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Nutrition Vortex

Updated on August 15, 2016

How to Increase Your Dietary Fiber Intake

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According to guidelines, we should eat a diet having at least 30g of dietary fiber each day as part of our healthy balanced diet. Most people are eating an average of 18g per day: We'll need to consider new ways of increasing our dietary fiber intake. Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient which contributes to our health and well being in many ways. Research shows that eating enough fiber helps your digestive system to run smoothly, prevents chronic diseases, regulates blood sugar levels and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, most people are still falling far short of the recommended daily fiber intake. Read on to discover excellent ways on how to increase your dietary fiber intake.

The Details

● Choose whole grain foods over the refined carbohydrates. Whole grain foods are an easy source of the recommended dietary fiber intake. Unlike the refined carbohydrates such as white bread, whole grain diets retain their fiber-rich outer shell. When shopping for whole grain foods, check the ingredients label for whole wheat, rye, oats, bulgur, and oatmeal.

● Eat more vegetables and fruits each day. Most people are falling short of the recommended daily fiber intake because of the lack of vegetables and fruits in their diets. Eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruits will increase your dietary fiber intake and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

● Choose high-fiber snacks. You must avoid the low-fiber, high-fat, and high-calorie snacks. Instead of snacking on granola bars or a bag of chips, you can snack on fresh fruits, whole grain crackers, nuts, or popcorn.

● Eat more legumes. High fiber legumes such as lentils, split peas, and beans are among the top sources of dietary fiber. Beans contain up to 14 grams of fiber per cup serving when cooked. Add one serving of legumes to your diet for a convenient, fiber-rich, and delicious food.

● Pick a broad range of dietary fiber sources. You can either choose from soluble or insoluble fiber sources. Fruits, beans, peas, and oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber, while vegetables and whole grains offer insoluble fiber. You can choose wisely from this two types of dietary fiber.

● Start your day with a high-fiber breakfast. You can start your day with tasty options of high-fiber foods such as cereals, whole wheat toast, blackberries or raspberries, high-fiber muffin recipes, and hearty oatmeal. You can also add an apple or sprinkle wheat bran over your oatmeal to boost your dietary fiber content.

● Remember to hydrate. As you raise your dietary fiber intake, don't forget to increase your intake of fluids. Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day to accommodate your increased fiber intake.

The Bottom Line

A sudden increase of dietary fiber may cause abdominal pain and cramping. You will need to find smart strategies to increase your dietary fiber intake slowly. With some pre-planning, creativity and a few additions to your shopping list, you'll be ready to meet the requirements. Remember, don't be too hard on yourself. Don't increase your dietary fiber intake all at once.


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