Hoboken Health Corner: April 2012

How does fiber play in your diet?

By Leslie Goldstein, RD

Do you think you get enough fiber each day? Do you really know what fiber does for your body? Most Americans do not get enough so don’t feel as though you’re alone. The average intake of dietary fiber is 15 grams per day, while the adequate intake according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines is 25g for women and 35g for men per day. Now, you may say “I eat a salad most nights and snack on fruit so I must get enough fiber.” Although these foods do contain small amounts of fiber (orange= 3 g and small green salad= 1 g), it is not enough to reach your goals.

Fiber in Diet

Why is fiber important?

You may be wondering, what exactly does fiber do for my body? Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate found in plant foods. Its main role in the body is to help you to feel full, reduce constipation, reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, stabilize your blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol levels. The two main types of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in beans, oats, nuts, fruits and vegetables and aids in lowering cholesterol; while insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, nuts seeds and also fruits and veggies, it helps with laxation.

How can you increase your daily intake you may ask? Try the following suggestions to add more fiber to your diet. Just make sure to increase your water intake to at least 64 oz, as you increase your fiber intake, as water helps fiber move through the body.

  • Start your morning with 1 cup of oatmeal (4g) or a ½ cup of high fiber cereal such as Fiber One (14g)
  • Add 1 cup of berries to your breakfast or mid-morning snack (8g)
  • Add 2 tablespoons of flax seed to a smoothie or yogurt (4g)
  • Snack on 1 cup raw red pepper (2g) with 3 tablespoons hummus (3g)
  • Have your sandwich on 2 slices of whole wheat bread (4g)
  • Have 1 cup brown rice (4g) over white (1g) at your favorite Asian restaurant
  • Add 1 cup of beans (12g) or lentils (16g) to your salad at lunch

So, adding fiber doesn’t have to mean having bland and boring meals, you can still experience great Hoboken food with all the health benefits (your stomach will thank you)!

About Leslie Goldstein, RD

Leslie Goldstein is a Registered Dietitian (RD) practicing in North Bergen and Hoboken, New Jersey. Leslie is an avid exerciser who combines her nutrition knowledge and passion with motivational support in counseling to help her clients make lifestyle changes. Leslie specializes in weight management, general wellness, Diabetes, bariatric surgery, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Leslie accepts most major insurances. www.healthystepnutrition.com 8100 Kennedy Blvd. North Bergen, NJ 07047 Ph: 201-378-3287 Email: LeslieGoldsteinRD@gmail.com

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012 5:07 pm

Fiber-Shcmiber! Fiber is non-digestible material. And usually comes surrounded by loads of carbs (oatmeal, beans, etc.) No thanks. I do my best to avoid it and my laxation is just fine, thank you very much!

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