Fiber is an important part of the diet that is sometimes forgotten. The standard American diet tends to be low in fiber due to high amounts of processed foods and refined grains which leads to fiber deficiencies. It is recommended that women eat 21-25 grams of fiber per day and men consume 30-38 grams per day. Slowly increase fiber to goal while also adding more water to avoid unwanted GI distress.
Sources of Fiber
Fresh, frozen, and lower processed foods tend to be higher in fiber. To maintain the most fiber, limit overcooking. Removing peels and seeds can also change the fiber content.
Navigating the Food Label
Fiber content of foods is listed on the food label under carbohydrates and broken down into soluble and insoluble. To improve cholesterol, choose foods with soluble fiber.
Fiber does not raise blood sugar the same way other carbohydrates will. When counting carbohydrates to manage diabetes, if the food has 5 or more grams of fiber per serving, subtract half of the fiber from the total carbohydrates. Meals high in fiber will improve blood sugar after mealtime.
Look for foods that have been fortified with fiber or consider taking a fiber supplement that can easily be added to foods or beverages.
Slowly increasing fiber can result in great improvements to your overall
High Fiber Overnight Oats (6.2 grams fiber)
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/3 cup old fashion oats
1/3 cup berries
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
Combine all ingredients in a jar and store in refrigerator overnight.
Enjoy for breakfast or a sweet snack!
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Elizabeth Calloway MS, RD, COWMS, LD