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Tasty Tuesday by Anna Grindeland, RD, CD: Fast-Food Fiber
By: Anna Grindeland, RD, CD
Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and cramping. Sound familiar? You are not alone. In fact, The American College of Gastroenterologists suggests that 11-15% of Americans have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), just one of the common gastrointestinal disorders that can cause those symptoms.
There are serious GI conditions that require medical interventions, but there are millions of Americans dealing with non-complicated GI discomfort daily who may find resolve in simple diet and lifestyle changes. Many causes of mild gastrointestinal upset can be eased by ensuring adequate exercise, eating a healthy diet high in fiber, adequate sleep and managing stress. These points may be especially important if you have an underlying GI disorder.
Easier said than done. Work, life, and family keeps us on the go, and it may not be easy to always check those boxes. Adults need 25-30 grams of fiber daily, of which, we are getting about half of these days (Americans average 15 grams per day).
So I wondered… Is it possible to get the amount of fiber we need when eating on-the-go? Thanks to McDonald’s Nutrition Calculator, I was able to plan a day of fast-food choices that stack up to our fiber needs:
Breakfast: 1 Fruit and Maple Oatmeal—5 grams/serving
Lunch: 1 Big Mac® – 3 grams/burger
Side Salad –1 gram
Baked apple pie – 4 grams per serving
Dinner: Southwest Chicken Salad – 8 grams/salad
1 small fry – 3 grams
Hot fudge sundae with peanuts – 3 grams fiber
Total Fiber: 27 grams
Other On-The-Go Fiber foods:
- Trail mix—nuts and dried fruits are excellent, easy sources of healthy fiber. A small handful of peanuts contains 3 grams of fiber—the same amount of almonds has 5 grams.
- Apple or orange—medium to large fruits contain as much as 5-7 grams of dietary fiber. Choose fruits that travel well and you like.
- Instant oatmeal—Yes, it’s still good for you when it’s instant! Oatmeal typically has more fiber than cold cereals, and makes an easy breakfast or snack to take to work or eat before you run out the door.
- Whole grain crackers and chips—look for brands that have at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving and list “whole grains” first on their ingredient lists. Corn chips, wheat crackers, or alternative grains make good choices.
Have a Tasty Tuesday!
The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.