Today’s Mission Monday is one we’ve all heard but like most of our missions we rarely do, that’s why we make it your mission. Your mission this week is to add more fiber to your daily diet.
Some easy and delicious options for you to get your daily intake of dietary fiber can be by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. The only time most of us think about fiber is probably when someone in the house is a little backed up, you know, constipated. Fiber does so much more than just help us out in the bathroom, it provides other great health benefits as well, such as lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
For you gals looking to lose weight, the Mayo Clinic says “high-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.”
Do you have high cholesterol? Well increasing your fiber may help to lower it. The Mayo Clinic staff also said that “Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Epidemiologic studies have shown that increased fiber in the diet can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which is also protective to heart health.”
How much dietary fiber do you need? The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:
|Age 50 and younger||Age 51 and older|
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
1. Eat Whole Foods! The best way for you to get fiber is naturally, and not through supplements (though some people can use the extra boost from supplements, ask your doctor). If you eat whole foods which are foods that have not been processed like canned fruit and veggies, or pulp free juice you’ll get all of the vitamins and minerals nature provides, as well as other benefits naturally boosting your fiber daily.
2. Make whole grain your choice! Get rid of the white bread, and the white flour, and the white rice. The first thing you should see on your bread ingredients list is whole wheat or whole grain or whole wheat flour. We try to buy brands with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. (Our current bread has 5 grams per serving). Slowly add brown rice, barley, and whole wheat pasta in your diet. A tip to ease your kids into it (if they can’t stand the taste), do half and half. Half white rice or pasta and half brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Then over time try 75% whole wheat and 25% white. After a little while of doing this go 100% whole wheat, they won’t know the difference.
3. Eat fruit & or veggies with every meal. We’ve implemented this in our home. For dinner we usually have two veggies, and with breakfast and lunch a piece of fruit. We also have a fruit bowl out on the table for our family to snack on all day!
4. Bake with whole grain flour. I know it just doesn’t taste the same. Finding a great recipe helps. For starters, start out by substituting whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking. Don’t forget that whole-grain flour is much heavier than white flour. So, in yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer. I just used this tip a few minutes ago, I made whole grain cinnamon rolls, I can’t wait to taste them! The Mayo clinic had a great tip, they said “when using baking powder, increase it by 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of whole-grain flour. Try adding crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran to muffins, cakes and cookies.” I’ll be trying that!
5. Add a little bit. Whenever you make a soup, a stew, or a sauce add veggies. It’s easy to do and your body will thank you! Another way to sneak in more fiber is to buy cereal with high fiber or add some wheat bran or bran flakes into your cereal of choice.
6. More legumes please! Eat more beans, lentils, peas. When I make a salad I often will add some kidney beans, chickpeas, or black beans on top.
Note: Slowly add more fiber into your diet. Adding too much fiber too fast can cause, lets just say some bad smells, and a funny tummy. : ) Or, like my son likes to sing “Beans, beans, good for the heart the more you eat the more you fart. The more you fart the better you feel, so eat those beans with every meal.” Little Boys! Gotta love them!
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