What is a high fiber diet?
High Fiber Diet
What is Fiber?
Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed by our body. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Most foods contain mixtures of soluble and insoluble fibers.
Soluble Fiber - dissolves and thickens in water to form a gel. Good sources of soluble fiber include dried beans and legumes, oatmeal, oat bran, barley and citrus fruits. This type of fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer. Research has shown that this type of fiber may also help lower blood cholesterol.
Insoluble Fiber - usually referred to as 'roughage', includes the woody or structural parts of plants, such as fruit and vegetable skins, wheat bran, and whole-grain cereals. This type of fiber tends to speed up the passage of material through the digestive tract and reduce the risk of colon cancer, as well as diverticular disease.
How much fiber should I eat?
Experts recommend that a healthy adult eat 30 grams of dietary fiber per day. You can meet this goal by eating a well-balanced diet containing a variety of foods such as two servings of fruits, three servings of vegetables, and three or more servings of whole-grain breads or cereals. Remember to increase the dietary fiber in your diet gradually to avoid gastric distress, and to drink plenty of fluid (8 cups per day) to avoid constipation.
What foods are high in Fiber?
Breads, Cereal, Rice and Pasta:
Whole-grain breads, rye bread, whole-wheat crackers, whole-grain or bran cereals, oatmeal, oat bran or grits, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.
Apples, bananas, berries, grapefruits, orange, peaches and pears.
Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, greens, green beans, green peppers, onions, peas, potatoes with skin, spinach, squash, sweets potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini.
Beans, Peas and Nuts
Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, pinto beans, nuts, sesame, sunflower and pumpkins seeds.
Food preparation tips
• Clean vegetables with a brush instead of peeling them.
• Don’t over-cook vegetables- the fresher the better.
• Steam or microwave vegetables instead of boiling them.
• Mash potatoes with the peels on.
• Use “brown” instead of “white” rice and bread.
• Add chickpeas or kidney beans to rice dishes for a fiber (and flavor) boost.
• Add grated carrots, zucchini or celery to meatloaves and fish, chicken or meat salads.
How do I increase the fiber in my diet?
• Eat fresh fruit for snacks or desserts, such as berries, oranges, prunes or apricots.
• Eat fresh fruits and vegetables with their peels, such as pears, apples, peaches, potatoes, and squash.
• Add cooked or canned beans, split peas, or lentils to your favorite soup, stews, salads, meatloaf or casseroles.
• Add oatmeal or bran to homemade muffins or breads.
• Choose whole-grain breakfast cereal, such as oatmeal, bran flakes, raisin bran, or wheat flakes. Look for a cereal with 2 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving.
• Choose baked goods made using whole-grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal bread or muffins, multigrain bread, graham crackers, and whole-wheat bagels. Make sure the whole-grain ingredient is the first or second on the label.
Khawaja Azimuddin M.D. & Tal Raphaeli M.D.
1125 Cypress Station Dr, Suite G-3
Houston TX 77090
Tel: 281-583 1300 Fax: 281-583 1303