Fiber... Our bodies don’t even digest or absorb it, yet it is very important to our overall health. Not only does it help regulate our digestion, it also helps manage our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The best part of all, it helps you feel fuller, longer!
Fiber is found in many fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, and most vegetables.
Fiber comes in two forms and both can be found in fruits and grains.
Most plant-based foods, such as oatmeal and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The amount of each type varies. However, if you want to receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.
According to the American heart Association, it is recommended that a well-balanced diet should include 25-38g of fiber per day. Many times people only receive half of the recommended levels of fiber. This can be due to the lack of nutrient rich food, an increased consumption of convenience foods, or even from a restricted, low calorie diet.
When you do not receive a full day's supply of fiber, you are inevitably depleting your body of essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs to function properly. Here are some suggestions to help add fiber back into your diet and to ensure your digestive system is on the right path (literally)!
All packaged foods are required to have macronutrient and ingredient labels on them. Dietary fiber is a macronutrient that is listed, along with other helpful information such as the carbs, fats, protein, etc.
When looking at the labels, a good amount of fiber would be around 10% of the “percent daily value”. Many “whole grain” and “whole wheat” products are great sources of high fiber foods.
When you begin to add fiber into your diet, do it slowly. Adding fiber to quickly at a high amount can cause you to feel bloated and even have gas pains.
Many and most people who “clean eat” or are on restricted diets, think of flexible nutrition as “how many Pop Tarts and Oreo’s can you fit into your daily macros.” Well let me tell you, it is probably only about two. Probably not what you were thinking, huh?
Fiber is a key component when counting your macronutrients. I recommend to have 25-40g of fiber a day, depending on the level of your macros. About 15g per 1000 calories. However, for somebody to PROPERLY follow our E.P.A.T. methodology of flexible nutrition, you MUST meet your fiber goal. And last time I checked, fiber is not in Pop Tarts and Oreo’s.