Finding Time for Fiber with a Little Prep and Planning

Finding Time for Fiber with a Little Prep and Planning

Why are so many Americans not getting enough fiber? It may come down to time. We move in a fast-paced society, where the social dynamics of food have changed, while the fundamental principles of fiber have not. We still need fiber, but including it from whole foods, like whole grains, takes planning.

Foods high in fiber delight us with chewy, crunchy and tasty experiences but high-fiber foods can take time to plan, purchase and cook. Due to constraints on our busy lives, we often cut corners in food selection and meal preparation, cutting fiber out of our diet.

Increasing fiber in our diet has health benefits1,2. In order to fully appreciate fiber — and its rich experience of taste and satiety — we can slow down and take time to prepare and enjoy our foods.

Foods with fiber take time to prepare, but planning ahead makes a difference. Bringing more fiber into your life can start simply:

  • Soak beans the night before to reduce dinner preparation time
  • Slice and store fresh fruits and vegetables for easy inclusion in meals
  • Use an apple slicer to quickly create kid-friendly snacks
  • Choose minimally processed prepared foods
  • Cook and freeze home-prepared foods ahead of time

Science is starting to look at the concept of mindful eating, an awareness of how we eat. Preliminary research suggests how we eat can have a beneficial impact on our health.3

With mindful eating, more time for food and small steps to add plant-based whole foods, you can increase your fiber intake and increase the pleasure of your eating experience.

1 Anderson JW et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition Reviews. 2009, 67: 188-205.
2 Du H, et al. Dietary fiber and subsequent changes in body weight and waist circumference in European men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010; 91:329-336.
1 Hepworth NS. A mindful eating group as an adjunct to individual treatment for eating disorders: a pilot study. Eat Disord. 2011; 19(1): 6-16.

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