cuisine Spa Collection Grilled Chicken Primavera: The Spa Collection choices are great calorie-bargains and they really put every calorie to work: This dish has just 220 calories and has 17 grams protein adn 5 grams fiber. Great to fill you up not out.
In-shell pistachios. Talk about a mindful snack, fiber-rich snack. You need to think about each one as you shell it, but they also have six grams protein per serving and 3 grams fiber–that’s more fiber than most other nuts.
Is there anything new you’ve seen that tastes great and is fiber-packed? If so, let us know about it!