Are You Getting Enough Fiber?
What is Fiber?
First of all, why do we even need fiber? Adequate amounts in your diet is important in normalizing bowel movements and maintaining bowel integrity. Fiber also can contribute to lowering blood cholesterol and controlling blood sugars. It also keeps our body feeling fuller longer so we tend to eat less which helps us achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
Why Do We Need Fiber?
It is recommended that women should get at least 21-25 grams per day and men 30-38 grams per day. Those who are 50 years or younger should aim for the higher end of this range. Check with your dietitian before consuming a high-fiber diet. There are some situations where a high-fiber diet may not be best, for instance, if you have gastroparesis (slow emptying of the stomach) among others.
It is important to increase your amounts slowly in your diet to reduce discomfort from bloating. Also, drink plenty of fluids. Drinking beverages help the body process without discomfort.
Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Diet
One way to add more fiber to your diet is to consume whole grain bread and cereals. Make sure to check the ingredients for “100% whole wheat.” Also when checking the nutrition facts label, look for foods that have at least four grams per serving. Enjoy a variety of grains including barley, oats, and quinoa.
Choose fresh fruit and vegetables instead of fruit juices. When eating fruits and vegetables leave the peels or skin on because this is where the fiber is located! For example, do not take the skin off a baked potato or apple because you’ll miss out on great nutrients.
You can also add fiber to foods you love! For instance, adding ground flaxseed to oatmeal can increase fiber in your diet. Another thing to add is granola to foods like your favorite yogurt. If someone is having a hard time consuming enough food to get adequate amount in their diet considers adding Benefiber powder – in two teaspoons there are six grams!
If you are having any digestive issues, schedule an appointment with a CHI Health Digestive Health Specialist to get checked.
These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.