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Easy ways to get more fiber into a healthy diet

Easy ways to get more fiber into a healthy diet

 

Eat more fiber! It’s advice that’s hard to miss, given that it’s coming at you from the covers of magazines, television, and even social media. The message may seem like overkill, but plenty of fiber is guaranteed to help your digestion, which in turn can improve your colon health and reduce your risk of colon cancer.

So how do you get it?

First, let’s review what fiber is: roughage, or bulk, that your body can’t absorb. It comes in two types, soluble and insoluble, both of which aid your digestive system as they does their job. Here are some easy ways to get more fiber into your diet.

  • Breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, so make sure that yours includes a high-fiber cereal. That’s one with five or more grams per serving. If your favorite doesn't meet that benchmark, add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran.
  • Whole grains. Read the label and if whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain isn’t the first ingredient, find another brand. Look for one with at least two grams of dietary fiber per serving and ditch the white rice — try brown rice, wild rice, barley or whole-wheat pasta instead. Also swap out your white flour for whole-grain flour when baking – just be sure to follow directions for substituting, as whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour.
  • Veg out. Add fresh or frozen vegetables to your dishes, especially soups, sauces and stews. And eat more beans, peas and lentils. Lastly, have a piece of fruit, such as an apple or banana, with every meal. (Or as an alternative, have berries, pears, oranges or other favorites as a fruit salad side dish.)

Lastly, swap out those cookies and candies for fresh and dried fruit or a handful of nuts when you’re craving a snack. If you’re watching your weight, these are lower-calorie options that are not only good for you but will help you feel full longer.

posted on October 8, 2012 in news