The Benefits of Fiber: For Your Heart, Weight, and Energy
Start Your Day With Whole Grains
We don’t eat enough fiber. On average, we get less than half of what we need of this nutrient that can lower cholesterol, prevent constipation, and improve digestion. Most whole grains are a great source of fiber. Start at breakfast: Look for whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving. Add fruit and you’ll be on your way to the daily goal of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women.
Fiber and Fresh Fruit
Any type of fresh fruit is a healthy snack. But when it comes to fiber, all fruits are not created equal. One large Asian pear has a whopping 9.9 grams of fiber. Other high-fiber fruits include raspberries (4 grams per 1/2 cup), blackberries (3.8 grams per 1/2 cup), bananas (2.4 grams each), and blueberries (2 grams per 1/2 cup). Pears and apples — with the skin on — are also high-fiber choices.
Try Whole-Grain Bread and Crackers
Keep the grains coming at lunch. Eat a sandwich on whole-grain bread. Or dip whole-grain crackers into your favorite healthy spread. Whole grains include the entire grain — bran, germ, and endogerm — giving you all the nutrients of the grain. Studies show that adding whole grains and other high-fiber foods to your diet may also reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.