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Published on March 05, 2019

dish of baked macaroni with red sauce

#TryItTuesday: Fiber Up for Colon Health

For today’s Try-It Tuesday, let’s talk about lowering our risk for colorectal cancer. Did you know colorectal cancer is one of the more common cancers in the U.S.? About one in 23 men and one in 25 women will develop colon or rectal cancer at some point during their lifetime. But there is something you can do to help lower your risk:

FIBER UP by eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains!

Diets that include lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of color or rectal cancer. 

What is Fiber?

Most Americans fall far short of the recommended daily amount of fiber. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target 38 grams.

There are two forms of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that soluble fiber lowers cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease.

Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. It appears to speed the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool.

Health Benefits of Fiber

Dietary fiber contributes to our health and wellness in a number of ways.

  • Fiber aids in providing fullness after meals, which helps promote a healthy weight.
  • Adequate fiber intake can help to lower cholesterol.
  • Fiber helps prevent constipation and diverticulosis.
  • Fiber from food helps keep blood sugar within a healthy range.

To ensure that you get enough fiber, eat a variety of foods every day, including:

  • Cereals
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

Here are a few foods that are naturally high in fiber:

  • 1 large pear with skin (7 grams)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (8 grams)
  • ½ medium avocado (5 grams)
  • 1 ounce almonds (3.5 grams)
  • ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams)
  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams)
  • 1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)

When increasing fiber, be sure to do it gradually and with plenty of fluids. As dietary fiber travels through the digestive tract, is similar to a new sponge; it needs water to plump up and pass smoothly. If you consume more than your usual intake of fiber but not enough fluid, you may experience nausea or constipation.

These recipes have more than 5 grams of protein per serving.

Baked Macaroni with Red Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • ½ pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced, about ½ cup
  • 1 box (7 ounces) whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 jar (15 ounces) reduced-sodium spaghetti sauce
  • 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a nonstick frying pan, cook ground beef and onion until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent. Drain well.
  3. Fill a large pot ¾ full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and spaghetti sauce to the meat and onions. Stir to mix evenly. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until bubbly, about 25 to 35 minutes.
  5. Divide the macaroni among individual plates. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Mayo Clinic

Breakfast Burrito

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 6 inches in diameter
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

Directions

  1. In a small skillet, add the chopped tomato, onion, and corn. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and moisture has evaporated.
  2. Add the egg substitute and scramble with the vegetables until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  3. To serve, spread the egg mixture in the center of the tortilla and top with salsa. Fold in both sides of the tortilla up over the filling, then roll to close.
  4. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Mayo Clinic

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

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