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How to Add Fiber into Your Diet

Fiber is crucial for gut regularity and other significant health benefits. You hear many health professionals say how important fiber is to include in your diet, but they don’t always give advice for how to do it. Like you’re supposed to know. I am here to tell you that it’s okay if you don’t know right now, that what this blog post is for! Use it as your reference guide to include more fiber into your diet.

Note: Before getting into it, it’s important to note that when trying to increase your fiber intake that it is very important to do so slowly to avoid any GI distress and make sure you are drinking enough water every day.

 

What is Fiber and Why is it Important?

There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in numerous fruits, peas, beans, and carrots, helps you feel fuller for longer. Insoluble fiber, found in nuts, beans, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes, is not absorbed in the body. It helps move food through your digestive system, preventing constipation.

 

Tips on How to Add More Fiber Into Your Diet

Tip #1: Build filling and tasty salads one or two times a week. Adding lots of variety with different vegetables will provide plenty of fiber, and adding a protein and healthy fat will help keep you fuller for longer too.

Tip #2: Add vegetables to at least one meal per day. It is not realistic to expect to eat vegetables with every single meal every day. Starting out by having vegetables as part of at least one meal per day. If this becomes comfortable, try two meals! 

Tip #3: Choose smoothies instead of fruit juices. Smoothies still contain the fiber from the fruits and/or vegetables. In fruit and vegetable juices the fiber is filtered out.

Tip #4: Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains are minimally processed, leaving the whole grain intact and providing more fiber and nutrients. Refined grains are stripped of the fiber-rich hull and nutrient-dense germ.

Tip #5: Add legumes into your diet. Besides being a good plant-based protein option, legumes are also a good source of fiber. A few examples of adding legumes include eating hummus and other bean dips, add mashed or whole beans to ground beef dishes, and top salads with cooked beans or lentils.

Tip #6: Leave the Peel/Skin on Apples, Cucumbers, Carrots, and Potatoes. The peels/skins contain half of the fiber content of these foods.

 

Example List of Foods and their Fiber Content

Fruit                            Serving Size                 Total Fiber

Raspberries                 1 cup                           8.0 grams

Pear                             1 medium                    5.5 grams

Apple, with skin          1 medium                     4.5 grams

Banana                        1 medium                    3.0 grams

Orange                        1 medium                     3.0 grams

Strawberries               1 cup                            3.0 grams

Peach                         

 

Vegetables                  Serving Size                 Total Fiber

Broccoli                       1 cup                           1.8 grams

Carrots                        100g                            2.8 grams

Green Beans               1 cup                           3.4 grams

Tomato, whole           1 medium                     1.5 grams

Brussels Sprouts         1 cup                          3.3 grams

Edamame                    1 cup                             8 grams

Kale, chopped             1 cup                          2.6 grams                               

 

Grains                          Serving Size                 Total Fiber

Brown Rice, cooked    1 cup                           3.5 grams

Quinoa , cooked          1 cup                           5.0 grams

Millet flour                  1 cup                             4.2 grams

Farro, cooked              1 cup                           6.0 grams

Rice Noodles               1 cup                           1.8 grams

Spaghetti                     1 cup                           2.5 grams

Oat Bran, raw              1 cup                            14 grams                                

Whole-Wheat Bread   1 slice                           1.9 grams

Popcorn                      1 oz.                             3.6 grams

Oatmeal, cooked        1 cup                            4.0 grams

 

Legumes, Seeds and Nuts                   Serving Size                 Total Fiber

Peanuts                                               1 cup                            12 grams

Black Beans, canned                           1 cup                           10 grams

Chickpeas                                            1 cup                           35 grams

Lentils, boiled                                     1 cup                             16 grams

Pecans                                                 1 oz. (19 halves)          2.7 grams

Walnuts                                              1 oz. (14 halves)            1.9 grams

Almonds                                              1 oz. (23 nuts)              3.5 grams

Pistachios                                            1 oz. (49 kernels)         2.9 grams

Chia seeds                                           1 oz.                             10 grams

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