From the Desk of Joleen Wilson, Pathway Dietician: Feel Full with Fiber
Written by: Joleen Wilson, Registered Dietician, Certified Nutrition Support Clinician, for Pathway for Eating Disorders Treatment at Brookhaven Hospital
Research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating more fiber can prevent weight gain and may encourage weight loss. A Brigham Young University study followed the eating habits of over 200 middle-aged women for nearly two years and found that those who increased their fiber intake typically lost weight while those who decreased fiber intake gained weight.
Fiber is a “miracle carb” for several reasons: 1) it has zero calories, so high-fiber foods are naturally low in calories; 2) fiber soaks up excess fat and calories in the stomach after a meal and ushers them out of the body before the calories convert to fat; 3) the body’s effort to digest fiber (which it can’t) boosts metabolism, and 4) fiber adds volume to food and slows digestion, so fiber-rich foods fill you up and keep you satisfied longer.
High fiber foods are great for those with binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating because they can eat a large amount of foods high in fiber with minimal calories. For example, one serving of raw, non-starchy vegetables is 1 cup and contains 25 calories. On the other hand, one serving of a starchy vegetable such as corn is ½ cup and 80 calories. This is great for dieters because it helps them lose weight without hunger.
There are several foods that are high in fiber that don’t come from the vegetable group, such as beans. Even clients who don’t like beans may find them more palatable when tossed in a salad, such as toasted soybeans or garbanzo beans. See below for some simple high fiber salad recipes you can try this summer.
Simple Salmon Pasta Salad
2 cups whole wheat bow tie or rotelle pasta cooked al dente
1 cup salmon flakes (freshly cooked or grilled salmon fillets or steaks broken into flakes with fork)
1 cup crisp-tender asparagus pieces, grilled with indoor grill, steamed, or microwaved
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp canola mayo or light mayo
2 Tbsp fat free or light sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp dill weed
Black pepper to taste
- Place pasta, salmon, asparagus, and green onions in a serving bowl.
- Blend dressing ingredients until smooth. Add to pasta salad ingredients and stir to mix.
Nutrient Analysis per serving:
Calories 339, Protein 18 gm, Carbohydrates 45 gm, Fat 9.5 gm, Dietary Fiber 7 gm, Sodium 122 mg, Omega-3 fatty acids 1 gm
Grilled Tex-Mex Salad
4 ears of corn, husked with the silk removed
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (with the seeds if you like it hot)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup lime juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp mild chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
- Place the corn on a grill and roast, turning often, until golden brown on the outside. You can boil the corn instead if this is your preference.
- When corn cools, cut the kernels off into a bowl.
- Add onion, beans, jalapeno, red bell pepper, and tomatoes. Set aside.
- For dressing, combine ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the corn mixture and toss. Let sit in refrigerator for an hour (or overnight) before serving.
Nutrient Analysis per serving:
Calories 279, Carbohydrates 36 gm, Dietary Fiber 9 gm, Protein 10 gm, Total fat 11 gm, Sodium 703 mg