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Filling up on fiber

Making sense of bread labels

How can you tell whether that loaf of bread really is whole grain? The American Dietetic Association offers these tips:

  • Check the package label for the words “whole” or “whole grain.” It should be the first ingredient listed. Whole grains include brown rice, bulgur, oatmeal, whole-grain corn, whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat and wild rice.
  • Don’t be misled. The words “multigrain,” “stone-ground,” “100 percent wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain” and “oatmeal” may not be whole-grain products.
  • Choose products that have the highest percentage of your recommended daily intake of fiber, listed as the percent daily value (%DV). A high fiber serving must provide 20 percent DV, or roughly 5 grams of fiber.

You know fiber’s good for you. You’ve read about how it can lower your diabetes and heart disease risks. But how do you sneak more of it into your diet? It’s easy when you use a little culinary creativity:

  • Kick your day off with a cereal that has “bran” or “fiber” in its name. Top it off with some fresh fruit.
  • Substitute vegetables for meat in your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Eat brown rice rather than white. Serve whole-wheat pasta instead of the traditional white variety.
  • Toss some beans or fruit into your salad.
  • Replace one of your regular meals with a large salad.
  • Snack on vegetables dipped in low-fat salad dressing.
  • Concoct a tasty treat: Put some fruit, nuts and honey on top of nonfat yogurt.
  • Skip the heavy desserts and go for a medley of fruit instead.
  • Choose whole fruits when you can. Juice has less fiber than whole fruit.
  • Dare to be different: Try a different grain side dish such as bulgur, barley, buckwheat or quinoa.

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