Whole-grain products are a great source of fiber - so are raw or cooked fruits and vegetables, dried beans, and peas. Refined or processed foods — such as fruit juice, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber content. The refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.
Here are some ways to eat more whole-grains:
- Switch to whole-grain breads. These breads list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label. Ideally, look for one with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
- Substitute whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking bread. Whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour. In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer. When using baking powder, increase it by 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of whole-grain flour.
- Experiment with brown rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur.