Fiber is Your Friend

Why do so many people forget about the importance of fiber? It is an essential part of our diet and provides us with great health benefits. Yet, it is an afterthought when we talk about the important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies need.

The belief that only older people need to worry about fiber in their diet is a misperception.  Fiber is an essential part of anyone’s nutritional plan, regardless of age.  However, we fail miserably when it comes to making sure we get the needed amount.  The average adult should be consuming between 28 and 30 grams of fiber a day, but most people only get around 6 to 12 grams a day.  In fact, studies show that only 5 percent of Americans are actually getting enough fiber in their diets.

steel cut oatmeal, oatmeal, steel cut, high fiber oatmealGiven that a diet high in fiber can reduce cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and lower our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, diverticular disease and gallstone and kidney stone development, it is amazing that we do not make a greater effort to incorporate more high-fiber foods into our diets.  Instead, we seem to prefer to spend billions of dollars (not an exaggeration but a fact) on supplements and laxatives.  Doesn’t that sound just a little crazy to you, especially when there are a number of foods that can do a more effective job without putting unnecessary stress on our bodies?

Adding more high fiber foods is not that difficult.  More importantly, given the wide variety of high fiber foods, you won’t have to sacrifice your taste buds in the process. Here are just a few food suggestions:

  • Oatmeal (1 cup) – 4 g
  • Black beans (1/2 cup) – 7.5 g
  • Lima beans (1/2 cup) – 7 g
  • Sweet Potato, no skin (1 cup) – 7 g
  • Peas (1 cup) – 8.8 g
  • Guava (1 cup) – 8.9 g
  • Kiwi (1 cup) -5 g
  • Almonds, roasted (1 cup) – 16.3 g
  • Sunflower seeds, roasted (1 cup) – 14.00

Are you following a meal plan low in carbohydrates? If you have a concern over high fiber foods are also high in carbohydrates then here are some high fiber foods for you that are low carb alternatives worth checking out.  Here are just a few:

  • Collard Greens – 1 cup chopped and cooked, 4 grams usable carbs to 5 grams fiber
  • Spinach and Chard  – 1 cup chopped and cooked, 3 g usable carbs to 4 g fiber
  • Blackberries  – 1 cup raw, 6 grams usable carbs to 8 grams fiber
  • Red Raspberries – 1 cup, raw, 7 grams usable carbs to 8 grams fiber
  • Avocado – 1 medium,  3 grams usable carbs to 12 grams fiber

Fiber is an essential part of any health diet.  If you still find you absolutely cannot incorporate enough high fiber foods into your diet, then add a fiber supplement.  However, this should never replace natural and nutrient rich foods.  Always look to your foods first and supplements second, not the other way around. This approach will support an overall healthier lifestyle that can be more easily maintained over the long-term. Nourish your body with plenty of fiber and enjoy all of the health benefits as a result!

3 thoughts on “Fiber is Your Friend

Leave a Reply