What exactly is fiber?
Fiber is the parts of plants that can’t be digested. Unprocessed fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes are great sources of fiber. Pears, strawberries, avocados, apples, lentils, oats, and even popcorn. (For a great list of high-fiber foods, visit Healthline.com.)
Why aren’t we getting enough?
Research points to our fast-food culture as one reason we aren’t getting enough fiber in our diets. Outside of your own kitchen, it’s tough to control the amount of fiber on your plate, but if you do make a commitment to increase the fiber in your diet, aim for half of your plate to be veggies and fruits, and use whole grains, like brown rice instead of white rice.
Why is fiber so great?
Numerous studies show the importance of getting enough fiber in our diets, but in North America, in general, we’re not getting enough. It’s recommended we get about 25-38 grams per day, but on average, most of us are only eating about 16 grams. Getting enough fiber can help you lose weight, feed your gut microbiome, and decrease your chances of diabetes, dementia, and depression. It might help you feel more full, can relieve and prevent constipation, and may even help prevent heart disease.
Fiber for your family!
At every meal, half of everyone’s plate should be filled with vegetables. If you have kids who aren’t fans of cooked veggies then try other things like salad, or veggies with hummus or yogurt dip!
Also, include sources of whole grains wherever you can. In the morning, choose high-fiber (low sugar) breakfast cereals. You can even sprinkle it on yogurt and fruit! And for dessert or snacks, offer berries or frozen grapes (which taste sweet and delicious).