If someone asks you how much fiber you get per day or how much you should get, do you know the answer? You probably know that fiber is important to your health, but if you are like most Americans, you are probably lacking. When working with clients, I found that many do not know which foods contain fiber. Others have a narrow, misconception about the sources of fiber that they have absorbed over the years due to claims about food marketing. These customers often choose highly processed foods and unhealthy foods that emphasize the fiber content on their packaging. So, how much fiber do we really need, and what is the best way to get this fiber in our diet?
How much and why?
Most people associate fiber with improved digestion and “regularity,” but it can also offer many other health benefits. It can improve your immune system, make you longer, improve the absorption of minerals from foods and increase the insulin response in your body, slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates.
Because of these benefits, most nutritionists recommend 25-35 g of fiber per day for most adults. However, it has been estimated that Americans are getting much lower than this goal by eating 15 grams or less. If you track your food on myPlan, you can see your average grams per day just by registering your food. You can also evaluate your fiber with this simple guide, which roughly averages fiber content per serving of various foods:
- 1/2 cup vegetables, 1-3 grams
- 1 serving of fruit: 1-5 grams (peel is included for most fruits)
- 1 oz nuts and seeds: 1-4 grams
- 1/2 cup bean: 3-8 grams
Practical Tips for More Fiber
Now that you know why you need fiber and what you need to take off, consider these strategies to help increase your daily intake.
Give the beans a chanceOne half cup can give you almost a third of the recommended daily dose! Add a serving of beans several times a week with meals to increase fiber intake. Think about incorporating black beans into your morning eggs or chicken breasts at night, add hummus to your lunch salad, or use it as a sauce for raw vegetable snacks.
Consider a California mixBroccoli, carrots and cauliflower are some of the most fiber-rich vegetables. Buy them frozen, and add them to your dishes or homemade soups. Also, buy fresh ones and eat them raw as a snack. Spinach, asparagus and tomatoes are also high in fiber and can easily be added to various recipes to help supplement your daily fiber.
Eat peelFiber is concentrated in the peel of apples, potatoes and pears. Get the full benefit by eating all of your food.
Len it. We talked about the benefits of using flaxseed as a way supplement your healthy fat intakeBut 1 tablespoon can give you 3 grams of fiber! Sprinkle a tablespoon or two daily with a protein shake, salads, and other foods.
Skip the cereal passage. Food marketing makes it easy to select foods that gloat over fiber per serving, but believe me, the negative health effects of overeating processed foods far exceed the amount of extra fiber added to the product, which makes it healthy. Not to mention the fact that these foods often use artificial fibers (such as inulin), which can cause serious digestive problems. If you want cereal, stick with raw and natural oats in the grocery section of the grocery store and combine it with morning vegetarian eggs or add to a protein shake.
Take it slowly. You may be tempted to maximize the benefits of fiber for satiety and blood sugar, but it’s better not to rush. If you are far from the recommended amount of fiber, do not increase your intake too quickly! A sharp increase in fiber intake over a short period of time can cause unwanted digestive problems. Gradually gradually increase the amount of fiber and drink plenty of water (at least 64 ounces per day).
additionIf you are following a low-carb diet, you may have lowered your fiber intake. If you are registering your fiber and are having difficulty getting enough vegetables and fruits to achieve optimal intake in grams, think about supplements. But a fair warning: many of the extra powders and bars on the market are made from low quality fibers, which often cause digestive upsets. Many Life Time members love to use our fiber, which in their opinion is effective for them and gentle for their body.
Eat the right type of carbohydrate
To help you avoid those high-processed foods and unhealthy foods that emphasize the fiber content in their packaging, try to use healthier foods that are naturally high in fiber and high in fiber, such as:
Chia Seeds: 2 tablespoons chia seeds: 120 calories, 10 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber
This superfood is not only an amazing source of fiber, it also contains other nutrients, including fatty acids, certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This type of nutritional profile supports energy, digestion and can serve as a natural appetite suppressant.
If you've never used chia seeds before, try adding them to your morning protein shake, in a smoothie cup, or on top of your favorite salad. My favorite way to consume them as pudding or breakfast, reminiscent of oatmeal for the night: add ¼ cup seeds to 1 cup coconut milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Leave it overnight in your refrigerator (the seeds gel and turn into a pudding-like texture) and enjoy the morning by adding fresh berries to it.
