March 1, 2010

Getting Back to Basics During National Nutrition Month


March is National Nutrition Month, and this year's theme is "Nutrition from the Ground Up". The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices - and God knows, consumers today are faced with a LOT of food choices! This blog regularly highlights new products that are high in fiber - some of which are more "natural" than others. More often than not, the verdict on these new high fiber products is, "they're not bad - but there are better, whole food options out there". 

To celebrate National Nutrition Month - let's get back to basics regarding foods that are high in fiber. The best, naturally-occurring sources of dietary fiber remain:
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
How can you piece these parts of the diet together to meet your fiber needs? The key is to include a little bit of dietary fiber in every meal or snack. American adults should be aiming for at least 30 grams of fiber per day (even though the average American only gets 10 grams per day!) Here is a sample menu to show you how easy it is to get your fiber, without having to resort to fiber-added packaged or processed foods:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (4 grams) made with 1 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup blueberries (4 grams)
  • Medium-sized apple (4 grams) and part-skim mozzarella string cheese
  • Sandwich made with 2 slices 100% whole wheat bread (6 grams), turkey, cheese, lettuce & tomato
  • Medium-sized pear (5 grams)
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt with 1/2 cup high fiber cereal (3 grams)
  • Burrito made with 100% whole wheat tortilla (6 grams), 1/2 cup black beans (8 grams), reduced fat cheese, salsa and chicken
  • Green salad with 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (3 grams)
Grand total grams of dietary fiber in this daily menu: 43 grams!