Focus on Fiber

Jeanne Reilly, MS, RD

Chances are, you’ve heard about how wonderful fiber is for you. Its most well-known benefit is keeping our digestive tracks humming along. Did you know It also helps maintain heart health and prevent diabetes by promoting healthy levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, and body weight? It’s also linked to lower levels of colon cancer! The benefits of fiber are powerful, so getting enough in your diet is pretty important. Read on to learn more about fiber and discover how easy it is to get your daily recommended dose!


Here are just a few recipes loaded with fiber to get you started:

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Types and Sources of Fiber:

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber forms a gel when digested. This type of fiber helps lower cholester- ol levels by binding to cholesterol and removing it from the body. Foods rich in soluble fiber include beans and legumes, oats, barley, nuts, seeds, and certain types of fruits and vegetables.

Insoluble fiber aids in healthy digestion and movement of food through our intestines. Foods rich in insoluble fiber include whole grains, bran (like oat, wheat, & rice bran), and a variety of fruits and vegetables with edible skin. The husks of grains and skins of fruits and vegetables are what contains all the insoluble fiber, so put the vegetable peeler down!

Rather than worrying about getting a certain amount of soluble or insoluble fiber, it’s best to just focus on fitting more fiber into your diet in general!

How Much?

The standard American diet is woefully low in fiber at an average of just 15 grams of fiber consumed daily. However, the Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 38 grams of fiber daily for men and 25 grams daily for women. Considering how beneficial fiber is for our health and how easy it can be to get enough, it seems we have a bit of work to do to up that average! Let’s get to work in the most delicious way possible!

How to Make it Happen!

Start by making sure each meal has a source of fiber. You can’t go wrong by incorporating more whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables! It’s not often we’re told to eat more of something! Add a side salad to your dinner, try some fruit with your afternoon snack, try a bean-based veggie burger, or make a point of looking for high-fiber grain choices!

In fact, Flatout flatbreads are an easy high-fiber choice. They are loaded with fiber from ingredients like oat fiber, whole wheat flour, chickpeas, and flaxseed meal. One single flatbread can provide up to 10 grams of fiber, depending on the variety and flavor of flatbread you choose. For the average woman, that’s 40% of the daily recommended amount from just one flatbread! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found a piece of bread that offers 10 grams of fiber! When you fill or top a flatbread with some fresh vegetables, beans, or other fiber rich foods, you’ll be well on your way to tipping the fiber scales in the right direction!

Look for a variety of Flatout Flatbreads in the deli section at your local grocery store: Find a Store Near You >>

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References:
1. Theuwissen E, Mensink RP. Water-soluble dietary fibers and cardiovascular disease. Physiol Behav. 2008;94(2):285-292.
2. Dietary, functional and total fiber. Institute of Medicine.
//www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=339. Accessed Aug. 30, 2015.
3. Hiza H, et al. USDA fiber Fact Sheet. December 2007
4. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Health Implications of Dietary fiber. J Am Diet Assoc 2008;108:1716-1731.