If you’re like me, you’re probably seeing a ton of articles and social media posts about how everyone (particularly women over age 35!) should add more fiber to their diet. The RDA for all adults is 28-34 grams of fiber daily, which is actually incredibly difficult. So let’s talk about it!
Readers, are you trying to add more fiber to your diet? If you’re tracking micronutrients, how are you doing in general with your fiber intake?
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Why I’m Trying to Add More Fiber
There are a few main reasons I’m trying to add more fiber to my diet:
- it’s really filling
- it’s good for gut health (duh)
- I’ve heard that fiber helps you regulate hormone levels, which can be important as you get older (I’ll try to find the quote from Jen Gunter on this point later today!)
My Favorite Ways to Add More Fiber
Some of my favorite ways are pictured above, including:
Fruits & Veggies. Again, duh. The trick here is that a full cup of most vegetables and fruits is less than 5 grams of fiber! (The USDA’s website is a great place to check.) So if you think you’re eating a ton of veggies, make sure you’re familiar with the serving size needed to get to a good fiber amount. (Avocadoes are noteworthy for being really high fiber — 100g of avocado has 6.7 grams of fiber; that’s about one whole (large) avocado. Pro tip: they’re amazing to eat by themselves with hot sauce or soy sauce.)
Beans and lentils. Not only are beans and lentils super healthy and part of the Mediterranean diet, they’re pretty high in fiber, clocking in at 5-10 grams per half cup. Hat tip to the readers who’ve turned me on to Rancho Gordo’s Bean Club — we often soak a bag of beans on Sunday as part of our meal planning for the week, then just eat them on salads, in quesadillas, or by themselves. (Again: I really like plain beans with hot sauce!) Canned beans aren’t horrible for you, though — whatever is easier.
Oats. I didn’t realize until recently that all kinds of oats have the exact same fiber — steel cut, old fashioned, quick cooking oats, whatever. (That said, the less processed your oats are, the better they are on the glycemic index.) I’m a big fan of overnight oats in the summer — I like to do 30g of oats, 10g of chia seeds, 1 scoop of protein powder (or 3T of powdered peanut butter — or a split of the two), and about 85g of skim milk. Stir them after 15 minutes and then refrigerate! I’m also a fan of savory steel cut oats to eat with eggs — I add EBTB seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and top with cheese and bacon bits. According to Healthline, just a half cup of uncooked, old-fashioned oats has about 4 grams of fiber.
Chia seeds. Chia seeds are high calorie, but they’re so good for you — I love the way that they thicken in liquid to make a pudding-type consistency. Like I mentioned above, I like to add them to overnight oats — I’ve tried adding them to baked goods but that’s definitely an acquired taste because they will get stuck in your teeth. 1 oz of chia seeds has 10g of fiber.
Popcorn. All popcorn has a bunch of fiber, and I’m a huge fan of air popped popcorn. (We use this air popper the most, but this microwave-friendly one is also great if you don’t want popcorn flying everywhere or don’t have the counterspace for an air popper.) I really like adding a few spritzes of avocado oil and some of the popcorn seasoning to a bowl — my favorites are this truffle seasoning or Trader Joe’s dill pickle seasoning; all of the Kernel Season’s are also pretty great. 100g of popcorn kernels has 13g of fiber (but that’s a pretty huge serving — one ounce of kernels has 3.6 grams.)
Fiber One. There are a number of high fiber cereals out there; I’ve really liked the old fashioned Fiber One for 15+ years now. My favorite way to eat it: adding it to yogurt for crunch. (It will get soggy if you put it in liquid or leave it in yogurt too long, though.) Fiber One bars are pricy but really tasty — you can also find similar products at Aldi’s and other stores. (My kids love the bars!)
Protein bars. In a pinch, do note that protein bars in general have a ton of fiber — 1 Quest bar has 13g! Also note that, like a lot of other processed foods that tout how much fiber they have, their nutritional info may be adjusted to subtract calories (and carbs) from fiber — if you’re counting either it can really change, so be wary. (I’ve noticed it mostly with fiber-friendly tortillas!) You can always double check the real calorie content by adding fat grams (9 calories) plus protein grams (4 calories) and carbohydrate grams (4 calories).
Readers, what are your favorite ways to add more fiber to your diet?