ULTIMATE Savvy Guide to Getting Started (Part 5 ~ Fiber)

fiberAlright, You knew I’d have to touch on fiber at some point, right?

It plays such an important role in our diet, but the typical American diet only contains about 10-15 grams of fiber daily.

We know we need to eat fiber, and the basics of why it’s important.

But how can you up your intake?

For starters add fiber slowly to your diet, if you don’t already eat a diet high in fiber-rich foods, include water (at least 6 glasses a day), otherwise, you can develop gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation (sorry, but yes, I had to go there).

Let’s dive in.

Here are some tips for adding high-fiber foods to your diet:

Women should aim for 21-25 grams of fiber and men should aim for 30-38 grams of fiber daily. How do you do this?

Eat 2-4 cups of fruits every day.

  • Choose whole, unpeeled fresh or frozen fruit or berries as a snack between meals.
  • Add fruit or berries to oatmeal, salads, yogurt or cottage cheese.

Include 3 or more cups (5 or more is ideal) of vegetables every day.

  • Choose fresh vegetables instead of canned.
  • Frozen vegetables (without sauce) are just as good as fresh to have on hand.
  • Add lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables to sandwiches.
  • Use vegetables in a stir-fry or cut up fresh vegetables and enjoy with dip.

Eat at least 3 ounces of whole grain every day.

  • Try whole grain pasta instead of white pasta.
  • The first ingredient in breads and cereals should be ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat’.
  • Choose brown rice, wild rice, barley, or quinoa instead of white rice.
  • Add oat or wheat bran, or ground flax seed when baking muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles or meatloaf.
  • Add wheat germ to yogurt or hot cereal.

Have at least ½ cup of beans, peas, potatoes with skin, or corn a few times a week.

  • Beans can be a replacement for animal protein in recipes.
  • Use cooked dry beans, peas or corn in soups, stews, side dishes, dips, casseroles, salads and pastas.
  • Add beans, peas or corn to tacos, burritos or rice.
  • Use cooked and cooled unpeeled potatoes or whole grain pasta to make salads.

Mix-in high fiber items every day.

  • Add nuts or seeds to breakfast cereal, yogurt, salads, and desserts.
  • Pack a small handful of nuts or add dried fruit to trail-mix for a snack.
  • To incorporate a new flavor to your dinner plate: add avocado to salsa, make guacamole dip, grill or bake squash.
  • Chia seeds are a great way to add fiber, as well as iron and calcium; they can easily be sprinkled on anything from yogurt to salads.
  • Add Hemp Powder to your baking, you can throw a scoop in banana bread or oatmeal cookies and no one will know the difference.

Join the Savvy Vitality Community on Facebook and let me know your favorite way to add more fiber to your diet. And bonus points if you tell us what small changes you have been implementing 🙂

We’re almost done with this getting started guide, Part 6 is coming soon.

Note: Please remember that these are basic guidelines. Keep your current state in mind, if you have any medical conditions consult with your doctor. Use what you can and ignore the rest, at least for now. 

Lisa Corkum is not a Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, psychologist or Medical Professional. The information on this website is not intended to  diagnose or replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.