June 16, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Fiber

I eat fresh veggies and hardly any processed food, whole wheat bread, fruit, salad, etc.

Since logging my food intake daily on the Daily Plate.com,
I see I am significantly under my daily requirements for fiber.

How can I increase fiber without adding a lot of extra calories? I already know about eating brown rice, whole grains, etc. I also eat steel cut oatmeal often as well too.

-- Laura Lafata
Miami Beach, FL

Since fiber is free of calories, replacing low-fiber carbohydrates with ones higher in fiber will not increase your caloric intake up.

I am not sure what your totals are, but I will say that if your diet is low in calories, you will find it difficult to reach your fiber goals.

However, here are some tips on increasing your daily fiber intake.

If you are a cereal person, grab one that provides 4 or 5 grams of fiber per serving.

When it comes to bread (whether it's for toast or a sandwich), always go for whole grain varieties offering at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.

For quick on-the-go snacks, try out Lara, Clif Nectar, Pure, or Gnu bars (Gnu bars offer 12 grams of fiber; this may be too much at once for some people, so you can try having half a bar with breakfast and the other half after lunch.)

Beans and legumes are great sources of fiber. If you're having soup, opt for black bean or lentil rather than minestrone, tomato, or chicken noodle.

Similarly, add half a cup of chickpeas or kidney beans to salads and wraps.

For an extra fiber boost throughout the day, sprinkle ground flaxseed on soups, salads, yogurt, smoothies, and cereal.

Two tablespoons provide 4 grams of fiber and more than a day's worth of Omega -3 Alpha Linolenic Fatty Acids in a 70-calorie package.

Due to the presence of these polyunsaturated fats, be sure to keep ground flaxseed meal in the refrigerator to slow down rancidity.

1 comment:

La Diva Laura said...

Andy, You've hit it. I don't have a lot of calories to spare. I'm trying to do 1200 cal per day (it's been a real struggle) and usually really consume about 1400+ per day. I'll try the flax seed, everything else I already do.