One more time for the people in the back: Some of the healthiest foods around are packed with fiber. And increasing your fiber intake has tons of benefits beyond helping you stay regular. According to Amy Shapiro, RD, founder of Real Nutrition, fiber can help to keep you full, regulate blood sugar, increase metabolism, and ward off heart disease by removing toxins and lowering cholesterol. Not bad for a single nutrient, amirite?
But how much of it should you actually eat? “A decent intake of fiber each day is approximately 25 to 35 grams, but most of us don’t get enough of this essential nutrient,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
Enter high-fiber snacks. Shapiro suggests eating snacks with a minimum of five grams on the label. But that’s not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule: Taub-Dix says you can also opt for snacks with lower amounts of fiber, and doctor them up with other high-fiber foods like flax or chia seeds.
Before you get too excited, Taub-Dix warns that when it comes to fiber, more isn’t always better. “Add fiber slowly to avoid intestinal gas and bloating. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, so be sure to have plenty of fluids when fueling up on fiber,” she says.
Got a tall glass of water handy? These dietitian-approved high-fiber snacks will keep you full for hours.