An average, 97 % of Americans don’t get a substantial amount of dietary fiber. The deficit of fiber is related to the high risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, common types of cancer, hypertension, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
Eating high fiber food is essential for health and disease prevention and associated with potential longevity. Nearly all dietary fiber is originated from plants: legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. Chemically, fiber consists of carbohydrates like cellulose, pectin and inulin; and non-carbohydrates like gums and lignin.
Eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains per day. High fiber foods include bran, whole grain cereals, bread, pasta, tortillas, and crackers. Eat high-fiber cereals or oatmeal for breakfast. If you eat toast for breakfast, choose whole wheat bread instead of white. For baking purposes, use some whole wheat flour instead of only white and add 1-3 tbsp. of bran or flaxseed to your baking.
Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits are loaded with fiber. Fruits and vegetables contain soluble and insoluble fiber but fruit juice contains no fiber. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating two cups of fruits daily for a 2,000-calorie diet. Two cups of fruits are approximately two medium apples, or one medium pear and a cup of blueberries. Eat fruits for your snack and add dried or fresh fruits to your salad, yogurt, or cereal. Limit the amount of fruit juice you drink or substitute juice for fruit smoothies.
Vegetables are high-fiber foods containing soluble and insoluble fibers. Non-starchy veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, Brussels sprouts have a low glycemic index, are low in calories and high in mostly insoluble fiber (mostly insoluble). Starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes, and green peas) have about 3-4 times more calories than non-starchy. If you are trying to lose weight, choose non-starchy veggies.
Vegetables with a darker color such as broccoli, artichokes, and dark leafy greens have a higher fiber content. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating two and a half cups of veggies daily for a 2,000-calorie diet. Eat more salads and soups and add chopped fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables into your stews, soups, or pasta. You can, also, make vegetable smoothies.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
Packed with high amounts of fiber, protein, calcium, and iron, legumes can be called a nutrient treasure. Serving one cup of kidney beans, pinto beans, and lentils make up your recommended daily fiber intake. Incorporate legumes into your cooking, and add them to your soups and salads. Add nuts and seeds to your salads, cereal, yogurt, or baking.
High Fiber Foods - Menu Option
3/4 cup oatmeal cereal - 6g fiber
1/2 cup milk - 0g fiber
1/2 cup fruit - 2g fiber
1 hard-cooked egg - 0g fiber
1 turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole-grain bread - 4g fiber
1/2 cup low-fat banana yogurt - 2g fiber
1 cup mashed potatoes - 3g fiber
1 bowl of salad: chicken, coleslaw mix, cucumber, carrot, onion - 4g fiber
1 medium apple - 4g fiber
1 medium orange - 3g fiber
1/4 cup dry raisins - 2g fiber
1 cup of a fiber-rich fruit or veggie smoothie - 3g fiber
9 whole-grain crackers - 4g fiber
Total: 37g fiber.
• Nearly all dietary fiber is originated from plants
• Eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains per day
• Non-starchy veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, Brussels sprouts are low in calories and higher in fiber
• Legumes can be called a nutrient treasure.
Dietary fiber is essential for health and is a vital component of a nutritionally balanced diet...