Only those eligible to join the AARP should worry about their fiber intake, right?
Au contraire. The average American gets less than half of the ADA’s recommended daily dose of fiber — 25-35 grams for women and 38 g for men. And a lack of dietary fiber is a major risk factor for gaining weight. Conversely, eating a high-fiber diet can help you drop pounds because of its ability to fill you up faster and to slow sugar absorption in your bloodstream after meals (fiber is one of the key nutrients emphasized in the DASH diet, recently ranked best overall diet by U.S. News & World Report).
Want to add more fiber this summer? You’re in luck: Many warm-weather staples are also rich in dietary fiber.
Artichoke: 1 cup of artichoke hearts has about 10 grams of fiber.
Avocado: Any reason to eat more avocado is awesome, right? So how about this: One serving of avocado has about 10 grams of fiber.
Beans: Almost all varieties are high in fiber, but navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans rank among the highest.
Berries: Both raspberries and blackberries are fiber-gods among fruit, with about 8 grams of fiber per cup of berries.
Cinnamon: An easy way to add fiber without adding calories, one tablespoon of ground cinnamon has almost 4 grams of fiber.
Larabars: These packaged raw fruit-and-nut bars come in a gazillion different flavors and pack about 4-5 grams of fiber per bar.
Passion Fruit: About 12 grams of fiber per half cup.
Peas: Oh-so-in-season right now, 1 cup of cooked peas has about 8 grams of fiber.
Sun-dried tomatoes: Throw some on a salad or pizza for an extra 6.6 grams of fiber (per cup).
Whole Grains: Amaranth is your best bet, with 9 grams of fiber per serving. But whole-wheat spaghetti (6 g), barley (6 g), bulgur (4 g), brown rice (3.5 g) and quinoa (3 grams) are good fiber options as well.