Most Americans eat far less fiber than they need, consuming only about a 1/3 of what they need. There is no fiber in foods that come from animals. Fiber is only found in foods that grow from the earth.
People often ask, “Am I getting enough protein?” when the MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION is, “Am I getting enough fiber?” I will have a party when someone asks me, “Am I getting enough fiber?”
When I teach workshops, we talk about the importance of reading food labels to identify key nutrients. Do you eat cereal most mornings? Look at the “Nutrition Facts” panel and identify what a serving size is. Do you routinely have one or two servings? Next, look at how many grams of dietary fiber are in one per serving. If you are eating two servings of cereal, then double the number.
Most adults should aim for about 35 grams of fiber a day.
This is one of my favorite summer breakfasts (see picture, above): cooked oatmeal, milled flax seed, almond milk, and half of a fresh, locally grown peach. Usually I also have a whole wheat English muffin (where the first ingredient on the Nutrition Facts label includes the word “whole”). Here is my breakfast’s fiber total:
½ cup dry Quaker oats: 4 grams
2 tablespoons milled flax seed: 3 grams
½ cup Blue Diamond almond milk: <1
½ large peach: 1.5 grams
1 whole wheat English muffin: 3 grams
TOTAL FIBER: >11.5 grams
This breakfast easily puts me on the way towards the day’s goal of about 35 grams of dietary fiber. Remember, fiber fills you up and prevents overeating. Most people don’t get anywhere near enough dietary fiber. NOTE: As you increase fiber, also increase the amount of water you are drinking. Increasing your dietary fiber is key to controlling and reversing diabetes as well as losing extra weight.
With love and kindness,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect