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High Fiber Food =)

Hi Everyone~
My friend just found out that she has to add more fiber in her diet, but with school & work, she always finds herself eating out. What are some food choices in various restaurants that include fiber, whole grains, etc.

T. I A.

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  1. Prolly can help but what is needed are her locations for work, home, etc (general of course). Also any dietary restrictions, preferences, etc., would be helpful. With that info I bet you get a good amount in response.

    1. Do you know the reason? Just wondering if she's seeking out sources of soluble or insoluble fiber in particular (though many high-fiber foods contain a combination of both)....

      1. Indian food was my first thought, especially vegetarian dishes -- lots of greens/saag, lentils and other legumes (dal), and other veggies. Middle eastern and similar cuisines also often include plenty of legumes which are great sources of fiber. Falafel in a whole wheat pita is a good choice.

        I think a big but common mistake is to try to eat at the same places, just ordering different stuff. At most fast-food joints and Applebees-type places, even if they have salads, you're adding a fairly negligible amount of fiber when you swap a small salad for your fries. Vegan and vegetarian restaurants almost always have high-fiber, nutritious options. Even the salad bar and hot bar at a Whole Foods would be a great place to find a variety of high-fiber foods.

        Furthermore, if there's a serious health issue, it doesn't take that much to pack high-fiber lunches that can be eaten cold (bulgur wheat and lentil salad wrapped in lettuce leaves, or homemade brown rice california rolls). Snacks can be a good source of fiber too. I love pumpkin seeds in the shell, and 1/3 cup serving of those has 28% of the RDA of fiber. Fruit is another one that's portable, requires no prep, and is a great source of fiber.

          1. Surely she snacks between meals? Pears great for fiber, apples too--but you have to eat the peel! For dining out, beans!

            1. The parameters are a bit vague, so unfortunately the answer is as well. Least processed foods are best. For breakfast, oats and fresh fruit. For lunch and dinner, stick with the least adulterated selections. Pick leafy greens and other vegetables, fresh fruit, whole beans and lentils, and whole grains like farro, barley and brown rice. Beware the whole grain bakery product -- it could be healthy or obscenely unhealthy -- you need more information to decide. As 4Snisl asks, the reason for the increased fiber intake matters. For instance if you are trying to reduce cholesterol, you would increase fiber and reduce dairy. I would agree with LauraGrace that Mediterranean and Indian are generally good selections -- but you still need to choose knowledgeably. Men's Health Magazine has a regular feature Eat This, Not That which might be helpful if you are looking at chain restaurants. http://eatthis.menshealth.com/home

              1. Lentil Soup :)


                Butternut Squash - like the puree at California Chicken Cafe

                Baked Sweet Potato if they've got it... not HUGE fiber, but good in the skin, and allows for a sweet treat esp sprinkled with cinnamon

                Roasted or Grilled Veggie Appetizers

                Black beans wrapped in whole wheat tortillas -- some places have em

                Not recommending it necessarily but Olive Garden does offer whole wheat linguine...

                1. avocado (think guacamole), black soybeans, kabocha squash or pumpkin, strawberries, rhubarb, nuts, seeds, green beans, leafy veggies, rutabaga puree.

                  1. If she gets tired of chewing on all that fiber, a great option is smoothies -- you can even add powdered fiber to them for an extra boost. There are also smoothie supplements that pack a dose of fiber as well as other nutrients.

                    I've got a couple smoothie recipes on my website if you're interested.

                    1. Artichokes are a fiber bomb!

                      1. Berries are a good source of fiber. Of course, this would be the actual berries and not berry "topping". But fruit salads would be an option.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nofunlatte

                          Figs too, and prickly pears because they have a lot of mini seeds.

                        2. I agree with some other posters that the reason to increase fibre is a key to answering the question. I'm diabetic and eating low-carb, so I need the fibre for bulk and to lower blood sugar. I've gone on a "no white food" (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes). That may be a little extreme for your friend, but thinking colours other than white is a help. Instead of a burger on a white bun have a Reuben on rye - the bread and kraut give you lots of fibre. Or order your sandwiches on rye or whole grain if that's available. Have coleslaw instead of a green salad (or if they have a real Greek salad with cucumber, peppers, tomato, and olives, that adds about 4 g of fibre right there; they tend to be pricey, though.)

                          If she's just trying to get from the average American's intake of 15 g to the recommended intake of 25 to 30 g, here's some ideas she might try. I like those little yogurt cups as a snack at work, but I keep a baggie of Bran Buds in my desk. Adding the buds to the yogurt in adds about 2.5 g of fibre (and adds a satisfying crunch too!). I also keep a bag of those baby carrots I eat with a low-fat dressing; each handful adds another g of fibre. (and changing the type of dressing each day keeps me from getting bored).

                          I can't eat most baked beans because they're loaded with sugar, but maybe your friend can. Chile is available at a lot of places, and so long as they have beans (and you don't drown them in cheese and sour cream), they can be healthy. I've written before that my fave fast food meal is at Wendy's - a plain baked potato (yeah, I break my rules sometimes), and a bowl of chili - I dump the chili over the potato, add some hot sauce, and enjoy the 12 g of fibre - half the daily need. And, at 2/3 the calories of a Jr. Bacon cheeseburger and fries, could be slimming as well.

                          I hope who recommended adding the fibre also told her to drink extra water, else things can be slow moving... also, she should make the changes over a couple of weeks, else she may experience some embarrassing gaseous emissions...

                          1. Don't know if it what stated before but, simply adding a tsp of flax meal to your soups, stews, even salads is a pretty good way to add fiber. It does not affect the taste for the most part

                            1. Start the day with a bowl of high fiber breakfast cereal - Fiber One or Kashi Go Lean have a ton of fiber in them. That way, you've got a good head-start on the rest of the day and if you grab a white-bread processed-meat sandwich for lunch it doesn't matter.