When evaluating the quality of your diet, a quick way to assess if you are getting enough whole food in your daily meals is to look at your total fiber intake for the day. It is entirely possible to hit your goal calories and macronutrients with refined and processed carbs and meat, which might initially help you lose weight, but it would not set you on a course to health. Your body would still be deficient in the micronutrients and phytonutrients that are best found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s also likely that your calorie deficit would be much harder to maintain because processed food without fiber is much less filling than whole food. Never mind that fiber in and of itself is beneficial to your GI track and heart health, which this article does a great job of summarizing.
Your goal for fiber is individualized depending on your weight and overall calorie intake, but most women should have at least 25-35g of fiber a day and most men should have at least 35-45g of fiber a day. If you’re not reaching those numbers, the best way to add more is fruits, vegetables, legumes or whole grains. A lot of articles and grocery store packaging promotes whole grain foods like high-fiber breads and bars, but that’s the marketing engine behind them, not because they are actually the densest source of fiber. Some of your best options for high fiber foods include:
- Brussel sprouts – and other cruciferous vegetables
- Winter squash – acorn and kabocha
- Nuts and seeds
How to find fiber in MyFitnessPal.
If you’re already tracking your food in MyFitnessPal, here’s how you adjust your settings so you can track fiber daily. The easiest way to adjust your settings in MyFitnessPal is on your PC. Walk through the steps below and save them. Once you’re back on your phone, if you’re in the diary and turn your page sideways, it should show Fiber.
From the home page, click on Food in the top ribbon across the page.
Click on Settings to the far right in the secondary ribbon.
Then under nutrients tracked, select Fiber as one of the drop downs.
Once you’re back to using MyFitnessPal on your phone, you can flip the phone sideways to see the fiber in a single entry and how it totals for the day.