Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fiber Helps You Lose Weight & Fiber-Rich Recipes

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Most Americans only get half of the fiber the ADA recommends every day, about 14-15 grams of the 25-30 grams we need.  Many people eat even less than that.

Fiber normalizes bowel movements, lowers cholesterol, helps control blood sugar, and may reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer.  Fiber also helps you lose weight.  (MayoClinic)

Fiber helps you lose weight by
  1. Increasing the time it takes to chew food.  Foods with lots of fiber require more chewing, slowing down how quickly you consume calories.  Food companies know this too, making crackers and chips as easy to chew as possible, leading you to eat too much.  Your body doesn't have a chance to tell you that you are full.
  2. Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomachs longer than other carbohydrates.  It takes longer for us to become hungry again.
  3. Fiber also prevents those spikes and drops in blood sugar that we have when we eat refined carbohydrates.  When we eat foods that are easily converted to sugar (white breads, rice, potatoes, etc.), there is a spike in insulin, then a drop which causes us to get hungry again. Fiber keeps our blood sugar at a steady level.
Of course, you can take fiber tablets like Benefiber or drink psyllium supplements like Metamucil.  However, fiber works best if we replace refined starches for high fiber grains.

Here are some ideas:
  1. Replace white bread with high fiber, whole grain breads.  Make sure you read the label and check for fiber grams and fructose on wheat breads.  Some varieties are simply white bread with a little natural coloring, making it look healthier. Nutritionally, it is the same as white bread.
  2. Even better, make your own bread so you know what ingredients are in it.  You can try out Louise and Kenny's Rye Bread.  I will also share Freezer Biscuits and Matty's Waffles with you this week.
  3. Flaxseed.  You can add it to bread recipes, use it to top cereal or oatmeal, and use it as breading for chicken or fish.  I will show you how this week.
  4. Snack on crisp bread or knäckebröd like Wasa crackers or Ry-Crisp.  They are high in fiber with very few ingredients and minimal processing.
This week I am going to share recipes with higher fiber.  Here is a preview of what I will post for you.
  • Monday: I will share my recipe for Freezer Biscuits with you.  Make up the dough, cut out the biscuits and freeze them to bake later.  High in fiber, the recipe is a great way to make your own convenience food.
  • Tuesday: You will learn how to make a tasty, high fiber breading for baked fish or chicken.
  • Wednesday: Read what Mike ate Wednesday.  My husband wants to lose 15 lbs. and has asked me to create a diet for him.  I'm so excited! 
  • Thursday: I will make whole grain waffles for my four year-old.  It is another recipe that can be made ahead and frozen to reheat later. 
  • See whose blogs I am reading on Follow Friday!
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