Increasing fiber intake gradually will allow your body to adjust and minimize potential abdominal gas or discomfort. The following tips may help you identify sources of fiber:
- Cereals are good fiber sources if they contain 3 grams or more of dietary fiber per serving. Check the nutrition label for dietary fiber content.
- Increase the fiber content of low–fiber foods by adding 2–3 tablespoons of 100 percent bran cereals or unprocessed wheat bran to each serving. Bran and whole grain cereals can also be added to meatloaf, casseroles, homemade breads, muffins and other baked goods to provide additional fiber.
- Whole grain bread is a good fiber source. Read labels to make sure the first ingredient in the packaged bread is “Whole” grain.
- Both cooked and raw fruits and vegetables are good choices. Cooking does not greatly reduce the fiber content.
- In some cases, prune juice may be helpful as a mild laxative.
- Dried peas and beans, lentils and nuts are high–fiber foods that are also high in protein. They may serve as a high-fiber substitute for meat, fish or poultry, which have no fiber content. Examples include pea or bean soups, baked beans and chili with beans.
- Choose snacks that contain fiber such as popcorn, whole grain crackers, fresh and dried fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- If chewing or swallowing is a problem, try whole grain cooked cereals and cooked vegetables and fruits.