Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Filling up with fiber, Fiber is Good for your Health

Looking for quick and easy ways to add fiber to your diet? Try some of these delicious tips:

Diet Start

For a side dish, have 1/2 cup of any one of the following: lentils (5 grams), cooked dried beans (7 grams), cooked whole grains, such as wheat berries (2 grams) or cracked wheat (3 grams). Mix it with '/2 cup of one of these vegetables: peas (3 grams), green beans (2 grams), or spinach (1 gram).

Make an opened-face sandwich with a sliced tomato (1 gram) and a slice of whole grain toast (2 grams). Top it with 1 ounce of low-fat mozzarella.

Select your cereals wisely. You have tons of high-fiber cereals to choose from now some offering up to 10 grams per serving. Look for cereals that provide at least 2 grams of fiber per serving.

Reach for fiber-rich fruits and think of them as ingredients, not just as snacks - especially a pear (4 grams), an apple (3 grams), a couple of figs (3 grams), 1 cup of strawberries (3 grams), or a banana (2 grams). Add them to salads, cereal, and yogurt or use them as a topping for pancakes and waffles.

Make short-grain brown rice a staple (4 grams of fiber per cup). It has a rich, nutty flavor and tastes much better than the long grain variety. If you can't find it at your local supermarket, check health food stores or Asian supermarkets.

Sneak vegetables in wherever you can - pizza, soups, stir-fries, rice, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. The sky's the limit!

A surprising source of soluble fiber is reduced-fat foods. The guar gum that many reduced-fat foods contain in place of fats is soluble fiber. Caution: This doesn't give you license to replace fresh produce and whole grain products with faux fats, but they do contribute a marginal amount of healthful fiber. For example, one piece of a brandname fat-free chocolate loaf cake contains 1 gram of fiber, as does one fat-free oatmeal cookie, a full-fat one contains only 1/2 gram. Surprisingly, even 2 tablespoons of fat-free ranch dressing has1/2 gram of fiber.

... andjoyohoxing