It’s National Nutrition Month and our TMC registered dietitians love the Savor the Flavor theme! Throughout the month Laurie and Mary are sharing tips to help you make healthier, tastier choices.
Dietary fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. Fiber is classified as soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of materials through the intestines. The Institute of Medicine makes the following recommendations regarding intake:
|Adults under 50||Adults over 51|
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
Best choices for getting fiber into your diets include:
- Whole grains (whole grain bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, ets.)
- Fresh Fruit
- Legumes – Beans
- Nuts and Seeds
Increasing your daily fiber closely mimics our suggestions for increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, since they are such a good source of fiber. Try adding fruit to your cereals and make sure you are choosing whole grain/high fiber cereals such as oats, bran, etc. Add fresh vegetables to your sandwiches or wraps and be sure to use whole grain bread or tortillas (the 1st ingredient must be a whole grain not an enriched flour). Legumes and/or seeds not only add fiber to salads, but also add different textures. Bring raw veggies with you to snack on at work.
High fiber foods are a healthy part of every diet, however if you haven’t been eating a high fiber diet, add it in gradually. Too much fiber too quickly can cause stomach cramping and bloating. Also be sure you are drinking plenty of water.