By Kevin Dietmeyer, Recent ASU Nutrition Student
“I can’t get my kids to stop eating fiber,” said no one ever. As adults, so often you hear, “I eat plenty of protein,” or “I make sure to watch my carbs late at night and I don’t cook with too many oils.” It’s not often that you hear of someone having a problem consuming too much fiber. It’s also not often that you hear of someone struggling with being overweight, or the onset of disease or early aging because of their fiber-laden diet. Maybe that’s a signal that you need more fiber in your life. After all, if it doesn’t start with you, how will your kids learn to love fiber as much as you do?
You need more fiber. Fibrous foods often tend to be more nutritious than alternatives.
Here are some powerful reasons to eat more fiber
- They’re bulky
That’s right, fibrous foods tend to be bulky foods and I’m talking about bulky in the sense of satiety. The bulky nature of fibrous foods make them quite filling and you’ll be less likely to overeat. You’ll also eat less often because the bulk of these foods will keep you feeling fuller, longer. So, go ahead and have an extra helping of fiber because the extra bulk may stave off the extra…bulk, if you know what I mean.
- It’s all good
You can have too much of a good thing and healthy foods are no exception. You can overeat on protein, and even miss the mark on carbohydrates. Excess protein can elevate blood sugar and be shelved away as extra fluff around your waist even if it’s all grilled chicken and fish. Too many carbohydrates or fats and…well, you can do the math. The USDA reports that “…a high intake of dietary fiber will not produce deleterious effects in healthy individuals.” When it comes having too much of a good thing, try some extra fiber on for size because it’s all good.
- Fight off disease
If living longer and staying disease-free sounds good to you, then you should start eating more fiber. Average fiber intake in the US for children and adults are less than half of what they should be1. This means that your kids are at risk for missing out when it comes to lowering their risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. A diet high in fiber keeps glucose levels in check and improves insulin sensitivity in both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals1. Extra insulin sensitivity is probably another reason why a fiber-rich diet is associated with enhanced weight loss1.
So, you want to eat more fiber
Where can you find fiber and how can you get your kids to eat it each day? Remember, the more variety you can offer in color, texture, and flavor the more appealing fibrous foods will be to your kiddos. Here are some great sources of dietary fiber you can start stocking the pantry with today:
Whole grain bread and cereal
Baked potato, skin on
Carrots (try a humus dip)
To learn more about fiber and other ways to eat healthy, visit Fill Your Plate. Type the word ‘fiber’ into the keyword search on the blog page, and browse through the recipe section to find delicious and fiber-filled recipes!
If you liked this article:
- Anderson J, Baird P, Williams C, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition Reviews [serial online]. April 2009;67(4):188-205. Available from: SPORTDiscus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 9, 2016.
- Kids Health from Nemours. Fiberyou’re your Child. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fiber.html Accessed on 10/22/16.