We all want better poop.
In fact, I would argue we want a lot of things when it comes to our health and quality of life (for instance, to maintain a healthy weight, avoid being diagnosed with cancer, and not get stuck paying for and popping a handful of pills everyday).
The good news is, we don’t have to continue sitting around (on the toilet or elsewhere), waiting for there to be a solution to these desires. Because the truth is, a high fiber diet offers all these benefits and more!
Fiber to the rescue!
Fiber can be either soluble or insoluble, with each offering a variety of health benefits including:
- increased satiety
- lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- decreased risk of heart disease
- better control of blood sugar and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and
- improved gut health
Fiber is found in all sorts of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.
How much fiber do we need?
The FDA recommends 25 grams of fiber daily. In general, a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 15 grams of fiber per 1000 calories eaten each day. That might sound like a lot, considering the average American only eats about 15 grams of fiber total each day, but by focusing on incorporating more plant foods into the diet, most of us can easily reach, or surpass, this goal.
What’s more, there really is no upper limit on fiber consumption. In fact, it’s thought that our Paleolithic ancestors, who ate a diet of mostly plants, consistently ate almost 100 grams of fiber daily!
Be careful . . .
I’d like to now mention a caveat to this whole load up on fiber thing, and that is, it’s best to get fiber from real, whole foods. Fiber supplementation, though perhaps tempting, does not offer the same variety of fiber (and therefore benefits) as does a fiber-rich diet; nor does supplementation give all the other benefits of a fiber-rich diet, like more nutrients and less room for junk food that may be damaging to our health (read, more vegetables usually means fewer donuts).
Importantly, transitioning too quickly from a low fiber diet to a high fiber diet can lead to unwanted side effects, like stomach aches, cramping, bloating, and gas. Do yourself a favor and transition slowly, making substitutions for less fiber-rich foods (like refined carbohydrates and animals products) to more fiber-rich foods (like those below) gradually.
Which foods are highest in fiber?
As mentioned previously, fiber is found in all sorts of plant foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. Some are better than others, but we really can’t go wrong when eating tons of plants! Below are some high fiber foods.
What does a day’s worth of fiber look like anyway?
Getting 30+ grams of fiber daily may seem difficult at first, but it’s actually quite doable with a plant-based diet. To prove it, here is an example of a 2000 calorie meal plan, which prioritizes fruits, veggies, lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grains, and tops out at a whopping 52 grams of fiber!
Start off with a sweet a satisfying breakfast, enjoy a big salad for lunch and a stuffed bell pepper with a side of sautéed broccoli for dinner, and treat yourself to a bit of chocolate (because what’s a day without chocolate)!
Do you like this meal plan? Tweet it out!Get better poop with this fiber rich meal plan! Click To Tweet How to pack 50g of fiber into 2000kcal, no supplements needed! Click To Tweet
For more information of fiber, and to see the fiber content of a wide variety of whole foods, click here.
Now I’d love to here from you! Do you struggle to get enough fiber in your diet? Or have you found ways to get more fiber each day? Leave a comment below 🙂
Until next week,