When my children were young, I prepared the Standard American Diet comprised of large amounts of meat, dairy products including cheese, milk, and butter, and processed foods. Most of which has zero fiber. At that time, I had an annual visit with my doctor:
Doctor, “We all need more fiber to our diet. If you start adding fiber now, you’ll feel better and remain healthy throughout your life.”
Me, “Ok-what do you suggest?”
Doctor, “Purchase a fiber drink mix at the market and drink it twice a day.”
Me, “OK, I’ll purchase the fiber drink mix on my way home and start drinking it twice a day.”
Now, as I review that conversation, his advice to immediately add more fiber to my diet was brilliant and wise. However, it did not occur to either of us to increase my consumption of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense foods. Furthermore, he did not suggest I reduce the foods in my diet having little to zero fiber rather than first defaulting to a fiber mix purchased at the market.
I purchased the fiber drink that day but found it unpalatable. I purchased fiber mixes several times after my initial trial and again could not develop the habit as it continues to be unpalatable. Fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, however, are delicious and enjoyable to eat. Additionally, they are high in fiber and contain water and necessary nutrients. Now, my whole food plant-based way of eating is naturally high fiber, highly nutritious, and low in salt, oil, saturated fat, and sugar. There is no need for me to purchase fiber mixes at the market.
Why is fiber important? Fiber promotes a healthy digestive system, improves the feeling of fullness, and, among other benefits, carries cholesterol out of our bodies. Mayo Clinic states in their article regarding fiber that plant-based foods are the best fiber source. Mayo Clinic also states that fiber is essential for health-promoting gut bacteria to thrive.
Meat – zero fiber
Dairy – zero fiber
Many Processed foods – little to no fiber remaining
Dr. Michael Greger wrote the book How Not To Die along with the How Not To Die Cookbook. He also published a free app that lists the whole foods and serving sizes we should aspire to eat throughout the day. Forks Over Knives also offers several cookbooks along with an app for your phone or computer containing recipes that will help you on your journey.
The Nutritious Plant Based Bran Muffin is full of fiber and will answer your sweet cravings. I love to batch cook the Nutritious Plant Based Bran Muffin to keep in the freezer within easy reach. They are delicious anytime of the day.
Enjoy your fiber!
Disclaimer: This is not to be used as medical advice. Always refer to your Doctor about health and diet related changes.