The consumption of foods with fiber is fundamental for our organism since it helps us both to improve the activity of the digestive system and to prevent numerous diseases associated with that part of the body. Regular consumption of fiber prevents or makes us better prepared for cardiovascular, respiratory or infectious diseases . One of the effects that we can notice more quickly and directly is the reduction of problems associated with poor digestion such as constipation or weight gain.
Adding foods with fiber to our diet also helps us to reduce blood glucose levels and avoid sugar spikes. Being a complex carbohydrate, its structure is made up of two or more chain sugars. This allows our body to take longer to digest them and for the energy to be distributed over the hours. That is, we will be more satiated and for less time, without having to eat again after a short while .
The deception of fiber products
Products with fiber are often marketed in large supermarkets that neither have all the amount of fiber it seems, nor are they as healthy as we think. The comparison is that simple: if we take a healthy apple and cut it into slices; and on top of each slice we put several sugar cubes, do we get a healthy ‘aperitif’? Clearly not, it would be better not to eat the apple or remove the sugar cubes. The same happens with fiber . It is useless to buy cereals with fiber containing sugar , sweeteners and other harmful substances.
First common mistake: fruit juices
Many people still think that fruit juices are a healthy and fast alternative to consuming fruit. However, it is the worst possible option. A juice does not contain the fiber of the fruit , nor other of its vitamins, it only has a load of sugars: fructose. And this is worse if we think of the juices from the supermarket, which contain added sugar or sweetener. It is important to emphasize that a juice does not provide fiber and that it is still a wrong option for breakfast or snack in many homes.
What is the solution? To consume the fruit in an equally appetizing and fast way, you can use a shake or a smoothie . To make the smoothie, the whole piece of fruit has to be crushed, so we obtain all its properties. And the same happens with a smoothie, with the difference that the fruit is previously frozen. If the fruit is combined with a milk of plant origin, such as almond milk, the fiber contribution is double .
Second common mistake: cereals and cookies with fiber
If we take that day for breakfast or the snack we mentioned above, there are other foods with fiber that appear on a recurring basis. They tend to use cereals and biscuits with fiber, however, when reading the fine print the reality is different. On the one hand, cookies are usually made with refined flour , in addition to having a large amount of sugar. On the other hand, when thinking of a supposedly high fiber cereal, what flavor comes to mind? Very sweet. Because fiber is accompanied by a large amount of sugar.
The ideal option is to substitute that bowl of industrial cereals with milk, or that bowl of cookies with industrial cocoa, for a oatmeal-based breakfast bowl . Or granola with nuts, fruit and seeds. Both will satisfy us much more, and give us energy for longer. Cookies can also be an option if you are avoiding refined wheat flours. oatmeal cookies , which contain nuts or seeds, are a great combination. And if you want to accompany them with a cup of milk with cocoa, it is better to opt for natural cocoa without sugar.
Third common mistake: whole wheat bread
People who turn to whole wheat bread are concerned about their diet, and they choose this option because they think it is healthier than a normal plan. For example, they consider that they consume more fiber. However, this type of bread does not usually have a high percentage of wholemeal flour, but instead contains a mixture of processed flours. These flours, such as wheat flour , provide much less fiber, and cause spikes in blood glucose. They are less filling, and have a much higher caloric density.
Fourth common mistake: rice and pasta
The pillars of the daily diet for many people: pasta and rice. They have penetrated our lives, and the industry recommends them as base of the food pyramid to the detriment of the fat in meat, fish or fruit. That is to say: we have filled our day to day with simple carbohydrates that provide us with a sugar and energy boost as fast as a passenger.
Carbohydrates, unlike fats, are not essential macronutrients for our body, so it makes no sense to build our entire diet around their consumption. Rice is a cereal that many people turn to thinking especially about the fiber intake, however, there are much more complete options and less harmful.
What are the best foods with fiber?
The fiber in industrial cereal bars is not the same as quinoa or an oatmeal porridge. There are many nutrient-dense fiber foods with higher fiber intakes than commonly eaten products. The most abundant and direct sources of fiber are vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds .
- Vegetables such as sweet potato, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, carrots, lettuce …
- Quinoa and oats: the substitute for traditional cereals
- Fruits: kiwi, coconut, banana, figs, blackberries …
- Nuts: almonds, pistachios …
- Seeds: chia, flax, sesame …
And the best of all of them is that they can be combined with each other to obtain delicious recipes. The seeds can be added to a salad with granola, or to a bowl of oatmeal. And they allow us to make seed crackers to which we can spread a cream of nuts with some slices of fruit. Granola and oatmeal are also perfect options for breakfast. And with fruits and vegetables it can be made from a cream to a smoothie.
Don’t worry if not enough ideas come to mind. Write down the following recipes with very healthy and complete fiber foods:
Homemade seed crackers
Quinoa sushi with peanut butter
Strawberry and tomato gazpacho
Chia and red fruit ice cream
Homemade pizza with almond flour and quinoa
Vegan fruit and vegetable smoothie
Breakfast bowl with goji berry, ginger and cinnamon granola
The hidden sugar in your daily diet