How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

Posted By on May 15, 2023

For adults over the age of 50, the recommended daily fiber intake is 21 grams per day for women and 30 grams per day for men. However, almost 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diet. So, how can you get more fiber in your diet? 

Many doctors and nutritionists encourage individuals to get as much fiber as possible because of its many health benefits. HarborChase Senior Living is dedicated to improving the wellness of residents by creating an environment of intentional senior living communities. 

The first step to celebrating each and every day begins with healthy living, so we’re sharing how to get more fiber in your diet

How Can Fiber Improve My Health?

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that your stomach cannot digest. At first, this might sound concerning; we’re often told that consuming foods that are difficult to digest can lead to health concerns and create problems for our gastrointestinal system. Don’t be alarmed, though; the fact that our bodies can’t digest fiber is a good thing in this case!

Because fiber leaves the stomach undigested, it moves to the colon, where it serves as food for gut bacteria, which are a part of the important microbiome that helps your body function properly. 

Dietary fiber can help keep your body maintained the way it should be, providing many health benefits, including:

  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Promoting healthy weight
  • Preventing constipation
  • Controlling blood sugar

In addition, “high-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you’re likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food (Mayo Clinic).”

We know that the daily intake recommendation for older adults is 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men, which is less than the recommended amount for younger individuals. Finding the right amount of fiber is crucial to reaping the benefits; too much fiber can lead to gastrointestinal issues (like bloating, cramping, and gas), and too little can cause constipation and increase the risk of certain diseases. 

Get More Fiber: Use the Right Ingredients

When you go to the grocery store, you’re met with many products that might seem like they’re packed with fiber due to the carbohydrates and promises on stickers or labels. Fiber, however, is typically found in high qualities in whole foods. Whole foods consist of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, and oatmeal, to name a few. 

Be sure to steer clear of any processed or refined food items, as they go through a reduction of fiber when they go through what’s known as refinement. This means that the grains used to make foods like white bread, for instance, are stripped of their fiber sources during processing. 

Here are a few examples of some excellent, fiber-packed ingredients to implement in your diet:

  • Chickpeas: 11 Grams of Fiber per Serving
  • Broccoli: 5 Grams of Fiber per Serving 
  • Whole Wheat Bread: 2 Grams of Fiber per Serving
  • Apples: 4 Grams of Fiber per Serving
  • Quinoa: 5 Grams of Fiber per Serving
  • Bananas: 3 Grams of Fiber per Serving
  • Cooked Oatmeal: 4 Grams of Fiber per Serving

You can snack on fruits and vegetables throughout the day to gain some extra fiber and switch out your typical lunches for salads packed with delicious veggies. You can also add a cup of cooked whole grains, like quinoa or chickpeas, to salads, soups, and protein-based dishes! Try incorporating more plant-based foods into your daily meals and snacks as well. 

“However, some people may still need a fiber supplement if dietary changes aren’t sufficient or if they have certain medical conditions… Check with your doctor before taking fiber supplements (Mayo Clinic).”

At HarborChase, our senior living communities revolve around enhancing wellness through life enrichment programs, resort-style amenities, and exceptional dining opportunities. Our elevated dining redefines any past ideas about senior living food; our culinary artists prepare fresh, nutritious meals that combine indulgent flavors with incredible attention to health detail.

Find a HarborChase community near you and start celebrating senior living with us!