I‘m not really sure when the day actually happened.
I know that I started eating healthier when I was college right when working out became a part of my weekly routine.
Protein, carbs and good fats became a regular staple of my vocabulary.
One day though, I got a little bit obsessed. And that obsession became fiber.
So much of a obsession that I started to count how many grams of fiber I took in a day.
Yes, I may need help.
You see, my father had two heart attacks and the second one took his life at the age of 67. From that point on, I’ve watched my diet a lot more than I did in the past (Although, I did hit a bit of a funk and motivated myself to lose 20 pounds).
Knowing that heart disease runs in my family, I needed to conscience of what I ate. According to the Cheerios box, fiber helps reduce cholesterol or heart disease. How can you argue with Cheerios?
So I started watching and counting my fiber intake to make sure I was getting a healthy dose. But what exactly is a healthy dose? According to Harvard School of Health, men should shoot for 30 grams of fiber a day in their diet.
I promise you it’s not easy without some effort. The American Dietetic Association confirms this saying that
“Americans don’t even come close to getting the necessary fiber in their diet”.
Nonetheless, I knew that with heart disease in my family I didn’t have a choice.
While 30 grams of daily fiber is a tall order, I’ve been able to get to do it. In fact, over the years I’ve pretty well perfected to where now I can get 40 grams of fiber in one day with ease (sometimes 50 grams if I’m on a super fiber kick). So if you are interested in increasing your fiber in-take or if you need to perform Rotor Rooters on your large intestine, follow these tips one easy ways to get fiber in your diet.
Warning: if you don’t usually eat a lot of fiber, and you start to increase immediately, I would strongly suggest keeping a bathroom close. You have been warned.
1. Berry, Berry Mo’ Merry
Fruit, fruit, and more fruit. In case you missed my previous post, part of my daily routine is drinking my nutritious health shake. In that health shake, one of the main ingredients is frozen fruit. But not just any frozen fruit. My main fruity ingredient are frozen berries. The frozen berries that I blend in my shake are blue berries, black berries and raspberries (I always add extra raspberries for the sweet taste and they have the most grams of fiber).
To give you an idea of how much fiber is in berries, one cup which will equate 21 grams of carbohydrates, will also get you 9 grams of fiber. How amazing is that? I figured that between the berry mix included in my shake that I net somewhere in that 12 to 15 range of grams of fiber. Even better is that they taste good!
2 & 3. Flaxseed and Wheat Germ- The Batman and Robin of Fiber
Also included in my health shake is flaxseed and, at times, wheat germ. I know what you’re thinking: Flax seed? Wheat germ? That’s got to be disgusting! I have to admit, if you ate it by itself, it tastes a lot like cardboard with a dose of chopped up shoestrings. But it’s amazing, when you mix it in the shake and the frozen fruit, you can barely even taste it. It reminds me of orange juice with pulp; just a little heavier on the pulp.
Adding a tablespoon of flaxseed and a few shakes of wheat germ usually gets me another 5 to 6 grams of fiber. As you can see, my health shake alone contributes to a large chunk of that 40 grams of fiber.
4. I’m on a Fiber Mission
The next really easy way to get fiber is a little discovery I came across a couple years ago. Mission, which is well-known for their tortilla chips and salsa, came out with one of the best products for fiber lovers. They released the Mission Carb Balance Fiber Wraps, which I can put almost anything on and enjoy it. One of the most common ways that I’ll eat these wraps is by making an egg burrito or egg white burrito, and having one or possibly two wraps during the day, or sometimes I’ll go through a drive-through like Arby’s and get a roast beef sandwich, and then when I get back to the office, I’ll throw away the bun and then put the meat on the wrap.
One wrap will get you 18 grams of carbohydrates for 11 grams of fiber. 11 grams! It’s pretty easy to eat two of these wraps, so that will net you 22 grams of fiber. If your bowels aren’t moving yet, don’t worry, we’re not done.
5. Fiber + Chocolate Chips = Heaven
Another awesome discovery that was turned on to me by a good friend of mine are Fiber One bars. I like chocolate, and it’s amazing how great one of the oats and chocolate Fiber One bars tastes. If you have a sweet tooth, I strongly recommend this.
One Fiber One bar will get you 29 grams of carbs, but also 9 grams of fiber. I eat one of these at least 5 to 6 days per week. If chocolate is not your thing, they also have a berry flavor which is also very tasty.
6. Go, Go Kashi Fiber Bars!
Another tasty snack when you’re on the go are Kashi Go Lean Bars. They’re a little bit more chewier than the Fiber One Bars but they do have about the same amount of carbohydrates. I don’t eat these every day. I’ll just snack on one of these when I’m on the go and need a quick snack.
One Kashi Bar will get you about 29 grams of carbs with 6 grams of fiber. Why I also like these bars as an alternative to the Fiber One Bars is that they net you about seven grams more of protein, and we all know how much I like protein.
7. Sara Lee Soft and Smooth Like Butter
If you’re all wrapped out, and you actually need some bread, I encourage you to take a look at the Sarah Lee Plus 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I have tried a few other wheat breads that have a little bit higher dose of fiber, but the Sarah Lee far excels their taste. One of my favorite snacks is peanut butter and toast and Sarah Lee definitely fits in with that craving.
Two slices of wheat bread will get you 26 grams of fiber and 12 grams of fiber.
8. Update: New Double Fiber Wheat Bread Discovery
Just the other day I was in the grocery store picking up some of my usual high fiber items when low and behold I discovered this:
Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat Bread! Double Fiber?! Is someone just teasing this fiber lover?
Not at all. Look at the label. For one slice of bread you get 5 grams of fiber, more than double than the Sara Lee that I used to get. How freaking awesome! But how does it taste? Double the fiber usually means, a double inverse on taste.
I’m excited to share that the bread is actually pretty good. Maybe not as good as the Sara Lee, but who cares! It’s the double the fiber, remember?
9, 10, 11, & 12. The Rest of the Fruit of The Loom
Lastly, in case you need some other options to get you 40 grams of fiber, you can also try to incorporate other fruits in your diet. For example, apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes are a good source of fiber. One large apple will get you around 4 grams, a banana will get you around 3 grams, and 1 cup of grapes have just over 1 gram.
13+. Other Notables
These are just a few of the many ways that you can get fiber in your diet. Some other notable mentions are salads (not iceburg lettuce), nuts, green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach), and legumes (beans). In fact, I’ve started to incorporate more black beans in my diet to replace the amount of white rice I was eating. In one 1/2 cup serving of black beans, you’ll get around 6 grams of fiber. On a good day, I’m sure I can crack 50 grams of fiber!