Steel cuts oats: ¼ Cup of raw Steel-Cut oats: 150 calories, 27 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber
When it comes to oats or oatmeal, most people have tried quick oats or oatmeal before. A typical American household breakfast, the most instant oatmeal, is loaded with sugar and artificial nonsense. If cereal is your jam, I would encourage you to use oatmeal as an option for breakfast or as an addition to your protein shake or protein energy ball. Oatmeal (also called gluten-free Irish or Scottish oatmeal) is a less processed, high-fiber oat. Because of this, the glycemic index or effect on blood sugar is lower, while your body will fill up longer and your energy will increase.
Oatmeal takes a little longer to cook (remember that they have minimal processing), but they are very easy to cook oatmeal in the morning and in my house for breakfast. They have a more chewy texture, so they fill you up faster, often leaving you to consume less than usual. I like to add cinnamon and cinnamon to my fresh fruit, as well as some almonds or vanilla extract.
Sweet potato: 1 medium sweet potato (3.9 oz): 100 calories, 27 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber
Besides being high in fiber, sweet potatoes rich in many vitamins and minerals and provide excellent levels of beta-carotene (antioxidant), vitamin C and potassium. They are often considered healthier than regular potatoes because of their lower glycemic index and higher levels of fiber and vitamin A. These nutrients can help maintain blood sugar levels and reduce oxidative damage and cancer risk.
There are many ways to cook sweet potatoes – you can bake, fry, fry and even cook slowly. Most of my clients consume them with a little oil, but you can add tasty spices like nutmeg, ginger or caraway seeds to further improve their palatability. Serve the cubes of sweet potatoes with breakfast omelet or other proteins and vegetables with meals or eat them with cinnamon and butter for dessert.
Black Beans: 1/2 cup canned black beans low in sodium: 109 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber
Black beans are an excellent source of fiber, as one serving provides almost a third of your daily fiber requirements along with numerous vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, protein, and antioxidants, which help fight disease.
Their nutrient profile connects them with protection against inflammation, certain types of cancer and diabetes, and improved digestion. They are not only extremely affordable and versatile, but also contain fibers, which makes them an excellent source of energy, saving you for a long time.
Since cooking dried beans can take a lot of time, most people choose pre-cooked / canned foods. Choose an organic or BPA-free and low-sodium option and consider adding them to your morning eggs, as a side along your chicken breast with meals or to your favorite chili recipe.
Quinoa: ½ cup cooked quinoa: 111 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber
Often advertised for its protein content (it contains all nine essential amino acids), quinoa is also gluten-free, an excellent source of fiber and is often called a superfood. It can influence the prevention of diseases due to its antioxidant and nutritional composition, including a high level of magnesium.
Quinoa itself can be plain-looking. But if you add the right spices, it can serve as a good side dish for dinner or be used (similar to oatmeal or steel chopped fire) as oatmeal in the morning. I like to add some butter, pecans and cinnamon to mine. But you can also eat it as a base for your salads, stuffed peppers or fries.
Spaghetti Squash: 1 cup cooked pumpkin: 40 calories, 10 g carbohydrates, 2.2 g fiber
Spaghetti squash favorite in my house. This is one of those suggestions that are often offered instead of boxed pasta (for cutting carbohydrates, but to increase nutritional value), however, if you have never cooked this vegetable before, you may not dare to try it. Spaghetti squash is part of the winter squash family, which are excellent sources of B vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. Spaghetti squash has fewer calories and carbohydrates than any other winter puree, and 35 grams less carbohydrates compared to 1 cup of pasta noodles.
There are several ways to cook spaghetti with pumpkin, including bake, cook, cook in the microwave (cut in half first) or cook slowly. When it becomes soft, just take the fork into the inner flesh and, like magic, it will look like spaghetti. Serve it with homemade tomato sauce and ground beef or turkey, and you get the perfect meal dinner.
Pumpkin: 1 cup pumpkin puree: 49 calories, 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber
Not only can one cup of pumpkin provide a daily allowance for your vitamin A needs, it also contains other nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese – all this helps your body fight the infection and protects your cells from oxidative damage. These important nutrients also strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and potentially regulate blood sugar.
Pumpkin can be diced and fried in the oven, and served with salad or other vegetables for dinner. You can also puree pumpkin and add it to smoothies / shakes or your favorite recipe for soup or chili. If you don’t want to cook a real pumpkin, buy a canned pumpkin (100% pumpkin) to add your favorite protein shake in the morning. Check our Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup also!
If you have specific questions about fiber, write to our team of registered nutritionists and they will be happy to help you.
– Anika Christos, nutritionist and lifelong weight loss director of digital programming and events
This article is not intended to cure or prevent disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles at the reader’s choice and risk.