Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trim Down Tuesday, on Thursday!

Sorry for the delay, Trim Down Tuesdays is finally here, except that today is Thursday! Oh well, better late than never! Instead of doing a Q&A with Karen, Feed Your Sister's in-house nutritionist, I thought it would be fun to learn all about fiber.  So, this week's post has everything to do with fiber. Karen shares tips on how to increase your fiber intake, inform us about foods containing fiber, and tells us all about the benefits of fiber!  I will post a fiber-filled recipe from Karen tomorrow, so stay tuned!!
Here's what Karen had to say...
Tips on Increasing Your Fiber Intake:
  • Eat a High Fiber cereal for breakfast
  • Add fruits such as bananas or blueberries (fresh or frozen) into your cereal or oatmeal
  • Have a big salad mixed with lots of different colored veggies (fresh or frozen) for lunch
  • Make your own sandwich with 100% whole wheat bread
  • Replace ½ the flour in your favorite recipes with whole wheat flour
  • Eat more whole grains and whole grain products such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta
  • Eat more beans, peas, and lentils. You can add them to your salad or turn them into soups such as lentil soup
  • Snack on fruits throughout the day such as apples, berries, and pears
  • Snack on baby carrots with peanut butter or hummus
Foods Containing Fiber:
  • Grains and Whole Wheat Products (such as Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread, Oatmeal, and Cereals High in Fiber like Fiber One and Kashi Go Lean)
  • Fruits and Vegetables either Fresh or Frozen (such as Berries {strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.}, Apples, Pears, Bananas, and Citrus Fruits)
  • Vegetables (such as Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts,hearts of palm)
  • Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds (such as Lentils, Chickpeas, Black Beans, Pistachios, and Almonds)
What is Fiber? What are the Benefits of Fiber?
Fiber (also known as roughage or bulk) is the part of a plant that your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike proteins, fats, or carbs, it can not be broken down by your body so it passes through your colon unchanged, therefore it has 0 calories.
There are 2 types of fiber:
Soluble Fiber: This fiber dissolves in water and can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels. (Ex. Oats, beans, apples, barley, psyllium)
Insoluble Fiber: This fiber helps move food through your digestive tract and increases stool bulk. This is beneficial for people struggling with constipation or irregular stools. (Ex. Whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, many vegetables)
  • Relieves Constipation
  • Lowers Cholesterol levels
  • Controls Blood Sugar levels
  • Aids in Weight Loss
  • Keeps You Feeling Full
How much fiber do you need?
Women: 25 grams per day (minimum)
Men: 38 grams per day (minimum)
Here's a sample menu for one day filled with all the fiber you need!
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, ½ cup Fiber One cereal, and ½ cup blueberries (16 g Fiber)
Snack: 1 Apple (4 g Fiber)
Lunch: ½ cup lentil soup, Whole Wheat sandwich with turkey, lettuce, and tomato, and Granola bar (10 g Fiber)
Dinner: ½ cup brown rice, 6 oz grilled salmon, ½ cup steamed broccoli (4 g Fiber)
Dessert: 2 small chocolate chip cookies (<1 g Fiber)
Total: 34 g Fiber
IMPORTANT TIP: When beginning to add fiber into your diet, don’t forget to increase your water intake. Adding too much fiber too quickly can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, and gas so increase your intake slowly. Water can help with these issues because the fiber absorbs the water making stools soft and bulky.
-Karen Moreno, RD, CDN


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