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Q: How can I get more fiber?

Posted March 19, 2014 in Advice Column

A: The average American eats only half the daily recommended amount of fiber, which is 30 – 40 grams of fiber/day depending on your age. There are numerous health benefits to getting your daily dose of fiber including lowering your cholesterol, providing a feeling of fullness, and adding healthy bacteria to your gut.

Whole grain vs. fiber
Don’t be fooled by whole grain and be sure to flip for fiber. This means turning over the label to make sure the claim is true. If a product claims to be 100 percent whole wheat, then the first ingredient most likely is whole wheat providing at least two to three grams of fiber or more per serving. If a package reads wheat, natural, multi-grain or whole grain, you must check to verify that whole wheat is the first ingredient listed and then that the fiber grams/serving are at least three grams or more. If the first ingredient reads “enriched” or “refined,” then chances are the fiber grams per serving are equal to or less than one gram.

Ways to add more fiber to your diet
• Try to have at least one fruit and or vegetable with each meal.
• Leave the skin on fruits and vegetables.
• Serve hummus instead of high-fat dips.
• Include a whole grain at each meal and snack
• Add beans to soup and casseroles.

Information provided by Shelley Woodall, RD, LD, Hy-Vee Dietitian, 823 Second St., Webster City, 515-832-3117,

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