Thirty grams per day – this is the amount of dietary fiber that is recommended, by health professionals, for adults to maintain high-quality health. The average American consumes just 16 grams of dietary fiber per day.
What is dietary fiber?
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through the digestive system, absorbing water along the way. There are two broad types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Both types are present in all plant foods and each yield different benefits. Insoluble fiber keeps us regular and speeds the elimination of toxic waste through the colon. Soluble fiber reduces blood cholesterol and regulates sugar intake. In short, fiber is an important component of food that makes an important contribution to health and wellbeing. So, how can we get more of it?
What are the best sources of fiber?
Plant foods, plant foods, and more plant foods make great high-fiber snacks. The less processed the better. Fruits and vegetables (with the skins!) have high fiber composition, and unrefined grains like oats, barley, and whole wheat are also good sources along with beans, nuts, and legumes. Foods that contain at least 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving are considered “high-fiber” and those with slightly less at 2.5 – 5 grams are “good sources.” The good news is that fiber can quickly add up when disguised as healthy and well-balanced meals. In addition, mid-morning or mid-day high-fiber snacks are an excellent way to give yourself a fiber “boost.” Consider these five high-fiber snacks to fill up on fiber:
Fiber Boosting Snacks
1) Granola bar and medium apple – 6 grams of fiber
2) One cup edamame beans – 8 grams of fiber
3) Fresh pear and ¼ cup almonds – 8 grams
4) One serving baked tortilla chips with ½ cup black beans – 9 grams
5) NuGo Fiber D’Lish bar – 12 grams of fiber
While on-the-go lifestyles can create challenges to getting the dietary fiber we need, on-the-go snacks can provide delicious and inexpensive ways to boost daily fiber intake.