Weight loss and foods that are better choices for Fiber
Are there magic foods that we can eat all day and still lose weight? No seriously: Are there? Please tell me! So far I haven’t found any… But there are some foods that are relatively low in calories yet have high nutritive value, either because they are high in fiber, phytonutrients such as antioxidants, or high in protein. These are foods to keep handy in the pantry, refrigerator, or garden and eat daily. Train your family – particularly children – to snack on these top ten foods rather than chips and sodas and you’ll be ahead of the nutrition curve before you know it!
Fiber is critical. Remember your grandmother telling you to eat more “roughage”? Well she was right! We need at least 25 grams a day, and ideally 35 grams a day, for a healthy bowel. I think the correlation between high fiber diets and lower cancer rates is not just from fiber but is synergistic, since most high fiber diets are high in fruits and vegetables, which are also high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients. But, fiber is clearly also very important and few Americans get enough.
Here is my current top ten list of high fiber low calorie foods:
- Raspberries rank as one of the highest high fiber low calorie foods, at 8.0 grams of fiber and just 64 calories per serving (1-cup) (1 calorie per raspberry!).
- Pears have about 5.1 grams of fiber and only 51 calories for a medium sized pear. They are easy to pack in a lunch and store well.
- Apples provide about 4.4 grams of fiber, at roughly 55 calories for a small apple. Choose organic as apples are on the EWG dirty dozen list 2012.
- Blueberries provide about 3.5 grams of fiber, and roughly 40 calories for 50 berries. Choose organic as blueberries are on the EWG dirty dozen list 2012.
- Strawberries provide about 3.3 grams of fiber and average about 2 calories per strawberry. Choose organic as strawberries are on the EWG dirty dozen list 2012.
- Black beans – 1 cup has 15 grams of fiber – along with 15 grams of protein – and just 227 calories
- Whole-wheat spaghetti weighs in at 6.3 g of fiber per serving and approximately 174 calories per 1-cup serving (always check the label as brands vary try gluten free)
- One cup of steal oatmeal provides 4.0 grams of fiber and about 60 calories per serving
- Whole wheat or multigrain breads offer 1.9 grams per slice and some start at 65 calories per slice (always check the label as brands vary – a lot!!!) (Again try gluten free)
- Cooked peas, at a whopping 8.8 g of fiber and a low 67 calories per cup serving size. Turn a cup of peas into instant soup with a stick blender and some vegetable stock.
What are food we can leave out?
- Canned baked beans – pack a lot of fiber per serving, but also lots of sugar and sodium.
- Processed foods – yes a processed food with added fiber is better than one without, but stick to the foods that mother nature made high in fiber for optimum health.
- Using your favorite app (mine is MyFitnessPal available on the app store and at myfitnesspal.com) track your food intake and see how much fiber you’re really getting!