I’ve always known that fiber is good for you. Great for cleaning out, etc. However, Rachel Beller, registered dietitian extraordinaire has made a big, big deal about incorporating fiber into my diet. She refers to fiber as a woman’s “Little Black Dress” (as in it’s a no-brainer). Now, THAT makes sense to me!
There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Rachel’s descriptions of them are great:
- Insoluble fiber acts as an exfoliant, scrubbing out your digestive tract. It is found in fruits and veggies as well as grain products like whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, and wheat bran.
- Soluble fiber works like a sponge, soaking up the icky stuff and carrying it out of your body.
See how practical she is? And don’t these descriptions make you want to eat more fiber?
Women require 30 – 35 grams of fiber. Men require 40 – 45 grams of fiber. The beauty of fiber, she says, is that it cleans things out of your system (e.g., stray estrogen, excess cholesterol and other pernicious pests).
There is good news and bad news here. Rachel says that unless you eat a path through a small forest, you can’t get close to the daily requirement. Ugh. The good news, however, is that it’s actually not that complicated to get what seems like a huge daily requirement (Silver Lining). These foods are super yummy, full of fiber and easy breezy to pick up at the grocery store!
More SL’s come in the form of studies that support the link between eating insoluble fiber and reducing breast cancer (at the get-go or a recurrence). Oh, and it’s great for weight loss or weight maintenance.
Here are some delicious things that I have added to my new fiber-fueled diet (thanks, Rachel!):
- Simply Fiber cereal is one of my new favorite cereals. 1 cup has 18.6 grams of fiber (and 0 grams of sugar or 0 mg of sodium). Add a medium sized banana to it with 3.8 grams of fiber and 1 cup of almond milk with 1 gram of fiber and the day is off to a Silver Lined start!
- Salba grain has 4.1 gams of fiber in 1 tbsp (available at Whole Foods). This is Rachel’s favorite fiber and omega-3 booster (and is mine now as well!). I use the whole seeds on my cereal. It works well in yogurt as well.
- Water! Water! Water! 8 cups per day.
- Bread. The right kind of bread, of course. Rachel says that the “Squeeze Test” is the best way to measure value. A true whole grain bread doesn’t mush when squeezed. (Shockingly, many brown breads are basically white bread with some caramel or molasses added for color. Gross!)
- Mestemacher Natural Whole Rye Bread (available at Whole Foods) is delish and power packed. Each slice has 6 grams of fiber. It is chewy and dense. Feels and tastes like you’re eating something really good for you…in the good way, not the bad way. I love to toast it and add a little goat cheese, arugula and tomato. YUM.
- Gnu Flavor and Fiber Bars (available at Whole Foods) are an amazing snack. These come in lots of flavors and are easy to throw in my bag. These have 130 calories and 12 grams of fiber. Amazing.
- Zen Bakery Fiber Mini Cakes (available at Trader Joe’s). Each “cake” has 80 calories and a whopping 13 grams of fiber. They are super yummy! A fantastic, unbelievable snack in the afternoon is to put two small squares of dark chocolate
- Cinnamon. OK, it doesn’t have any fiber, but it is great for getting rid of nausea and to regulate blood sugar. Plus, I like the taste.
- Mustafa Ceylon Cinnamon (available at Amazon)
- Ceylon True Cinnamon (available The Spice House-either in person in my old hometown of Chicago or online)
Hope you enjoy some of these suggestions. They have been great, Silver Lining additions to my life.
Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.