Dietary fiber is an incredible nutrient, but it could use some more attention. That’s because the average American gets about half of the recommended amount. Are you getting enough? How can you get more?
Here are three signs that could mean that you are not getting enough fiber regularly. Then there are some ideas for increasing fiber intake. Netrition has all kinds of high-fiber foods and supplements to give you a boost if needed. So here goes!
Dietary fiber helps support healthy digestion. Without enough fiber, you may be constipated. A general rule of thumb is to see if you’re “going” at least once daily. Also, straining while trying to go and having pebble or pellet-sized pieces can be signs of mild constipation.
Other tips to support a healthy digestive system include drinking plenty of water and getting more exercise. It’s also good to give yourself plenty of time to use the bathroom, and to go when you feel an urge rather than trying to wait.
Dietary fiber can affect your hunger because of its effects on blood sugar. Fiber slows digestion, which helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates, in the form of a sugar called glucose, into your blood. That helps to reduce unhealthy blood sugar spikes, but it also helps to prevent serious lows.
Without enough fiber in your diet, you might experience more sugar lows than you otherwise might. When your blood sugar is low, your body thinks you need food, which means that your body may tell you that you’re hungry, even if you have already had enough calories to balance your expenditure. Over time, this pattern can lead to weight gain.
There are some other explanations for excessive hunger that you should investigate, too. For example, eating foods that are lower in calories and higher in water content, such as fruits and vegetables or chunky broth-based soups, can help reduce hunger. So can including protein at most meals and snacks, and getting enough sleep most nights.
Do you ever feel like you’re on an energy roller coaster? Do you have trouble knowing when your energy will increase and decrease, and for how long? There’s a chance that wild swings in energy are due to being low in fiber.
You can think of it in terms of a sugar high or low. When you eat a ton of sugar, say, a bag of Skittles or other candy, you might feel a sudden burst of energy. Within an hour or so, you might feel a crash in energy, and have trouble focusing or staying awake.
There are other possible reasons for having unpredictable energy levels. To support stable energy, it’s a good idea to get enough sleep each night. You can also consider a lower glycemic diet, which can include having more protein and healthy fats in addition to more fiber. Finally, think about caffeine consumption, because caffeine can boost energy and then leave you feeling tired when the effects wear off.
Ways to Increase Fiber in Your Diet
The recommendation for the average American is 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories, or 28 grams daily on a 2,000-calorie diet. These are some high-fiber foods that you can include to increase fiber in your diet.
- Non-starchy vegetables, such as carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, kale, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, green beans, and radishes
- Fruit, such as oranges, tangerines, apples, pears, berries, and bananas
- Beans, split peas, and lentils
- Whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, bagels, tortillas, English muffins, and pita bread, shredded wheat cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and quinoa
- Peanuts, seeds, and nuts, such as hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds
Netrition also has plenty of high-fiber, low-carb options that you can add to your routine. Our selection includes fiber-fortified foods, high-fiber bars and shakes, and fiber supplements, to name a few. Here are some examples.
Netrition has tons of keto-friendly foods that are high in dietary fiber, such as the following.
- Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta and Pasta Entrees
- Keto-Friendly, High-Fiber Bread, Bagels, Pita, Flatbread, and Tortillas
- High-Fiber and Keto-Friendly Cereal, Hot Cereal, and Granola in a variety of flavors
- High-Fiber Baking Mixes for Cookies, Muffins, Brownies, and Pancakes
- High-Fiber baking ingredients such as Flaxseed Meal and Almond Flour
High-Fiber Bars and Shakes
You can take your fiber with you, too. Netrition has tons of high-fiber bars and shakes. For example, BariatricPal 15g Protein and Fiber Bars have 6 grams of fiber, and NuGo Nutrition Fiber D’Lish bars have 12 grams. Flavors include Blueberry Cobbler, Chocolate Brownie, and Cinnamon Raisin, as well as Chocolate Mint, Peanut Butter, Vanilla, Caramel Nut, and Peanut Pretzel.
High-Fiber Shakes and Beverages
Is drinking your fiber easier? You’re in luck. Netrition has options such as BariatricPal Protein ONE, Atkins Nutritionals Shakes, and Chocorite Protein Shakes. They all have fiber, and flavors include Chocolate Fudge, Iced Coffee, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Iced Chai. You can also opt for Fiber Lemon Ice Tea.
Another choice is to take a fiber supplement in a powder form. Netrition has fiber powders with ingredients such as psyllium husk, konjac glucomannan, acacia, and more. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label for safety.
Dietary fiber can have a wealth of benefits, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough. You may not be, if you always feel hungry, if you’re not having regular digestion, or if your energy levels are up and down. Adding high-fiber foods into your diet, plus fiber-fortified foods or fiber supplements from Netrition, may help. Remember to add fiber only gradually, drink plenty of water, and ask a healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements.
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Netrition products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.