For a healthy body, make sure you are eating enough fiber.
How much fiber should you eat?
According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for 2010, most Americans consume an average of only 15 grams of dietary fiber per day. Compare that with recommendations of the Institute of Medicine:
In addition to more fiber, you should be eating fewer refined carbs -- such as those found in processed foods like white bread, white pasta and crackers.
What are high-fiber low carb foods?
This question is something of an oxymoron -- fiber is a carbohydrate; so are unrefined carbs. The question should be re-phrased as, "What high-fiber foods are also low in unrefined carbs?
Remember the foods your mother said were "good for you"? For me they included spinach, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, beets, sauerkraut, walnuts. If you were from the south, perhaps they also included turnip greens, collard greens, beet greens and mustard greens. Well, it turns out that they are good for you -- they have a high dietary fiber content (at least 3% percent by weight) and a high fraction (two-thirds or more) of their total carbs are dietary fiber.
Start your day with a nutritious, high-fiber cereal like All-Bran. A 26-gram serving (1/2 cup) has 13 grams of dietary fiber representing 65% of total carbs and 50% of total weight. All Bran has a 5-star rating for "optimum health" by NutritionData. Or consider corn bran. A 28 gram serving of corn bran has 17 grams of dietary fiber -- comprising 74% of total carbs and 60% of total weight.
What are good sources of fiber? Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
There's an element of truth in the old adage, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Eating an apple with skin gives you plenty of vitamins and minerals. There's 4 grams of dietary fiber in a medium-sized apple, representing 14% of total fiber, 2% of total weight (There's a lot of water and sugar content in an apple.)
If you have never tried avocados, try one. An avocado has 13 grams of dietary fiber representing keto net carbs or total carbs 76% of total carbs, and 7% of total weight. (It also has water, but not much sugar.)
Can eating more high fiber carbs help you lose weight?
The USDA. Dietary Guidelines for 2010 cited studies that found that high-fiber diets were associated with lower body weight and lower waist circumference. A higher fiber diet will satisfy you longer so you end up eating fewer calories. It aids digestion and stool composition. And it reduces your risk of diabetes, colon cancer, obesity and other chronic diseases.
One of the most common things that diabetics do to help them control their diet is carbohydrate counting. It is usually something that becomes a part of their daily routine where they keep track of what they eat, making sure that they do not eat too much sugar.
The carbohydrates that we ingest, mostly in the form of breads, cereals, and pasta, have a significant impact on our average blood glucose levels so it is important to keep track of carbs. The main goal in counting carbs is to make sure that each meal during the day stays within the carb limit for that meal. Once each meal is factored in, your total daily intake also needs to be within the limits, usually set by your doctor and based in part on your daily caloric intake.
The most basic approach is to simply count the number of grams of carbohydrates and total them. A common breakdown for a normal sized adult is, 30 grams at breakfast, 45 grams at lunch and 60 grams at dinner. Some nutritionists have made it a practice to increase the morning carbs and decrease a corresponding amount at dinner. The idea being that the metabolism needs carbs more during the day than it does while you sleep at night.
Another approach is to count carbohydrate servings where you approximate the value of portions of foods. A typical carbohydrate serving would be something that contains about fifteen grams of carbohydrates. This would be about the amount that you would obtain from a medium sized baked potato or a slice of whole wheat bread. People who use this method try to give each meal a certain amount of servings so that breakfast might have 3 servings and lunch might have two servings. Snacks would often have less than one serving per. This might make it easier to plan a week's worth of meals in advance.
No matter which way works best for you, it is still necessary to know the carbohydrate totals for the food that you will be eating. There are several great resources online that can give very accurate information for each different type of food, or you can read the food labels which are required to reveal carbohydrate and sugar per serving information. Remember always to pay attention to the serving size. A small bag of potato chips may have 3 servings in it.
Another important thing to note is the amount of dietary fiber in foods, especially grains and vegetables. High fiber foods actually provide a further benefit because some of the carbohydrate in a high-fiber meal isn't as available to be digested. Given the fact that most diets do not include enough fiber, there is additional benefit to adding it.