I've noticed a common trend among many which is a strong lack in FIBER intake.
- Women should target for 25g/day of FIBER
- Men should target for 38g/day of FIBER
The average american intake is 15g/day of FIBER due to the large amount of processed food in our diets and strong lack of veggies, whole grains, and fruits.
Benefits of a high fiber diet include
- High satiation factor (feeling of fullness to prevent overeating)
- Control hunger
- Normalize bowel movements
- Maintain bowel health
- Lowers cholesterol
- Controls blood sugar
- High fiber foods generally contain fewer calories compared to the same volume of low fiber foods
- High fiber foods generally richer with vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients
The #1 most common excuse I hear for anything is "I don't have the time" whether diet or workout related. Choose an apple or a pear, both contain about 5g of fiber and nothing could be quicker or easier to eat, you can take it with you. You can consume while walking, talking, driving, camping, etc...If you don't believe you like apples test the variety at Harris Teeter. Envy, pink lady, gala, braeburn, fuji, etc. They probably have 15 different choices at least. Two apples a day and you've knocked out 30-40% of your daily intake and only utilized about 160 calories to do so. 1 Medium apple generally equals about 80 calories.
Easy Fiber Options
- 1 cup raspberries = 8g fiber
- 1 cup whole wheat spaghetti = 6g fiber
- 1 cup oatmeal = 4g fiber
- 1 cup split peas = 16g fiber
- 1 cup lentils = 16g fiber
- 1 cup black beans = 15g fiber
- 1 serving almonds = 4g fiber
- 1 cup broccoli = 5g fiber
- 1 cup sweet corn = 4g fiber
- 1 slice whole wheat bread = 2g fiber
- 1 slice DOUBLE FIBER whole wheat bread = 4g fiber
- fiber one bars (more processed than ideal) = 9g fiber
- NOTE. Test out high fiber/low sugar cereals until you find one to your liking
Needless to say, most stuff I just listed is either quick and easy or possible to make in bulk (ex. broccoli, make a large bag and snack on rest of week....mix in with your chicken/steak/fish/etc).
Track fiber with MyFitnessPal and reach your goal of 25g (women)/38g (men). 8pm rolls around and you're 10g short on your fiber goal for the day. Make a choice to pick a couple high fiber food options for dinner/late night snack. That's what this invaluable tool is there for.
Slowly increase fiber to the optimal intake to prevent cramping as your body will require a few weeks to adjust, but get to increasing!