These complex carbs are unique as they are indigestible so you’re not getting any calories from them. Instead they play other major roles in keeping the body working its best. Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day. Great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Fiber is shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, breast cancer, constipation, and diverticulitis.
- Soluble: can lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. These include oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries.
- Insoluble: Regulate the digestive system, helping to prevent constipation. Foods with insoluble fibers include wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta and tortillas, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Some tips for increasing fiber intake: (adjust)***
- Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.
- Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
- For breakfast, choose cereals that have a whole grain as their first ingredient.
- Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
- Substitute beans or legumes for meat two to three times per week in chili and soups.