5 Fabulous Fiber-Rich Fall Foods

PJ Hamel Nov 11th, 2014 (updated Nov 8th, 2016)
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Are you getting enough fiber? Probably not. According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 25g fiber per day, and men 38g. Yet Americans average just 15g fiber daily. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and is key to good digestion. Check out these tasty, fiber-rich treats, perfect for fall.

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Breakfast oatmeal
Breakfast oatmeal

For a heartier, porridge-type oatmeal, choose steel-cut oats. Cook a pot on Sunday night, then microwave individual servings throughout the week. Adding naturally sweet raisins reduces the need for sugar and other refined sweeteners. Fiber content: One cup cooked oatmeal with 1/4 cup raisins provides 5g fiber.

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Pears
Pears

Did you know pears are 20 percent higher in fiber than apples? Autumn is prime time for both of these fruits, with lots of crisp, American-grown varieties available. And any place apples can go, pears can follow. Pear crisp, anyone? Fiber content: One medium pear is equal to 5.5g fiber.

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Lentils
Lentils

Tired of lentil soup? Try this salad. Cook one cup dried lentils until soft; drain. Sauté six chopped garlic cloves in 1/3 cup olive oil until soft. Remove from heat, and add 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over lentils and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. Fiber content: 1/2 cup lentils gives you 5.2g fiber.

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Mashed winter squash
Mashed winter squash

Choose butternut, acorn, Kabocha, or other orange-flesh varieties. Cut in half, scrape out seeds and microwave until soft. Scoop out and mash flesh. These squashes are naturally sweet and need only salt to season, plus a drizzle of maple syrup. Add a pat of butter for over-the-top richness. Fiber content: 3/4 cup provides 5.25g fiber.

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Chickpeas
Chickpeas

Think beyond hummus! Reach for fiber-rich roasted chickpeas instead of nuts. Sauté one 15-ounce can drained chickpeas in olive oil with one teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon chili powder for two minutes. Transfer to a baking pan and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 25 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Fiber content: 1/2 cup equals 5.5g fiber.