Updated: Jan 15, 2019
Did you start a diet for the new year? Keto? Mediterranean? Whole 30? No Carbs? Counting calories?
There are so so many, how do you choose which is best for you?
This week we will look at a few different diets and their pros and cons. But, for now, there is ONE thing you can do with your diet that will help and never fail you! Can you guess what it is?
It may not be the sexiest suggestion, but it works—count your fiber! Don't count calories, sugar, saturated fat or anything else. If you're going to spend your time and energy counting then count your fiber intake and shoot for the recommended 25-30 grams a day. Most Americans only receive 15 grams a day. The lack of fiber leads to overeating, weight gain, fatigue, eating foods devoid of nutrition, uncontrolled blood sugar, higher risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes and many more unhealthy consequences.
The long-term goal is actually not to count anything at all. When you eat foods high in fiber (many of which are also high in water) you feel full and naturally eat less calories, saturated fat and sugar. But, initially, it's good to make sure you're getting enough fiber. Before you know it you'll notice your body start to want healing, high fiber foods and automatically start choosing foods that are better for your health and your body.
Getting adequate fiber can help:
achieve weight loss
provide sustained energy
control blood sugar
decrease risk of diabetes
reduce blood pressure
improve gut health
improve bone health
How do you get 25-30 grams of fiber a day? First—meat, dairy, poultry and eggs have zero fiber (and zero disease-fighting phytonutrients, but that's for another conversation). Secondly—you can get plenty of fiber from eating more whole, plant-based foods. Below is a list of high fiber foods. Bumping up your fiber intake can be as simple as adding lentils to a salad, switching from white bread or pasta to whole wheat, adding a cup of berries to your morning cereal or oatmeal, or switching out white rice for quinoa. Also, add leafy greens and all kinds of veggies to sandwiches, salads and buddha bowls whenever you can. Soon, you'll notice feeling full faster, having more sustained energy and feeling lighter and healthier through increased plants in your diet.
1 cup blueberries or strawberries, 4 grams fiber
1 cup raspberries, 8 grams fiber
1 pear, 5 grams fiber
1 apple, 4-5 grams fiber
1 banana, 3 grams fiber
1/2 cup dates, 6 grams fiber
1 mango, 5 grams fiber
1 cup brussel sprouts, 4 grams fiber
1 cup broccoli or cauliflower, 2 grams fiber
1 medium carrot, 2 grams fiber
1 cup spinach, 4 grams fiber
1 cup kale, 3 grams fiber
1 cup yellow corn, 6 grams fiber
1 cup barley, 6 grams fiber
1 cup quinoa, 5 grams fiber
1 cup oatmeal, 5 grams fiber
1 cup amaranth, 5 grams fiber
1 cup farro, 7 grams fiber
1 cup wheat berries, 12 grams fiber
3 cups popcorn, 3.5 grams fiber
1 slice whole grain bread, 2-5 grams fiber
Legumes, nuts, seeds
1 cup cooked lentils, 16 grams fiber
1 cup cooked black beans, 15 grams fiber
1 cup cooked split peas, 16 grams fiber
1 cup cooked chickpeas, 12 grams fiber
1 ounce chia seeds, 10 grams fiber
1 ounce hemp seeds, 2 grams fiber
1 ounce pumpkin seeds, 5 grams fiber
1 ounce sunflower seeds, 3 grams fiber
1 ounce peanuts, 2.5 grams fiber
1 ounce walnuts, 2 grams fiber
1 ounce almonds, 4 grams fiber
1 ounce pistachios, 3 grams fiber
1/2 cup pecans, 2 grams fiber
P.S. Dark chocolate has 4-5 grams of fiber per ounce! Don't forget your daily dose of dark chocolate—good for your heart, good for your mind and good for your soul. AND, it's been shown to help with weight loss. Eat it daily.