Forget Protein. Are You Getting Enough Fiber in Your Diet?

Nowadays, most of us are single-focused when it comes to nutrition. We’re all about protein. End of story. With with their promises of weight loss and washboard abs, fad diets—like keto, paleo, Banting and the like—are only fueling the fire.

Why are we so obsessed with protein? As a vegan, the question I’m most asked is, “Where do you get your protein?” I’d like to get indignant, but prior to going plant-based, it was my obsession, too.

Protein is important, there’s no doubting that. But we definitely need a more holistic approach to our diets. We need variety to keep our bodies functioning optimally.

What does a fiber-rich diet look like?

A fiber-rich diet is one that includes a broad spectrum of plant-based, whole foods. We’re talking everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to whole grains, nuts and legumes. In other words, the antithesis of the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Packed to the hilt with plant-based goodness, the Blue Zones Diet is a great example of a fiber-rich diet. It’s one of the reasons why these longevity hotspots have such high concentrations of healthy centenarians.

These folks are eating real food as opposed to “food-like substances”, as food writer Michael Pollan refers to the processed junk most Westerners consume.

Benefits of Getting Enough Fiber

Increasing your fiber intake offers some amazing health benefits.

For starters, it can help you shed those extra pounds. According to Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet, “Fiber binds with fat and sugar molecules as they travel through your digestive tract, which reduces the number of calories you actually get.”

If you’re like most people, that alone will spur you on to eat more plants and less junk. But the benefits of fiber don’t end there. Eating more fiber will cut your risk of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, reduce your chances of heart disease and improve your gut health.

You’ll also live longer, have healthier bones and enjoy regular bowel movements. Best of all, the weight you dropped will stay off. All because you ate more veggies. Crazy, right?

Fiber-Rich, Easy-to-Prepare, Super Delicious Recipes

If you’ve been spending all your time worrying about your protein intake, you may feel intimidated by the thought of incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet. Fear not, it’s easier and more delicious than you might imagine.

The best place to start—and stay, if you want to avoid choice overwhelm—is the Blue Zones website. Along with a wealth of helpful research and articles, they also have a smorgasbord of fiber-rich, easy-to-prepare and super delicious recipes.

They’re quick to assemble, taste-tested by experts and follow the Blue Zones Guidelines for longevity. Now do you get why I’m encouraging you to hang out here for a while?

1. Rice Pulao with Crispy Cinnamon Chickpeas

Forget protein. Are you getting enough fiber?

Photo Credit: Blue Zones

If you’re into sweet and savory in the same dish (not everyone is, but I just love it), this rice pulao recipe does a great job of combining both in one hearty main meal. Packed with fiber, protein, whole grains and vitamins A and C, it doesn’t get much healthier than this. And it’s delicious. Talk about winning in the kitchen.

2. 5-Minute Tasty Squash and Beans

Forget protein. Are you getting enough fiber?

Photo Credit: Blue Zones

This is hands down one of my favorite go-to lunches during the week. It’s simple, it’s yummy, and it’s satisfying. Combining beans, rice, squash and avocado and topped with hot sauce, it’s easy to see why squash, beans and rice is a staple meal in Nicoya, Costa Rica.

3. White Bean Hummus

Forget protein. Are you getting enough fiber?

Photo Credit: Blue Zones

Hummus purists may be put off by the fact this recipe uses white beans rather than chickpeas, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Along with being tasty, this Italian-style puree is also really versatile.

You can serve white bean hummus with grilled sourdough bread, spread it on your wrap or use it as a dip for crudités and toasted pita. I love it so much, I’ve even been eating in place of peanut butter on toast. I kid you not, it’s that’s good.

Increasing your fiber may not sound like the sexiest thing to do, but it’s definitely worth it nonetheless. And when it’s this tasty and healthy, what have you got to lose? Aside from a few extra pounds, absolutely nothing, that’s what.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

47 comments

Carole R
Carole R5 months ago

Thanks for the post.

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Peggy B
Peggy B5 months ago

TYFS

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Jeramie D
Jeramie D6 months ago

I love humus sandwiches with a slice of tomato and red onion.

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JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Paris6 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley6 months ago

Thank you.

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Angela K
Angela K6 months ago

noted

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Diane Wayne
Past Member 6 months ago

cheers. I eat 3 fruits a day; a banana, an apple, and 2 kiwis. I eat Ezekiel 4:9 Bread which is sprouted grains bread; and kidney, black, and garbonza beans with brown rice and quinoa steamed together with garlic and some brussels sprouts, and then pour that over, when it's done, a tomatoe diced, 1/2 and avocado and some red or spring onions and some fresh cilantro. Ir's delicious. Also eat p-nut butter on my good bread. Bon Appetit!

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Jetana A
Jetana A6 months ago

Sorry, perhaps protein should be decreased, but not forgotten entirely.

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Marija M
Marija M6 months ago

tks for sharing

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John W
John W6 months ago

TYFPT :-)

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