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Tasty Ways to Add Fiber

January 4, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA look down the “healthy food” aisle at the grocery store brings regret for many. Fiber is equated with processed barely edible cardboard. We need fiber in our diet for health reasons but if it’s not edible most of us will pass it by. What to do?!

A high fiber diet doesn’t have to mean tasteless. January is a time for dieting, weight loss focus, and it’s national fiber focus month and national wheat bread month. Put this together and it isn’t coincidence! Adults should consume 20-35 grams of fiber daily. Children should be figured as an “age plus five”, meaning a six year old should get 11 grams per day.

Along with higher fiber intake a higher water intake balances the diet. Fiber helps reduce cholesterol and toxins.

Wheat or whole grain bread on sandwiches is one way to gain fiber. Increasing fruits, vegetables and grains is the way to fiber gains. Expensive hidden-sugar cereals is one way but many people aren’t satisfied with that, nor the amount one must eat.

Instead add fiber in small ways in the diet. High fiber muffins, such as bran muffins, is one way to eat fiber for breakfast. Oatmeal also adds fiber – meaning you can use not only hot breakfast cereal but look at other ways. Oatmeal honey cookies or homemade ‘snack bars’ are another way to add a serving of fiber that few think of as being a serving of fiber.

If nuts and fiber cereal can be ‘served’ another way for a snack – mixed in to yogurt or even topping ice cream! A serving of nuts can add some fiber for those who don’t have allergies to nuts.

Other snacks can include almonds, apples, oranges bananas, berries, prunes and pears. Artichokes and green peas as well as legumes have fiber also. Remember peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut. Peanut butter also adds fiber!

Many also think that getting that fiber is difficult. A medium baked potato with peel is 3.8 grams and if a baked sweet potato 4.8 grams. ¼ cup of oat bran cereal is another 3.6 grams – this can be used in muffins, as a snack or in other ways as mentioned – ¼ cup is not very much! A medium sized apple is 3.3 grams and an ounce of almonds is another 3.3 grams. A whole wheat English muffin adds 4.4 grams at breakfast. Just ¼ cup of baked beans adds another 3 grams and ½ cup raisins adds another 3 grams.

Now use the English muffin for breakfast and make up some ‘granola’ with ¼ cup oat bran cereal added to an ounce of almonds and a ½ cup of raisins, an apple for an afternoon snack and a baked potato or beans for dinner and you’re over 20 grams of fiber! In addition to the rest of your meals this is a filling way to taste good and get nutrition.

Whole grain cereals will have oats or wheat high on the ingredient list. Other ways you can “sneak” in fiber include using whole grain spaghetti, which is covered with sauce anyway. Make muffins with whole grain cereal or other high fiber items.

Pumpkin cookies (can be spice cookies) are another tasty way to add fiber. Snack on popcorn (easy on the butter) instead of chips.

High fiber doesn’t take buying a lot of expensive meals. Remember that quarter cup of cereal – spread a half cup as a crunchy ice cream topping and it’s fiber even kids eat!

Don’t look at fiber as a punishment but seek tasty ways to include it – for your health!

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