The best way to add fiber to your diet

"Why add fiber?" might be question number one. Because it's the main way to maintain health, optimize your body's ability to digest food, and stay thin! Who doesn't want to be their healthy weight? About half the weight loss products on the market today have something to do with adding more fiber to your diet. (The other half revolve around suppressing your appetite.) Good news! If you eat more fiber, you will feel more full – thus achieving both goals.

Let's start with a cursory introduction to the mechanics of your body. You eat food to provide yourself with energy. You may not eat the BEST food, but we all know that without food you are going to die. That food begins to absorb into the body as soon as you get it into your mouth and your saliva and teeth start to break it down. From there it goes to your stomach where bile breaks it down further and finally into the very very long large and small intestines.

Fiber keeps your large and small intestines in good working order. Mr. Kellog knew this when he invented breakfast cereal in the 1800's. The whole grains are better for us than the refined white flour. Eating whole grain breakfast foods is still a legitimate way to add fiber to your diet. Try eating oatmeal, granola, whole grain pancakes or whole grain toast first thing in the morning. Stay away from overly sugary cereals, (including some brands of granola), white flour waffles and pancakes, or white toast. You may feel full, but you aren't eating anything of value. If you must have sugar putting honey or jelly on whole wheat toast is better for you than a white flour doughnut.

Afternoon fiber, colon cleanse of all kinds is sold in health food stores. These are powders you can mix with water and drink for a fiber fix. While food is better than powders, not everyone can get enough fiber in their natural diet. Look for psyllium husk fiber as an all natural product you can safely add to your diet. Benefiber is another powder, many people prefer because it is so fine, you don't even taste it in your drink.

Evening fiber. Add a side salad without dressing to every dinner. Sweeten it with grated carrots or raisins or fresh nuts. The darker the green, such as kale or spinach, the better it is for you. If you make it a habit to eat a salad before every dinner you will find you feel more full, and eat less of whatever you made for the main meal. Most any lettuce is alright with the exception of iceberg lettuce, which is too watery to provide much fiber or nutrient.

On the go fiber: bring an apple with you. It is cheaper and better for you than candy bars out of the vending machine and full of fiber! Take a tablespoon of ground flaxseed or flax meal. Few foods have as much fiber per table spoon as the lowly flaxseed. It can be added to soups, or baked goods or even pancakes! If you can't find flaxseed in your local store, try wheat bran, oat bran or wheat germ as an additive for additional fiber.