Even if you regularly reach for plenty of protein and healthy fat, your diet could be falling short if you aren’t eating enough high-fiber foods. Long known for its ability to keep your digestive system happy, fiber is also one of the keys to feeling full throughout the day, which will keep you from overeating. And researchers have reason to believe fiber’s slimming abilities extend beyond just satiety.
In a video from The New York Times, Stanford professor Justin Sonnenburg explained that fiber is crucial for feeding our gut bacteria. Without enough, these bacteria become depleted, leading to obesity and other health issues. And since most Americans are falling woefully short on the recommended daily amount, according to one 2012 review, we’re all at risk for health problems down the road.
Luckily, getting more fiber into your meals is easier than you think. With these seven simple changes, you’ll be eating better than ever.
1. Have whole fruit instead of juice at breakfast
If pouring a glass of OJ is a regular part of your morning routine, it might be time to say so long to the juice. While the drink is packed with nutrients like vitamin C, it usually doesn’t contain any fiber. Even the versions packed with pulp only provide only about 1 gram per 8 ounces, according to Calorie Count. If you opt for the whole fruit, the nutrition site shows you’ll score an even higher vitamin tally and more than 3 grams of fiber. And bonus, you’ll consume just 69 calories per orange compared to juice’s 120 calories per 8-ounce portion.