Fiber is a nutrient that is under-consumed by most individuals with most Americans consuming about half of the recommended intake of 14 grams of fiber per 1000 Calories. For an average adult, this means a daily intake of 25g (female) or 38g (male). Contrary to popular belief, vegetables and fruits are not the only food groups that can contain fiber-rich foods. Foods commonly associated with carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins can help provide fiber.
Whole-grains means the whole grain is included in the product, which provides antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber. While the fiber content of grains varies greatly, most grain-based foods such as breads, pasta, and rice can be found in a whole-grain option.
While fats need to be eaten in moderation, healthy fats such as omega-3s and monounsaturated fats can provide health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and reducing cholesterol levels. Examples of foods high in healthy fats that are also high in fiber are avocados and nuts. One cup of avocado contains 10 g of fiber and an ounce of a blend of nuts contains 3.5 g of fiber. While it can be easy to overconsume calories, consider adding avocado on your salad or sandwich. This salad includes some mango and macadamia nuts.
Beans and legumes contain 10-15 g of fiber per cup and provide protein. Add beans and legumes to soups, sauces, and dips. Consider a bean dip, like this one, to eat with more vegetables and some high fiber bread, tortillas, or pita.
When increasing fiber, remember to ease into it and drink plenty of fluids. Adding a lot of fiber at once is a big change, so try incorporating fiber-rich foods one meal at a time. Fluid helps to process fiber without bloating or stomach discomfort.
If you’d rather not try a new recipe, here are some simple substitutions you can make throughout the day to increase fiber intake and reduce your total calorie intake for the day:
|Calories||Fiber, g||Calories||Fiber, g|
|2 frozen waffles||190||1||2 high fiber frozen waffles||160||9|
|2 slices turkey bacon||60||0||2 slices turkey bacon||60||0|
|8 fl.oz. orange juice||112||0||8 fl.oz. grape juice with added fiber||150||3|
|4 chocolate chip cookie snack pack||200||1||High Fiber Oats & Chocolate Granola Bar||140||9|
|1 pouch prepared tuna salad||200||1||Tuna salad, 1 pouch prepared||200||1|
|10 crackers||180||0||2 slices of high fiber wheat bread||80||12|
|1 medium apple||80||5||1 medium apple||80||5|
|16 fl.oz. sweet tea||131||0||16 fl.oz. diet sweet tea||0||0|
|1 cup spaghetti noodles||210||2||1 cup whole wheat, high fiber, thin spaghetti||210||5|
|½ cup meat sauce||60||3||½ cup meat sauce||60||3|
|16 fl.oz. water||0||0||16 fl.oz. water||0||0|
|½ cup vanilla frozen yogurt||110||0||½ cup yogurt with fiber, frozen||110||3|
13 g Fiber
50 g Fiber