We’ve all heard that we should eat 25-35 grams of fiber every day but Americans are chronically deficient. If we know it’s good for us, why does that happen? First, we (especially women) are carb phobic. Second, there is a huge push to eat large amounts of lean protein, which might be at the expense of other things. Third, we may be lazy about eating enough vegetables. I have been guilty of all three reasons above so I thought it might be helpful to share my tricks and easy ways to get more fiber.
Benefits of eating 25-35 grams of fiber per day
- Lose weight and get healthier – when you fill up on fiber, especially vegetables, you will eat less high calorie food and get a great dose of nutrients.
- Maintain a healthy weight – if you consistently eat a high fiber diet, you will have a much easier time maintaining your weight
- Lower disease – with 30 grams per day, your risk of colon cancer goes down by 30% and heart disease by 35%. It also cuts your risk of Type 2 diabetes by almost 20%. It also impacts other diseases.
- Improve gut health – This is so important to reduce inflammation in the body. Watch the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead for some great info on adding a massive dose of veggies to your life.
5 Easy Ways to Get More Fiber
1. Add one of these high fiber options to your breakfast
- Chia seeds – Add them to a smoothie or make an easy chia pudding.
- Flaxseed – Sprinkle on top of whatever you eat like oatmeal or eggs or add to a smoothie.
- Kellogg’s All Bran Buds – Add to plain yogurt with a handful of berries for a quick breakfast.
- Raspberries, blackberries, figs and Asian pears are all great high fiber fruits.
2. Change your bread and pasta to whole grain
- Ezekiel bread is the healthiest bread choice with fiber, protein, amino acids and more.
- Whole wheat pasta has a bunch of fiber and actually tastes better once you get used to it.
- Even better use squash or zucchini noodles instead of pasta.
- Make avocado toast or use avocado instead of mayo on your sandwich.
3. Make 1-2 of your meals a big salad every day.
Eating tons of veggies every day is so good for you. Use these fiber superstars in the mix but don’t forget to add vegetables with other colors like carrots, red pepper, etc..
- Artichoke hearts
- Brussels sprouts
4. Add a whole grain and/or legumes to your salad
Adding grains to your salad makes the salad feel more substantial. Try not to be carb phobic. We need healthy carbs. They give us energy to workout or even just get through the day.
- Chick peas
- Black Beans
- Pearled barley
5. Eat Soup
This is one of the easiest ways to get a huge dose of fiber. Split pea, lentil, black bean, and lima bean soup all top the fiber charts. Add in lots of additional veggies for even more nutrients.
What To Do Now With All This Info
Here’s a great high fiber food chart from the Mayo Clinic for reference. It’s important to ease into getting more fiber. Start out with 15 grams a day. Increase 5 grams per week until you are getting at least 25 grams. It’s honestly easy to eat enough fiber if you make some habits that work for you. Hopefully some of the easy ways to get more fiber listed above will help you figure out what works for you and your family.