Easy Ways to Boost Daily Fiber


Fiber. It seems that every time you turn around, there’s a new product claiming to solve all your fiber woes. It is added to everything. The labels at the supermarket proudly display the percentage of  fiber  you can cross off your daily checklist by using their product.  I agree that fiber is important. It has all kinds of awesome benefits. However, I do think that for the most part, we should try to get it from natural sources. I do like the carb-balance tortillas, but other than that, I get my fiber from sources where it naturally occurs. In Nutrition Lesson #1, we talked about daily fiber intake and what it should be. Do you remember how much you should be getting? Okay, quick refresher: women should be getting at least 25 grams a day,  and men at least 38 grams a day. Did you know that most Americans only get about 11 grams a day? That statistic made  me cringe. Well, you know what they say, “If you’re not  part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.” With that in mind, here are some easy (and fast) ways for  YOU to boost your daily fiber intake (and your family’s too!):

  1. Wheat Germ is an easy way to add fiber to almost anything. You can add it to yogurt, hot cereal, protein shakes, salads and even the casserole  you make for  dinner. It  has a very mild flavor, so the kiddos won’t even know it’s there!
  2. Whole Wheat flour can be substituted for white flour in most of your cooking and baking recipes. I have included a link  that gives you some guidelines on how to make the switch.   http://www.ehow.com/how_2299938_substitute-wholewheat-flour-white.html
  3. Beans are a great way to toss in some additional fiber. You can soak your own or buy them ready to go off the shelf at your local grocery store. If you buy canned, make sure that you drain and rinse them in hot water.   (This will eliminate some of the sodium that they are canned with.) They go great in salads and are easy to sneak into almost any dinner you make. They can be slightly processed in the blender if you are putting them in meatloaf, or left whole and tossed into the meat for your tacos, enchiladas or sloppy joes.
  4. We already talked about replacing white flour for whole wheat flour in the things you MAKE. Switching to whole wheat bread and pasta products that you BUY, is another  super easy way to boost fiber.
  5. This sounds elementary, but make sure that you are getting all of your fruit and veggie servings in each day.   There are all kinds of options  out there. Costco sells a package of carrots with twenty or twenty five individual serving size  bags. You can get individual serving size boxes of raisins. School boy sized apples are a perfect serving and come “pre-packaged” right off the tree!
  6. When you can, always opt for the whole fruit or veggie rather than the juice version. Most juices are stripped of fiber, because it stays in the pulp- which is usually discarded.
  7. Just like it is better to use whole wheat flour than white, it is better to use brown rice rather than white rice.   Personally, I prefer the flavor of brown rice over the blandness of white rice anyway.
  8. When snacking, choose whole wheat crackers, air popped popcorn and  whole veggies over cookies, candy bars or chips.
  9. Choose whole grain cereals over sugary  options. Oatmeal, shredded wheat or cracked wheat are much better for you, and contain tons more fiber, than  frosted, sugary, cinnamon swirled yucky o’s with mini marshmallows.
  10. When baking, stir chopped dried fruit and nuts  into cookies, muffins, pancakes and breads. The fruit only  adds a tiny bit of sweetness, but  you’ll be boosting the fiber!

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me and I will be happy to answer it for you!

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