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Add fiber to diet, cut heart, diabetes, obesity, cancer risk

Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:37 PM   |   Comments

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OTTAWA, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Small daily dietary changes can make adding fiber easy to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers, a Canadian non-profit says.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, one of Canada's largest health charities, said research shows most people don't get enough fiber in their diet, but adding fiber does not mean people have to give up favorite foods or a change of lifestyle.

Some easy ways to incorporate fiber into your diet include:

-- Choose a cereal that has at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.

-- Add a high-fiber cereal to your regular cereal. Choose a cereal that has at least 10 grams of fiber per serving and sprinkle it on regular cereal.

-- Have fruit for a snack or dessert and limit intake of fruit juice. The skin is where most of the fiber is.

-- Add one more vegetable a day.

-- Add beans or lentils to tossed salad, spaghetti sauce or soups.

-- Choose 100 percent whole-grain and 100 percent whole-wheat breads and pasta. The package should say "100 percent whole grain, or 100 percent whole wheat."

-- Add a quarter cup of wheat bran, oat bran or ground flax to baking.

-- Use hummus or other bean dips for spreads on sandwiches instead of mustard and mayonnaise.

-- Add dried fruit, nuts or seeds to cereal, salads or yogurt.

-- Substitute half the white flour for whole wheat flour in favorite recipes.

-- Substitute microwave popcorn for potato chips.

Remember to add fiber to your diet slowly, a little day by day, until you reach your daily fiber intake goal. However, switching from a low to a high-fiber diet too quickly can cause constipation and cramps, the foundation said.

In addition, the foundation advises people drink water when increasing fiber intake.

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