The American Diabetes Association, The National Cancer Institute, and The Institute of Medicine, in fact just about every group of nutritional experts agrees we don’t eat enough fiber. Why not?
Perhaps the answer is that fiber just wasn’t sexy. When we thought fiber we saw images of wheat germ, and prunes—foods we knew were good for us, but often didn’t seem appealing.
Well guess what—fiber got a makeover. WebMD reports that fiber is the ‘new all-star ingredient stealing the spotlight in toaster pastries, yogurt, canned soups, and even ice cream”.
Suddenly fiber is in.
The Nielsen Company, a marketing research firm, identified brands we already know and love that have added diet-enhancing fiber to their products—even some very unexpected ones:
Progresso has added a line of fiber-rich soups
Fiber Plus Antioxidants is new in the cereal category
Wheat Thins developed Fiber Selects, a fiber-based line
Quaker now has an Oatmeal Pancake Mix richer in fiber
Fiber One Yogurt added fiber to the product and name
And there are hundreds more on shelves today and being developed in labs and food kitchens of major brands.
The list goes on and on, giving you over 3,500 fiber- enriched choices. And why should you as a dieter care about fiber?
Fiber fills you up so you feel full and stay feeling full by taking longer to leave the stomach and slowing movement through the digestive system. Fiber also attracts and absorbs water, further enhancing fullness and slowing the return of hunger.
Fiber can slow down the rate at which your own body turns food into sugar and then into fat and improves glucose tolerance by slowing the speed of carbohydrates moving into the small intestine.
Fiber foods offer protection against absorbing empty calorie by replacing high calorie fats and sweets with lower calorie fiber-containing foods. By binding with bile in the intestine, fiber can help remove cholesterol from the body.
Fiber can be found in virtually every aisle, section, department, and on every shelf of your supermarkete
The Mayo Clinic reports that high-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time.
How much fiber do we get—and how much do we need?
Fiber is a nutrition powerhouse. It helps keep weight down and wards off disease, is low in excess fat, provides essential vitamins and minerals, and has no calories itself—all this in one package. The average American consumes approximately 10-15 grams of fiber per day. Double this number and we get closer to the daily recommendation of 20-35 grams per day for adults. We definitely aren’t getting enough for our overall health.
Quick Pick Fiber Grocery List
There are lots of ways to add fiber-rich products to your daily diet. Like this snack that offers endless variations on taste.
Popcorn that Really Pops!
Start with Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop! 100 calorie Mini bag popcorn and try these combos for a fiber rich snack
Toss with garlic powder, dried Italian herbs, and 1 tablespoon Newman’s Own Lite Balsamic dressing OR Toss with 2 tablespoons Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese, or 1 tablespoon curry powder and ¼ cup Sunmaid Dried Fruit Mix
Healthy Choice has a line of meals with a focus on fiber.
There are fiber-added cereals from Kashi GoLean, Kellogg’s, Post, and almost every store brand has products with added fiber. Quaker has a new pancake mix with fiber-rich oatmeal. Crackers, cookies, munchies can all be found with added fiber. Yogurt brands like Dannon and Activia have fiber added products.
Try This Too!
Loaded Sweet Potato
Top one small pre-wrapped microwaveable sweet potato with 1 cup Birds Eye Asian Vegetables in Sesame Ginger Sauce
Start with the produce section which is one of the best places to find fiber-rich foods.
The fruit section offers countless fiber choices including some of the more popular like apples, pears, oranges, kiwi, and berries—blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are good sources of fiber—fresh or frozen are just fine.
The vegetable section is loaded with fiber-rich veggies of every color and description. There are sweet potatoes, cabbage, sweet peppers, carrots, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and more on your fresh produce fiber journey of discovery.
In the bread aisle you’ll find 100% whole wheat or whole grain breads and rolls; double fiber breads like Pepperidge Farm, Orowheat, Roman Meal, and Arnold; there are whole grain tortillas, pitas, bagels and English muffins, too. Then you can look for whole wheat crackers and flat breads like the Kavli brand, or Triscuits, Rye Krisnp, Wasa or Wheat Thins.
In the grains section you’ll find brown rice, quinoa, bulgar wheat and couscous.
We’ve already mentioned cereals—there are many to choose from that are high in fiber. You could start with Fiber One, All-Bran, Kashi GoLean, Post Grape Nuts and others. You’ll also find that oatmeal is high in fiber and a good addition to your fiber-rich breakfast menu.
Go Ahead Try This!
Yogurt with Honey & Nut Cereal
Yoplait Light Yogurt vanilla mixed with one serving
Honey Nut Cheerios
Dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, and prunes are also good sources of fiber and don’t forget Craisins—dried cranberries from Ocean Spray.
When you’re in the canned goods section you might try adding these to your grocery cart: canned beans; bean and lentil-based soups; canned veggies such as corn; applesauce.
So go ahead. Enjoy your fiber!