Eating enough fiber is important for helping to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Research also suggests that consuming fiber-rich foods might boost weight loss by helping you to feel fuller after you eat. But most of us eat only about half as much fiber as we should. Nutrition guidelines recommend 25 to 38 grams per day; the average American consumes only about 14 grams. It’s not hard to boost your fiber intake.
Do it easily with these 5 simple tips.
1. Eat your fruits
Eat, rather than drink, your fruits and vegetables. When either are processed to make juice, most of the beneficial fiber is left behind.
2. Read nutrition labels
Read nutrition labels and choose foods with the highest dietary-fiber numbers.
3. Eat your vegetables
Eat your vegetables, and then some. Forget “five-a-day”; many nutrition experts suggest aiming much higher. Aim for making vegetables—preferably fiber-rich types like greens and broccoli— a part of every meal and snack.
4. Don’t peel edible skins from fruits and vegetables
Don’t peel edible skins from fruits and vegetables, when possible. To avoid pesticide residues, wash skins thoroughly before eating, and opt for organic varieties when you can.
5. Eat beans, lentils and split peas
Become a frequent eater of beans, lentils and split peas. They’re filling, fiber-rich and cheap—and, if canned, convenient (just rinse them in a colander before using, to wash away excess sodium).