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We all know we need to put more fiber in our diets. Fiber is generally not a fun subject as who wants to discuss regularity? Well, now there is exciting research on fiber showing that the type of fiber in wheat bran and whole grains (insoluble fiber) helps prevent cancer. Further, the type found in oats and beans (soluble fiber) can lower your cholesterol. Oatmeal anyone? Here are some fun quizzes to help you learn about fiber.
Take the Quiz!
1. Match the questions with their correct answers.
2. Add “getting more fiber” to your New Year’s resolutions for 2002!
1. How much fiber should adults get each day? ____
2. How much fiber do most adults actually get per day? ____
3. How much fiber do kids need a day? ____
4. How much soluble fiber should you get each day to lower your cholesterol? ____
5. How much oatmeal do you need to eat daily to lower your cholesterol? ____
Answers for questions 1-5:
a. 5 plus the age
b. 1-1/2 cups cooked
c. 14-15 grams
d. 25-35 grams
e. 10-25 grams
Questions: How much fiber do each of these contain?
6. One serving of most fruits and vegetables ____
7. 1/2 cup beans, such as kidney, navy and pinto ____
8. 1 cup brown rice ____
9. Wheat bran cereals  ____
10. 1/2 cup green peas  ____
Answers for questions 6-10:
a. 4-8 grams
b. 10 grams
c. 4 grams
d. 3 grams
e. 1-3 grams
11. Which is a benefit of soluble fiber:
a. Lower blood sugar
b. Lower cholesterol
c. Normalize bowel function
d. Makes you feel full
e. They all are benefits
Correct Answers:
1. d, 2. c, 3. a, 4. e, 5. b, 6. e, 7. a, 8. d, 9. b, 10. c, 11. e.
Easy Ways to Increase Fiber Intake
• Replace up to 25% of the flour in your baked goods recipes with oat bran.
• Add 1 cup of mashed garbanzo beans to 2 pounds mashed potatoes.
• Sprinkle rolled oats over top of yogurt or fruit.
• Eat whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. If you use a thick, rich sauce, you will hardly notice the difference. Make sure you don’t overcook the whole grain pasta.
• Use brown rice instead of white rice.
• Use 100%?whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
• Leave the peels on potatoes, apples and pears.
• Try to serve beans at least 2-3 times per week. Make a tasty soup using canned or dried beans; add beans to casseroles, salads or pasta dishes; make a vegetarian chili.
By Carol M. Meerschaert, RD, LDN.

Banana-Orange Muffins
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (2)
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 cup raw oatmeal
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a nonstick, one-dozen muffin pan with cooking oil spray or line with muffin cups.
2. In large bowl, combine yogurt, banana, egg whites, vegetable oil and orange peel. Stir well then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until all is incorporated but do not overmix.
3. Scoop mix into muffin pan, dividing it between 12 muffins.
4. Bake until muffins are firm in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to sit for a few minutes then remove from pan. Cool on a wire rack.
TIP: To prevent packing, make sure you pour the flour into the measuring cup; do not scoop the flour with the measuring cup or you will end up using too much flour.

Makes 1 dozen muffins. Each muffin: 158 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 165 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber, 5 g protein.

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