Do you get enough fiber in your diet? Even if you think you are – chances are you are not. Most Americans consume an average of 15 grams of fiber per day, which accounts for only half of the necessary fiber for good health. Perhaps even worse, however, is the fact that not eating enough fiber can cause you to overeat the wrong foods. This means that you could be consuming unnecessary, not to mention, empty calories simply because you are choosing the wrong foods to eat. If you choose the right food, meaning those chock full of fiber, you will feel fuller longer and be less tempted to overeat or eat highly processed, sugary foods. Even if you do not want to follow a sugar detox diet, simply adding fiber to your food consumption can have the same effect.
How to Fill your Diet with Fiber
So how do you fill your diet with fiber? The first step that you should take is to remove processed food from your diet. Any food that contains enriched flour or bleached flour means that the nutrients, including fiber have been stripped and chances are sugar has been added in one form or another. Instead, opt for whole grain breads, pastas and rice. This means a few simple substitutions:
• Instead of white rice choose brown rice or quinoa
• Instead of white bread choose whole grain bread (not bread made with enriched flour)
• Instead of white pasta, choose whole wheat pasta
Carbohydrates are not the only way to get your fill of fiber, however. Many fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts also contain plenty of fiber. Legumes or beans are the best choice because they contain the largest amount of fiber. The wonderful thing about beans is that you can add them to an existing food for extra bulk and a little flavor. Add beans to your soups, salads and wraps to get the fiber that you need. Other great sources of fiber include dark, leafy greens, berries, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots and cauliflower.
Ways to get More Fiber
Adding more fiber to your diet might seem overwhelming, but it will dramatically decrease the amount that you eat. If you find yourself suffering from a 3pm letdown because you are feeling tired, hungry and irritable, try adding more fiber to your diet, especially at snack time, rather than choosing sugary foods and see how you feel. It is easy to start, simply make these little changes:
• Include fiber in your breakfast; it’s the best way to start the day
• Eat nuts or berries for a snack to continue your intake
• Choose whole grain carbohydrates as opposed to refined products to increase your consumption
• Avoid high sugar content foods and drinks by eliminating candy, cookies, processed foods, fruit juices and soda from your diet; they provide no nutrition and only empty calories
• Choose snacks that are only from the fruits, vegetables or whole grains categories, avoiding anything processed or unnatural
These few simple changes can make a dramatic difference in how you eat and how you feel. As an added bonus, you might even find that you lose a few pounds simply by adding fiber to your diet. Fiber has a way of satisfying you much longer than the empty calories that are provided in processed foods. Fiber digests very slowly, leaves your blood sugar levels stable and allows you to feel satisfied for longer periods of time. If you are unsure about starting a sugar detox diet just yet, try adding fiber to your diet to see how you feel. Once you realize how great you feel, you might be ready to jump in feet first on a sugar detox plan.