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Eat More Fiber

Updated: May 24, 2023

When you think about boosting your metabolism, eating for disease prevention, increasing your daily energy levels, attaining clearer thinking, and just feeling healthier as a whole, how many new lifestyle changes come to mind? What if I say all of these great benefits can begin with only one change to your daily eating habits?


Think Fiber.


What is it❓

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Fiber is a micronutrient that is found in different forms in plant foods. Dietary fiber has been found to reduce waist circumference in women and even out weight distribution in the body. Unfortunately, it has not been found to actually cause weight loss (Source 1 pg 1059). It does boost metabolism, though!


The ability of fiber to transport important nutrients throughout the body may be a cause for a boost in metabolism in human studies (Source 1 pg 1059). Easier said, eating the recommended amount of fiber for your age group keeps your system working more like a well-oiled machine and that’ll get your energy levels up. Don’t you love staying active? It’s a great way to stay feeling young.


How to Get more Fiber in your Diet

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If you increase your fiber intake through eating more unprocessed foods and limit your processed foods, it’s almost automatic that you’ll lose weight because (surprise!) fiber can be found in its different forms in low calorie plant foods. Because of how bulky fiber is, it’s too hard to eat too much because of its self- limiting nature (you get the full feeling with less calories fast!).


Soluble Fiber, the fiber that attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, is found in

lentils

peas

oat bran

nuts

barley

seeds

beans

in some fruits and

in some vegetables and

in psyllium (like the psyllium that is found in common fiber supplements such as Metamucil®)


Insoluble Fiber, the portion of the plant food that is not digested, is found in:

Bran

Whole Grain Products

Vegetables


Additional Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber Include:

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Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber (collectively known as dietary fiber) both act like a natural scrubber for your digestive system. Dietary fiber in general not only helps your hydration but also increases that beneficial gut flora that helps cut down on bloating and helps increase access to cognitive function (Source 1).

“The health benefits of dietary fiber include the prevention and mitigation of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. By modulating food ingestion, digestion, absorption and metabolism, DFs reduce the risk of hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia.” (Source 1).



Replace Foods Low in Fiber with High Fiber Substitutes:

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Slowly exchanging processed foods for more natural plant-based options does not have to be a hassle or cut into your daily routine. This is the best way to introduce more fiber into you and your family’s eating habits. All you have to do is try to choose one or two food substitutions to replace less fiber filled options each day. Here are some food substitution ideas to help you:

1. Replace white and wheat breads (about 1 gram fiber/slice) with whole grain and seeded bread (about 3 grams fiber/slice)*.

2. Replace white pastas (about 2.5 grams fiber/1 cup) with whole wheat Orzo (9 grams fiber per 1/3 cup)*.

3. Replace white rice (.6 grams fiber/serving) with brown rice (3.5 grams fiber/serving) or mix the two together*.

4. Add chia seeds to any meal (10 grams of fiber/serving)*.

5. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast flakes or powder to add a cheesy flavor (and 4 grams of fiber per serving) to any meal*.

6. Replace any packaged snack (typically zero grams fiber/serving) in the middle of your day with a Pumpkin Smoothie (3 grams fiber/serving) or with a banana (3 grams fiber) and a handful of raw walnuts (2 grams of fiber/7walnuts)*. (Source 2)

7. Snack on Pumpkin Seeds (12 grams fiber/cup) or Sunflower Seeds (12 grams fiber/cup)*.

8. Introduce no sugar added granola (into your breakfast routine

*See https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=12036 for a database of nutrition facts lists.

How much fiber does each person need?

Lastly, recommended amounts of daily fiber intake vary by age group. Here is a chart to help you know how much fiber you need per day.


Delish Nutritionist, Fiber Intake Chart
Find your Age on this Fiber Intake Chart and you'll see how many grams of Fiber is recommended for your body each day.

Conclusion

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Getting the right amount of fiber into your daily diet can boost your metabolism, lower your calorie intake, lower inflammation, improve gut bacteria levels, assist in preventing disease like cancer and chronic colon ailments, and reversing some digestive problems. Eating enough fiber will help your energy levels concentration and over all health. I hope you try some of the tips I’ve mentioned because I know these small and easy adjustments will help almost anyone’s wellness. Keep at it, it’ll get easier to eat healthy!




Providing accurate and helpful nutrition and wellness information for you and your family is a top priority for me. If you feel that this article includes any false information at all or if you have any questions, please e-mail me at Christina@DelishNutritionist.com and I will respond as soon as possible.


If you would like a free Nutrition consultation, please call me or email. I work with individuals and families as a Virtual Nutritionist and Wellness Consultant and am able to meet with you over the phone. Let's make an appointment to do so!


281-650-7055


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Resources

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Cassidy, A., & Minihane, A. (2016). The role of metabolism (and the microbiome) in defining the clinical efficacy of dietary flavonoids. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,105(1), 10-22. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.136051


DRI Reports PDF (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from http://www.nap.edu/


Food Lookup database. (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=12036


Pumpkin Smoothie. (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/food-distribution-fdd/pumpkin-smoothie




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