Five simple ways to fit in fiber
Fiber is found in foods from plants: fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes and whole grains. In general, the less processed a food is, the more fiber it tends to have. Try these tips for fitting more fiber into your day:
FIBER GOAL: Eat at least 25 to 35 grams each day
- Eat whole fruits and veggies
Eat an apple instead of drinking apple juice. You'll get all the nutrients plus extra benefits and fiber from eating the skin of the fruit. However, you can’t eat fruits and vegetables if you don't have them handy so buy both fresh and frozen options. Many types of berries, such as raspberries and boysenberries, have twice the fiber of many other fruit choices.
- 1 apple = 4 grams of fiber
- 1 cup fresh raspberries = 8 grams of fiber
- Throw in beans
Add high-fiber dried peas and beans, such as kidney, pinto, lentils or black-eyed peas to soups, chili, casseroles or salads.
- 1 cup beans = 12–16 grams of fiber with plenty of lean protein and little to no fat
- Go with whole grain
Look for the word "whole" as the first ingredient on food labels. Choose brown rice and whole-wheat pasta over white refined versions. Switch to a whole-grain version of your favorite bread. Scan cereal labels for high-fiber options.
- 1 ounce whole-grain cereal or
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread = at least 3 grams of fiber
- Forget the chips when grabbing a snack
Choose low-fat popcorn, whole-grain crackers or oven-baked whole-grain seasoned pita chips instead of potato chips.
- 6 whole-grain crackers = 3 grams of fiber
- Get nutty!
Toss a handful of unsalted almonds, walnuts, soy nuts, peanuts or sunflower seeds on a salad or in vegetables. Eat them mixed into yogurt or alone as a snack.
- 1 ounce almonds = 3 grams of fiber
Total = 33–36 grams of fiber