Choosing low fat high fibre foods for a healthy diet
By: Penny Butler, NaturalHealing.com.au
Among the highest fibre foods are cooked legumes (including dried peas and beans), dried fruits, nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and berries. These foods all contain more than six grams of fibre per serving.
Foods which contain from four to six grams of fibre per serving include a baked potato (with the skin), apples, pears, barley, brown rice, bran muffins, lima beans, snow peas, green peas and sweet potatoes.
Further down the scale at two to four grams per serving are vegetables, citrus fruits, whole wheat bread, rye bread and melons. These foods are still good sources of fibre, but you will need to eat more of them to get the full effect. That's fine, though, since they are healthy, nutritious foods in many ways.
In order to enjoy healthier eating habits for life, it is important to make fundamental changes in the way you shop, cook and eat. A diet should be more than a temporary change in eating habits; a true dietary change must be one you can follow for a lifetime.
When doing the weekly grocery shopping, get into the habit of hitting the produce section first. Fill your shopping basket with fresh, in season fruits and vegetables, as they are rich sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fibre. Canned fruits and vegetables are good substitutes when the fresh varieties are out of season.
When choosing baked goods, always try to find those made with more nutritious and fibre rich whole wheat flour, wheat bran, oat bran, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, oatmeal or raisins.
Become a label reader. The federally mandated nutritional labels contain a wealth of valuable information for those who take the time to understand them. Nutritional labels contain valuable information on the calorie content, fibre content, and vitamin content of all packaged foods, and many meats, seafood and poultry products as well.
Finally, there are some popular myths about fibre. It is important to dispel these myths as you seek to increase the level of fibre in the diet.
The first myth concerns the relationship of crispness to level of fibre. In short, the crispness of a food is no indication of the amount of fibre it contains. For instance, the vegetables commonly used in salads, although crisp, are not significant sources of fibre. The crunch of the lettuce is a result of the amount of water it contains, not its fibre content.
Many people also think that cooking foods breaks down fibre - it does not. Cooking has no effect on the fibre content of foods. Peeling vegetables and fruits, however, does remove some of the fibre, since the skins of fruits and vegetables contain fibre. Edible skins, such as apple peels, can be good sources of fibre.
No matter what your reasons for increasing the amount of fibre in your diet, you may well find that this is one of the most positive dietary changes you ever make. Increasing fibre can have a significant impact on your future health and well being, and the change is easier to make than many people think.
Eat a variety of veggies for a healthier you
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