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Ask Leigh

Question:  On the last visit to my doctor for an annual check-up, she told me I needed to increase the fiber in my diet? Any suggestions?

Answer:  When I think about adding fiber to my diet, I think of foods I don’t usually like to eat very often! I like oatmeal and I like raw broccoli, but I don’t want to eat them every day.  

A few foods you may not have thought of that are good sources of fiber include refried beans (1 cup gives you 13 grams of fiber), avocado (one-half is about 7 grams of fiber), and chunky peanut butter (2 Tbs gives you 3 grams). The recommended daily intake is between 21-38 grams, depending on age and gender. This isn’t easy to get in our fast-food diet! 

And to make sure we’re talking about the same thing, there are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is what is found in oats, beans and a few fruits. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps to slow down how fast sugar enters our bloodstream – and some evidence shows it may help lower bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and help prevent hardening of the arteries. 

A quick fiber-rich dinner I like to make for my family is a simple black bean burrito. I use fat-free refried black beans and whole-wheat tortillas. Just top ‘em with cheese, lettuce, tomato – anything else you like and you’ve got a delicious, easy dinner that also helps you reach your daily fiber intake.

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Posted in: Nutrition

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