Many different studies have shown just how good fiber is for you. It aids in digestion, it prevents certain types of cancer and it can make you feel full quicker so you eat less. Just about every person could use more fiber in their diet, but it can be hard to get enough during the day. If you're interested in getting all of fiber's benefits, but aren't sure how, here are five ways you can sneak a little fiber into your diet that are quick, easy and perfect for the person who wants to be healthy. Some even work for those of you who are always on the go.
One of the easiest ways to sneak fiber into your diet is to use the half-and-half solution. This means that when you eat certain meals, mix high-fiber ingredients with your regular low-fiber versions. This works well with things like cereal, crackers and other prepared foods. You can also make it work with pasta and rice, though you'll need to cook them separately since they have wildly different cooking times.
If you're going to snack, you should make your snacks as healthy and fiber-rich as possible. Therefore, make snack time fiber time. Look for snack crackers made from whole grains (not multigrain or anything like that but actual whole grains), apples, avocados, and pears (which are all high in fiber) or yogurt with whole fruit in it. Most of these snacks are transportable (especially small bags of snack crackers) and can be eaten on the go.
If you're making sauces, soups or stews, you can use fiber powder to thicken the sauce. When you do this, though, be careful. Most over-the-counter fiber powders are powerful thickening agents, so a little bit goes a long way. If you want to give this a try, though, it can be a nice way to add a little extra fiber where none might exist otherwise. Plus, you can always practice. Just add a little fiber powder to a glass of water to see how it thickens. Once you have a feel for the powder, add it to your dish a little at a time.
Salads are a major source of fiber by themselves. However, if you're looking for a fiber-rich salad, go for romaine lettuce and bok choy for your bases and look for things like avocado, chickpeas and blueberries as salad toppers. In fact, if you are out and about and order a salad, ask the restaurant to add fiber-rich toppings like chickpeas to your salad. Many restaurants will have ingredients like this on hand. Also, if you are making your own dressing, you can add a little fiber powder to it.
If you are looking to cook something with a coating (perhaps deep-frying or baking chicken with a crunchy coating), fiber is your friend. You can always add some fiber to the recipe for the coating, or you can use high-fiber options like whole grain breads and crackers or fiber powder mixed with spices instead of regular breadcrumbs.
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