By Nicole Dahle, MS, Dietetic Intern
Fiber is a non-digestible type of carbohydrate that plays an important role in your health and provides many benefits to your body.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and control blood glucose levels. Insoluble fiber regulates your digestive system and promotes movement of food through your digestive system which can help with constipation and irregularity. Fiber can also help with weight management!
The US Dietary Guidelines recommends that adults aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes and beans, and nuts/seeds are all great sources of fiber. The following is a list of food that are high in fiber (per serving):
- Whole grain products: barley, whole grain pasta, bran flakes, quinoa, oatmeal
- Fruits: figs, berries, pears, apples, bananas
- Vegetables: green peas, broccoli, turnip greens, brussel sprouts
- Beans/legumes: split peas, lentils, navy beans, black beans
- Nuts/seeds: almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds
Having enough fiber in your diet is important. Here are some easy ways you can incorporate more fiber in your diet:
- Include high-fiber foods as snacks throughout your day such as whole grain crackers and trail mix
- Make at least half of your grains whole grains (look for word 'Whole Grain' in the ingredient list)
- Include oatmeal or bran to baked goods such as muffins, cookies, or bars
- Eat whole grain cereals for breakfast such as oatmeal and bran flakes