By Tara Karr MS, RD, LDN, CDCES
The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily target of:
- 25 grams of fiber for women, and
- 38 grams of fiber for men
Only 5% of people get that.(1)
This Grand Canyon-sized gap between fiber recommendations and total fiber intake led the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to identify fiber as a “nutrient of concern.”
Furthermore, the continuing low levels of fiber intake may be considered a public health concern in light of the health benefits related to adequate fiber intake.(1)
Pendulum Therapeutics makes probiotics that contain beneficial bacteria.
Despite having different purposes (for example: Pendulum Glucose Control helps with the management of Type 2 diabetes while Pendulum Akkermansia helps with achieving better gut health) both should be taken while following a gut-microbiome-friendly diet that is high in fiber.
Here are 5 tips for adding fiber into your diet!
1) Know the difference between soluble and insoluble fibers!
You may want to focus on adding soluble fiber, which has many benefits:
- Soluble fiber helps slow digestion and the rate at which carbohydrates and other nutrients are absorbed in your body (2)
- Soluble fiber can add form to your stool and make it less loose or watery
- Soluble fiber can also help control your blood sugar by preventing rapid rises or spikes
You can get soluble fiber from foods like:
You may also want to focus on adding insoluble fiber, which is a fiber that helps move things through your body and provides “bulk,” which helps to prevent constipation and keep you regular.
You can get insoluble fiber from foods like:
- Whole grains
2) Go Low on High FODMAP foods
FODMAP stands for:
- Monosaccharides, and
These super-long words are terms for different types of carbohydrates (some of them simple sugars) that are prevalent in the diet.
Just as some people can’t tolerate the milk-sugar lactose, which is one of the disaccharides, others may not be able to tolerate inulin-type fructans or sugar alcohols that are found in many sugar-free products.
The FODMAP diet eliminates these types of high-FODMAP foods.
There are ways to still include fiber while following this eating pattern. Here is a list of some higher-fiber foods that are low in FODMAP:
- Nuts and Seeds: Peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and macadamia nuts
- Fruits: Strawberries, oranges, bananas, kiwi
- Grains/Starches: Oats, quinoa, chickpeas, ½ cup lentils, potato (with the skin on)
- Dark chocolate
- 1/8th an avocado
3) Have a fiber (grams) goal!
If you struggle with gut issues, it would be beneficial to think about slowly adding fiber to your eating plan.
When adding fiber into your diet, you may experience a temporary period of:
- Abdominal bloating
- Discomfort, and
- Change in the bowel habits
For that reason, it’s wise to start slowly adding fiber when increasing toward your personal goals.
Aim for increasing roughly 5 grams each week!
4) Think about your gut microbiome
Recent studies have demonstrated that an imbalance in gut bacteria—also known as dysbiosis—may lead to gut-health issues.
Although there is still much to learn, eating in a way to promote a healthy microbiome includes a diet full of probiotics and prebiotics!
5) Chat with an expert!
There’s a lot of information out there on what foods you “should and should not eat,” and it can be overwhelming to navigate on your own.
When looking for gut-health resources, always look for credentialed, qualified sites that have registered dietitians or qualified credentialed healthcare providers providing sound, scientific advice.
What’s included in the Nutrition Initial Chat?
- Nutrition advice - valued at $150
- Full nutrition education based on your individualized needs
- Answers to any questions you may have about nutrition or the microbiome
- Resources and handouts based on your individualized needs
Also, to learn more about gut-microbiome health, follow Pendulum on social media at the following places: