Adding Fiber to my diet

22 Jun

I found this article with tips on how to add fiber to your diet…the norm is supposed to be 30-40 grams a day.  I only had about 6 grams yesterday, so if that doesn’t indicate some changes need to be made – I don’t know what does.  Fiber has a number of benefits including helping with weight-loss, lowering cholesterol and preventing some diseases.  This all sounds like good stuff, so my mission over the next few weeks is to get to a daily minimum of about 25-30 grams a day.  So how am I going to do that…  here are some tips (I didn’t like all of them)  from the article I reference above:

1. Eat cereal every day for breakfast.

2. Eat two apples every day.

3. Make a yogurt mix every Wednesday for breakfast. Take one container of yogurt and mix in 1/3 cup All-Bran cereal, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, and 5 large, diced strawberries for a whopping 12.2 grams of fiber — nearly half your daily allowance!

4. Eat baby carrots and broccoli florets dipped into low-fat ranch dressing as you afternoon snack three days a week. You’ll fill up the empty space in your tummy while getting about 5 grams of fiber in each cup of veggies.

5. Keep a container of gorp in your car and office for the munchies. Mix together peanuts, raisins, a high-fiber cereal, and some chocolate-covered soy nuts. Allow yourself one handful for a sweet, yet high-fiber, snack.

6. Switch to whole grain crackers. You’d never think a tiny cracker can make a difference, but one regular whole wheat cracker has 1/2 gram of fiber. Ten crackers give you 5 grams of fiber. So next time, spread your peanut butter on whole grain crackers (look for brands that proclaim they’re trans-fat-free) instead of bread for a different taste treat.

8. Add kidney beans or chickpeas to your next salad. A quarter cup adds an additional 5 grams of dietary fiber, notes Lisa Andrews, R.D., a nutritionist at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati.

12. Sneak in oatmeal. Use regular oatmeal in place of bread crumbs for meat loaf and meatballs, sprinkle it atop casseroles and ice cream, bake it into cookies and muffins, and add it to homemade breads and cakes.

13. Use whole wheat bread to make your sandwich every day. Even Subway and other such sandwich shops offer whole wheat options for lunchtime munching. If you want to gradually break into the whole wheat club, use whole wheat bread as the bottom slice of your sandwich and regular bread as the top layer, suggests Joan Salge Blake, R.D., clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University’s Sargent College. Eventually, make the switch to whole grains.

15. Spread your sandwich with 1/2 cup hummus. Bam! You just got 7.5 grams of fiber in a tasty package. Lay some spinach leaves and a tomato slice atop for another couple of grams.

16. Make beans a part of at least one meal a day. They’re packed with fiber (15 grams in just a cup of black beans) and, since they come canned, so easy to use. Just rinse before using to remove excess sodium. Here are some tips for getting your beans:

  • Puree a can of cannelloni beans for a tasty dip. Add 2 cloves garlic and a tablespoon each of lemon juice and olive oil to the blender. Use as a dip for veggies and whole grain crackers.
  • Spread nonfat refried beans on a whole wheat burrito and sprinkle with chopped chicken and shredded cheese.
  • Use 1/2 cup black beans and salsa as a filling for your morning omelet.
  • Make a bean salad with canned black beans, fresh or frozen corn kernels, chopped cilantro, chopped onion, and chopped tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and a dash of vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Make your own special chili pizza. Top a prepared (whole wheat) pizza crust with some kidney beans, shredded cheese, and ground turkey cooked with chili flavorings.
  • Start serving edamame (soybeans) as a side dish. You’ll get 4 grams of fiber in 2/3 cup of the sweet legumes, not to mention the cancer-fighting phytonutrients inherent in soy.

17. Add pureed cauliflower to mashed potatoes. You won’t taste a difference, but you will get some extra fiber, say the nutrition twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., and Lyssie Lakatos, R. D. The two are the authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.

18. Have a beet salad for dinner. These bright red veggies have virtually no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, quite a bit of potassium, and 2 grams of fiber. Try roasting whole, peeled beets for 45 minutes, chilling, then dicing into a summer salad.

19. Make rice pudding for dessert tonight. Only instead of white rice, use brown to, as Emeril would say, “kick it up a notch.”

20. Snack on popcorn. The microwave variety works just fine, but we prefer air-popped popcorn without the oil. Each cup of popcorn delivers 1.2 grams of fiber.

21. Switch to whole wheat flour when baking. You can start by going half and half, eventually using only whole wheat flour for all your cooking needs.

22. Throw some flaxseed, wheat germ, or other high-fiber add-ins into batter. They add crunch to your cookies, muffins, and breads — and loads of fiber.

23. Eat the skin of your baked and sweet potatoes. Eating baked potatoes with the skin instead of mashed ups the fiber at least 3 grams (depending on the size of the potato).

24. Start every dinner with a mixed green salad. Not only will it add fiber, but with a low-calorie vinaigrette dressing, it will partially fill you up with very few calories, and thus offers great benefits in weight loss/control.

25. Always add lettuce and tomato slices rather than cheese to sandwiches. Not only do they add fiber, but they also reduce calories.

26. Use beans or lentils as the main protein source for dinner once or twice a week. A classic dish such as pasta  fagioli works well.

27. Make your fiber sources suit the seasons. A cold lentil salad, or corn and black bean salad in summer, then vegetarian chili in winter.

28. Snack on dried fruit every day. Tasty, chewy, satisfying, easy to eat on the go — and loaded with fiber. Try dried apricots, dates, figs, peaches, pears, and bananas.

29. Drink your fiber. Make your own smoothies by blending whole fruits (cut out the big seeds). If everything in the fruit goes into your glass, you’ll get the fiber from the edible peel, often missing from fruit juice.


I won’t be able to get to the grocery store before this weekend to try to pick up some of these fiber foods.  I do though have some fruit – strawberries and apples, which do have fiber.  I also have Rajma which my mom made for me this past weekend.  Rajma is like an Indian vegetarian chile made with red kidney beans which are also packed with fiber – I’ll be eating those for dinner.  I think that’s a good start.  I think my goal for this week will be to try to get 10-15 grams per day.

This weekend though, I plan on getting some new cereal, edamame, spinach, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries to put in a salad, and some light salad dressing.  I’ll try to think of some other yum stuff I can do, and I will also be looking on for some high-fiber dinner recipes.



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