Southern Indiana Living

SEP-OCT 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Sept/Oct 2018 • 45 A s a dietitian, fiber is my best friend, and it should be yours too! Fiber provides many dif- ferent health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol, reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease and keeping your gut regular. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who ate fiber-rich foods, specifical- ly about 21 grams of fiber each day, had 12 percent less heart disease and 11 percent less cardiovascular disease when com- pared to those who ate 5 grams or less per day. It is recommended that women get about 25 grams of fiber each day and men about 38 grams per day, but most adults do not get enough fiber in their diets. The CDC found that on average, women con- sume about 15 grams of fiber and men about 18 grams. You may be wondering, where do I find fiber? Plant-based foods are the only place you can find fiber. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains are all good sources of fiber. More specifically, 1 cup of cooked black beans provides 15 grams of fiber, and 1 medium apple provides 4 grams. Here are some easy ways to help to meet your fiber goal: 1. Aim for three servings of whole grains each day. A great way to add more whole grains is to start your day with oats. Oats are 100 percent whole grain and can be a great place to add other fiber-containing food, such as berries and nuts. Oats are cost-effective and a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as mag- nesium and B1. 2. Include fruits in your snacks. Buy fresh fruits in season because they will taste better and cost less. This will also help you eat a variety of different fruits throughout the year. 3. Pair fruits with nuts and seeds or nut butters. Nuts provide healthy fats that help fight against cardio- vascular and heart disease, but keep your serving size to about ¼ cup, since they provide more calories. In- stead of dipping an apple in peanut butter, try a pear! 4. Aim for three servings of vegeta- bles each day. Vegetable are high in fiber but also provide vitamins and minerals. Try adding vegetables to staple dishes, such as tacos or pizza. Search your freezer section for riced cauliflower or rice it at home using a food processor. 5. Add more beans into your diet. One cup of lentils provides 16 grams of fiber. Try using beans as the base of your tacos to add more fiber into your day. Use pureed beans as dips or add them to your salads. When you add fiber into your diet, introduce it slowly and gradually, with plenty of fluids. Fiber works like a sponge and absorbs fluid during digestion. If you're not consuming enough fluid, you could become nauseous and constipated. Try using these tips to include more fiber into your diet. Start tracking your daily fiber consumption and see how close you can get to the national recom- mendations! • Madisson Veatch, MA, RDN, CD is a regis- tered dietitian with Baptist Health Floyd. Fiber provides many different health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol, reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease and keeping your gut regular. A Dietician's Best Friend Discovering the benefits of fiber Real Life Nutrition About the Author Image: bitt24/ shutterstock.com

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