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Blog Nutrition How To Get More Fiber: 8 Easy Ways To Transition Into A High-Fiber Diet For Gut Health

How To Get More Fiber: 8 Easy Ways To Transition Into A High-Fiber Diet For Gut Health

how to get more fiber

The human gut is a complex ecosystem of trillions of living microorganisms. The number and types of these microbes in the gut have been shown to change dramatically from one person to another, depending on diet, lifestyle, and geographical location. In recent decades, scientists have found that an unhealthy microbiome can contribute to many chronic diseases like diabetes or obesity. One way to maintain or improve your health is by increasing the amount of fiber you eat every day. Unfortunately, it can be hard to figure out how to get more fiber. How to get more fiber? To make your work easier, here are the eight ways to make sure you are getting more fiber each day. 

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How Much Fiber Do You Need?

A person should consume 14g of fiber for every 1000 calories they eat each day (9). 

For example, a person who eats 2000 calories per day should be getting 28g of fiber per day. 

The best way to get your daily intake is to focus on filling your plate with foods that are high in soluble and insoluble fiber. 

There’s an important difference between these two types of fiber, as explained below (14):

  • Soluble Fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water, so it is generally found in nutritious foods. It slows the absorption of sugar and cholesterol so they don’t enter the bloodstream too quickly, which can help control blood sugar levels. 
  • Insoluble Fiber. This type of fiber does not dissolve in water. Foods that are high in insoluble fiber also have fewer calories because your body burns more calories while digesting them than if they were lower-calorie foods.

Read More: High Fiber Foods For Weight Loss: 9 Things You Should Eat While Trying To Lose Weight

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What Are Some Good Fiber Sources?

High-fiber sources are some of the best foods for weight loss. 

Below are some of the options you should have on your menu if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. 

  • Soluble Fibre. Legumes, nuts, seeds, some vegetables and fruits (apples, oranges, blueberries), oats, and barley.
  • Insoluble Fibre. Whole wheat bread and cereals (look for “whole grain” or “100%” on the package), brown rice, zucchini, leafy greens, and potatoes with skin on.

What Are The Benefits of Getting More Fiber In Your Diet?

A high-fiber diet has the following benefits:

Normalizes Bowel Movements 

Having ≥25g of dietary fiber per day can help transition your bowel movements into a healthy, regular pattern (11). You’d also need to take more water to reap the full benefits of a high-fiber diet.

Helps Maintain Gut Health 

Studies suggest that an increased intake of fiber may lower your risk of developing certain kinds of cancer (4). The reason for this is that fiber helps you maintain gut health by discouraging cell proliferation in your colon. Furthermore, it feeds the gut bacteria, which can help suppress inflammation (8).

how to get more fiber
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Lowers Cholesterol Levels

A high intake of soluble fiber has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the body by up to 5-8%. This is because dietary fiber decreases the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream (1). 

Helps Control Blood Sugar 

Insoluble fiber plays an important role in stabilizing blood sugar levels and preventing insulin resistance. This property also helps prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (6). 

Aids In Achieving Healthy Weight

Research studies have shown that increasing dietary fiber increases satiety, which results in improved weight loss efforts (3).

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See also  Is Raw Salmon Good For You?
best foods for weight loss
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How To Get More Fiber In Your Diet?

Knowing a good source of fiber isn’t enough; you have to figure out how to incorporate it in your meals without going overboard or sacrificing the meals you love and feeling deprived. 

Follow The Five-A-Day Recommendation 

The five-a-day recommendation by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans consists of a minimum of three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day (5). But, what does this look like?

Generally, a serving is:

  • A single piece of fruit
  • Half a cup of raw fruits or vegetables
  • A cup of leafy greens

Many people struggle to achieve the five-a-day recommendation, but it can be done easily by including fruits, vegetables, or broth with every meal. For instance, a well-known example of a meal that meets the five-a-day recommendation without much effort is a grilled chicken salad with vegetables.

soluble vs insoluble fiber
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Replace Refined Grains With Whole Grains

Every day, Americans eat more refined grains than whole grains (7). The main difference between whole and refined grains is that whole grains retain their outer layer, or bran, during processing (13). Because the fiber content in this layer is considered effective for lowering blood cholesterol levels and improving gut health, it plays an integral role in helping you reach your recommended daily intake. 

The benefits don’t stop there. Fiber can help prevent insulin resistance by slowing down digestion, lessening spikes in cortisol after eating sugary foods, and preventing constipation (11).

When it comes to getting enough fiber, many refined grains such as white bread and bagels provide little to no benefits. If you want to enjoy the amazing health benefits of fiber, make sure all of your grains are whole grains, including oats, brown rice, and quinoa.

high-fiber foods chart
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Check Nutrition Fact Labels For The Amount Of Dietary Fiber

Even if you don’t know what’s on the nutrition label, there is a good chance that it contains more than just calories and nutrients. Most foods also list their dietary fiber content! A food is considered high in fiber if it has four grams or more per serving. 

Snack On Fruits, Nuts, And Seeds

Snacking can be an opportunity to get more fiber in your diet (10). Considering that most Americans do not get enough dietary fiber, you can be sure that when it comes to snacking, fruits and seeds are your best options. 

Fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas; nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts; seeds like chia seeds or flaxseeds all contain between four to eight grams of fiber per serving.

Read More: Too Much Fiber In Diet? Here Is What You Need To Know To Get Rid Of The Discomfort

high fiber foods list
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Bake With High-Fiber Flours

Many popular baked goods contain high amounts of refined grains. While these products taste great, they fail to give the digestive tract the boost it needs. However, some great alternatives will provide your body with long-lasting energy while also increasing its intake of dietary fiber

For instance, whole wheat flour contains nearly three times the amount of dietary fiber when compared to all-purpose flour. Similarly, oats and quinoa can add an extra dose of protein and fiber to your next batch of cookies or brownies. 

Eat More Legumes

Legumes are packed with both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber (12). They’re also an excellent source of protein, iron, and B vitamins, making them an ideal addition to any meal.

good source of fiber
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Serve More Veggies, And Eat Them First

Most people eat vegetables as a side dish, but they really should be the star of your plate. 

To get more fiber in your diet, include one or two servings of veggies with every meal. This will help you reach your daily recommendation without having to worry about feeling hungry throughout the day. 

Always start your meal by eating the vegetables, and then follow with the starches and proteins. This way, you get to fill up on the food with the least calories and only eat more if you’re still not satiated. 

Leave Skin On Fruits And Vegetables

Skin can be incredibly nutrient-dense, despite its aesthetics (2). Most fruits and vegetables found in the produce aisle boast high levels of dietary fiber, making it important not to peel them before cooking or eating.

By choosing foods like apples with their skin on, you will reap the benefits that come along with their fiber content without sacrificing flavor or texture.

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See also  Green Leafy Vegetables: 8 Nutritious Veggies You Should Eat More Often
high-fiber foods chart
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Replace Low-Fiber Foods With Fiber-Rich Alternatives

You don’t have to sacrifice specific foods you love to get more fiber.

Here are some swaps you can make to enjoy better health without sacrificing the taste:

  • Swap white bread for wholegrain/wholemeal bread
  • Swap white pasta for wholegrain/wholemeal pasta
  • Swap potato chips for popcorn
  • Swap sugary snacks for fruits, nuts, and seeds
  • Swap mayonnaise for avocado
  • Swap cheese for hummus
  • Swap cream cheese for ricotta
  • Swap butter for avocado or olive oil

Weight Loss According To The Age

The Bottom Line

Research shows that the average person should be getting at least 25-38 grams of dietary fiber per day. The truth is, most people do not get even half that! There are many benefits to adding more fiber to your diet, including helping maintain gut health and lowering cholesterol levels. If you’re looking for a quick way to add more dietary fiber to your diet, the tips in this article can help you do so.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis (1999, academic.oup.com)
  2. Database and Quick Methods of Assessing Typical Dietary Fiber Intakes using data for 228 Commonly Consumed Foods (1997, jandonline.org)
  3. Dietary fibre and satiety (2007, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
  4. Dietary fibre and the prevention of chronic disease – should health professionals be doing more to raise awareness? (2016, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
  5. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 – 2025 (2020, dietaryguidelines.gov)
  6. Effects of Dietary Fiber and Carbohydrate on Glucose and Lipoprotein Metabolism in Diabetic Patients (1991, care.diabetesjournals.org)
  7. Grains (n.d., myplate.gov)
  8. Interplay Between Fiber and the Intestinal Microbiome in the Inflammatory Response (2013, academic.oup.com)
  9. Most Americans are not getting enough fiber in our diets (2021, nutrition.org)
  10. Snacking in nutrition and health (2019, tandfonline.com)
  11. The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  12. The Role of Legumes in Human Nutrition (2018, intechopen.com)
  13. Whole Grains | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (n.d., hsph.harvard.edu)
  14. “Dietary fibre”: moving beyond the “soluble/insoluble” classification for monogastric nutrition, with an emphasis on humans and pigs (2019, jasbsci.biomedcentral.com)
ZindzyGracia
ZindzyGracia

Zindzy is a freelance writer who specializes in creating web content in the health & wellness niche. The articles she writes focus on providing factual information – but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read.
Her interest in health & wellness was sparked by her motherhood journey. She realized just how much damage misinformation could cause, especially when it is targeted at new moms who are keen on postpartum weight loss.
So for years, she has worked hard to demystify the seemingly complex concepts of health & wellness. Eventually, she made one startling discovery that she wishes to share with all – there is no short cut. Consistency and hard work are the keys to a healthy mind and body.
But, writing is not all she does. Being a mother to an energetic toddler means her free time is spent exploring the outdoors, arms laden with cotton candy and toys. Through the daily intrigues of work and play, she continues to discover and share more ways to keep fit and stay healthy!

J. Paul
J. Paul

Jovial is from Dubai, and is a Head EMS Instructor/Fitness Manager/Nutrition Consultant for REMS Fitness. He is certified by the Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute and Registered as a Gym Instructor.
Jovial specialises in HIIT training, Rehabilitation/injury recovery, Strength and Conditioning, Kickboxing, Body Weight Training and Weight Training, and practices each discipline himself. His approach is to focus on improving his clients’ lifestyle by motivating them and setting an example.

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