Fiber fights fat

Got the munchies? Pick up on fiber-filled foods. Fiber fights fat. And those muffin-tops dancing above your belt are outdated.

Visceral fat – margarine-like fat that sticks to your middle – increases risk of diabetes and heart disease. Studies show eating more fiber every day (recommendations are 28-35 grams per day; most Americans eat around 11 grams) yields a 10-pound weight loss over a year. That may seem insignificant until you consider the ease of filling up on fiber, not to mention better tasting food choices. Get this…..every 10 gram increase in soluble fiber you consume every day will reduce your waistline fat by 4% over five years. Obesity, June 16, 2011.

To load up on soluble fiber found in plant-based foods, try these easy tips:

  • Make homemade muffins using whole wheat flour, ground flaxseeds, and oats instead of bleached white flour.
  • Cook a diced apple into oatmeal.
  • Grate carrots into soups and stews.
  • Snack on carrot, celery and radish sticks dipped in low-fat dressing.
  • Sprinkle hemp hearts onto hot or cold cereal.
  • Make a bean or lentil soup once a week.
  • Sip a quart of green smoothie made with an apple, 2 carrot, 5-inch piece of cucumber, 1 frozen banana, 2 c. baby spinach and 2 dates. Oh, and lots of water if you use a Vita-Mix or blender. Fiber will thicken the smoothie – imagine that in your tummy keeping hunger at bay.
  • Swap 1/4 – 1/2 c. dried oats for flour in cookie recipes.
  • Top green leafy lettuce salads with chickpeas or kidney beans.
  • Mix ‘n match cereals for a greater total fiber level. Choose cereals with at least 5 grams fiber and less than 10 grams sugar per serving.
  • Consider a veggie supper – sauteed kale, buttered carrot and parsnip pennies, roasted asparagus or green beans, and slow-cooked pinto beans.
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