A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that something as simple as eating 30 grams of fiber every day can help you lose weight. In fact, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that women who consumed more high-fiber foods over a 12-year period were half as likely to become obese as women who consumed less.
A recent review also reported that adding high fiber peas, chickpeas, and lentils to your meals can increase feelings of fullness by 31% compared to comparable non-bean based meals.
That sounds like a lot from us.
What are you waiting for?
6 health benefits of fiber
- Studies show that getting enough fiber can promote weight loss and prevent constipation.
- Adequate fiber can also lower blood pressure and improve your body's response to insulin (used for diabetes).
- Dietary fiber can help reduce cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). Foods like oats contain a type of fiber known as beta-glucan and if consumed 3 grams or more a day can help lower cholesterol.
- Fiber can help protect against colon cancer. While the reasons for this are not fully understood, it may be because the fiber increases stool size, thins its contents, and moves it through the intestines faster, thus reducing the time that waste products stay in contact with the intestines.
- Fiber leaves your stomach undigested and gets to your colon, where it feeds friendly gut bacteria, resulting in various health benefits.
- According to a number of studies, all-cause mortality appears to be lower in those who consume enough fiber.
How Much Fiber is Enough?
The recommendation is that the fiber intake for adults (aged 17 and over) should increase to 30 grams per day. Even so, research shows that the vast majority (80 percent) of the people in Ireland do not have enough fiber in their diet. The average intake is about half the recommended amount and is around 15 grams per day.
If you plan to increase your fiber intake, it is a good idea to do so gradually. It's also important to drink plenty of fluids (around 6-8 glasses a day for adults) and try to be active for at least 150 minutes a week.
How does this fit in with the motivating way of eating?
When motivated, we recommend customers to eat fewer carbohydrates, which are a source of fiber. The main focus of this strategy, however, is to encourage individuals to move away from the high-processed, fiber-streaked carbohydrates that they rely on (and which in most cases have led to their weight gain), such as pastries, baguettes, and white breads and cakes .
Instead, we ask our customers to consume small amounts of high-fiber carbohydrates such as porridge, brown bread and brown rice. We also recommend that our customers consume vegetables and small portions of fruit. Overall, we are reducing the amount of food in order to reduce calories, while at the same time placing emphasis on getting enough protein and better carbohydrates (e.g. always whole grains or whole grains).
We also always urge our customers to eat their fruits instead of drinking them because we believe it is so important to consume the skin of fruits and vegetables that contain a significant amount of fiber. Read how to get rid of processed carbohydrates on our blog.
How To Get More Fiber In Your Diet – Try These 8 High Fiber Foods
- 1 cup cooked lentils (a whopping 15.6 grams of fiber!) – add to soups or cook as a side dish with fish (I slowly cook green lentils in a stock cube for about 20 minutes – no soaking required!). Try our lentil curry recipe.
- 1 medium apple (4 grams of fiber) – hold the skin or you will lose a lot of healthy fiber.
- 1 cup of raspberries (8 grams of fiber) – delicious as a snack on high protein Greek yogurt.
- 1 can of chickpeas (8 grams of fiber) – add to soup and salads. Or follow our recipe for a delicious chickpea snack.
- Half a cup of oats (4 grams of fiber) – you'll only need a small serving of porridge as this is so filling (add chia seeds if you can to further boost fiber, plus omega-3s). Porridge is also good for gut health as it has prebiotic properties.
- 1 cup of strawberries (4 grams of fiber) – add frozen strawberries to a smoothie with some hemp seeds or pea protein for an extra protein boost.
- 1 cup kidney beans (16.3 grams of fiber) – read our blog about the benefits of legumes.
- 1 cup of green peas (9 grams of fiber) – always a handy freezer-friendly food and full of vitamin C.
How To Get More Fiber In Your Diet – 5 Smart Swaps
|Instead of…||To attempt…|
|1 cup apple juice (0.2 g fiber)||1 apple (4 g fiber)|
|1 cup of white spaghetti (2.4 g of fiber)||1 cup of brown spaghetti (6.3 g of fiber)|
|1 cup long grain white rice (0.6 g fiber)||1 cup of long grain brown rice (3.5 g of fiber)|
|1 slice of white bread (0.6 g fiber)||1 slice of whole grain bread (3 g fiber)|
|1 packet of chips (1.4 fiber)||3 cups air-dried popcorn (3.5 g fiber)|