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High fiber foods


Fiber refers to a substance that is virtually indigestible, which is often found in the outer layer of several varieties of plants. It can also be described as a particular type of carb that passes through the human digestive system, without undergoing any changes, without being further broken down into nutrients. Although the main source of energy for the body comes from carbohydrates, fiber has a major influence in the process of digestion, right from the beginning till the end. It is quite common to hear dieticians and fitness experts to recommend high fiber foods, especially for weight loss purposes. However, not all people are clear on what foods are high in fiber and should be consumed more often.
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In fact, on average, an American diet only contains around 10 grams of fiber each day, which is nowhere close to what a person requires. The average recommended intake of fiber for most people is 30 to 40 grams each day. The foods that are high in fiber usually include cereals, whole grain items, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. There are no foods that have been derived from animal products, which contain fiber, not even skin, eggshells, or bones.

What foods are high fiber?

This is one question that is commonly asked by people who are trying to lose weight, by increasing their consumption of high fiber low carb foods. People also often wonder how high fiber diet foods work. First of all, it is important to understand how fiber can help lose weight. By nature, foods that are high in fiber need to be chewed more thoroughly. This slows down the eating process and helps a person feel full faster, thereby preventing overeating and weight gain. Fiber remains in the stomach for a longer time, adding bulk to the contents of the stomach too. Therefore, a person feels full for a longer time, after consuming high fiber diet foods. Several digestive related problems like constipation can also be decreased, by eating more fiber rich foods. You could follow a healthier diet, by boosting your consumption of high fiber fruits, high fiber vegetables and any other foods that are high in fiber. Given below is a list of high fiber foods that should be added to your daily diet:

High fiber fruits

•    Apples with their skin
•    Strawberries
•    Raspberries
•    Apricots
•    Raisins
•    Bananas
•    Plums
•    Blueberries
•    Pears
•    Peaches
•    Cantaloupe
•    Grapefruit
•    Dried figs
•    Oranges

High fiber vegetables

•    Zucchini
•    Avocado
•    Winter squash
•    Tomato
•    Beets
•    Peas
•    Broccoli
•    Tomato
•    Bok choy
•    Brussels sprouts
•    Swiss chard
•    Sweet potato
•    Cauliflower
•    Kale
•    Sweet potato
•    Raw onions
•    Potato
•    Carrot
•    Summer squash
•    Green beans
•    Corn
•    Peppers
•    Cabbage
•    Spinach
•    Peas
•    Celery

High fiber cereals

•    Brown rice
•    Whole wheat pasta
•    Dry oats
•    Bran cereal
•    Whole grain bread


Other high fiber foods (Beans, nuts and seeds)

•    Almonds
•    Peanuts
•    Garbanzo beans
•    Sunflower seeds
•    Cashew nuts
•    Black beans
•    Pistachio
•    Kidney beans
•    Flaxseeds
•    Lima beans
•    Pumpkin seeds
•    Walnuts
•    Lentils
•    Soy bean

Once you are aware of what foods are high in fiber, it should be quite easy for you to stick to a high fiber diet. There are many ways in which you can add these high fiber foods to your daily diet, so as to follow a healthy lifestyle, instead of going on a special weight loss diet. You can even take some of your favorite dishes and make some alterations to them, so that they contain some high fiber foods. For example burger lovers can try to eat a soybean patty burger instead of a regular burger made from red meat. This not only helps in weight loss, but also keeps the levels of cholesterol in check. Alternately, pizza lovers could make a special pizza with their own toppings that include a variety of beans and vegetables like corn, onions, peppers and tomato. This will not only satisfy your food cravings, but will also help you feel less guilty, as it is much healthier than a regular pizza. There are several books and online resources that are full of high fiber recipes of different kinds, to suit almost everyone’s food preferences. Given below is an example of the several high fiber recipes that you can try at home.

Tuna steak sandwiches

Ingredients

•    2 fillets of tuna (4 ounces each)
•    2 slices tomato
•    2 lettuce leaves
•    2 whole grain onion buns
•    A pinch of pepper
•    ¼ cup low fat Caesar dressing  

Method

•    Prepare a grill or a broiler, for cooking.
•    Coat a grill rack lightly, with some cooking spray and place the rack about 4 to 6 inches away from the source of heat
•    Sprinkle the pepper on the tuna fillets and place them on the grill rack
•    Apply the Caesar dressing on the tuna, while it cooks, with the help of a brush
•    Cook the fish for about 8 minutes or till it is thoroughly done
•    Toast the buns on the grill for a few minutes, before placing the tuna steaks on them.
•    Top the steak with lettuce and tomato and serve it immediately.

This recipe contains about 6 grams of fiber in each serving.

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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