The Skinny on Fiber
Welcome back to the blog! In this post we're talking all about FIBER! Fiber is a crucial part of a healthy diet, but the majority of the population fails to consume enough fiber. Fiber is one of the most underrated nutrients out there!
First off, what even is fiber?
Dietary Fiber by definition is, "dietary material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin, that are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes." (per Google dictionary)
Translation: Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested.
But why do we need fiber?
Fiber is important for digestion and regularity, weight management, blood sugar regulation, cholesterol maintenance and it helps keep you full after meals!
There are two different types of fiber: Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber.
Soluble Fiber partially dissolves in water and has been shown to moderate blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol. Some examples of soluble fiber are: beans, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pears, figs and nectarines.
Insoluble Fiber does not dissolve in water and is very important for intestinal health. It reduces the risk and occurrence of hemorrhoids and constipation! Some examples of soluble fiber are: wheat bran, nuts, potatoes, whole wheat flours and oats.
The recommended fiber intake is 20 - 35 grams per day for adults, or 10 - 13 grams for every 1,000 calories in your diet. This should come from a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber, in a ratio of 3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber. On average, Americans are only eating 15 grams of fiber a day (per WebMD) - not good!
Ok so now that we know our recommended daily intake, here are 10 easy fiber hacks to get more fiber into your diet:
- Eat more fruits & vegetables - especially berries, guava & pears
2. Add chia seeds into your diet. You can add them to fruit salads, parfaits, salads & more!
3. Replace oils in baked goods with pureed fruits and vegetables like applesauce or pureed pumpkin
4. Sprinkle flax seeds into your oatmeal, smoothies or soups for extra fiber
5. Use ground flaxseed as an egg replacer in baked goods
6. Add avocado to your sandwiches and salads!
7. Replace your traditional brownie recipe for a black bean brownie recipe for a fiber-packed dessert
8. Replace your usual vegan mayo for hummus
9. Add frozen vegetables like butternut squash & cauliflower to your smoothies! Best part? You won't even taste them.
10. Add mashed lentils to your pasta sauces for a "meaty" fiber-packed sauce
Want to make it even easier to get your fiber in? Check out these high-fiber products!