Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? Probably not. Are you totally fed-up with those poor excuses for fiber in salt-packed canned vegetables? Fortunately, incorporating the recommended amount of fiber into your diet doesn’t have to mean eating salads every day, if you follow these steps!
Figure out how much more fiber you need. Keep a food diary to record what you eat, and how much of it per day. Look up each food item on the Internet and see how much fiber each one contains. The average American gets 14 grams of fiber a day but here’s what you’re supposed to be getting:
- Men under 50, 38 grams of fiber per day
- Men over 50, 30 grams of fiber per day
- Women under 50, 25 grams of fiber per day
- Women over 50, 21 grams of fiber per day
Add fiber to your diet slowly. If you are currently getting 10 grams of fiber a day, don’t jump to 35 grams of fiber the next day. You need to give the natural bacteria in your digestive system time to adapt to your new fiber intake. What you’ll want to do is make the following changes over at least a few weeks.
Start with breakfast. If you can get a fiber-packed breakfast routine going, you can probably add a solid 5-10 grams of fiber to your daily diet.
- Eat a cereal with 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
- If you have a favorite cereal you just can’t let go of, add few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran or mix it with a high fiber cereal.
- If you like to eat toast in the morning, make it whole wheat bread. Alternatively, there are brands of bread and English muffins that have 5 or more grams of fiber per slice.
- Bake muffins that incorporate crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran.
- Add fruits like berries, raisins, or bananas to your cereal (or over your pancakes or waffles) to increase your fiber by 1-2 grams.
- Substitute oat flour and flax for white flour in pancake recipes for an extra 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.
- If you’re making pancakes or waffles from scratch, substitute wheat bran for a third of the all purpose flour.
- Substitute old-fashioned steel-cut oats for quick microwave oatmeal for an extra 2-4 grams of fiber per serving.