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Meal Plan for a High Fiber Low Fat Diet

Dhanya Joy Dec 11, 2018
Women need 21 to 25 grams of fiber each day, men should aim at consuming up to 35 grams of fiber. As the name suggests, a high fiber low fat diet promotes eating low-fat sources of fiber. This diet keeps your weight in check and also prevent major health risks.
The first person to create an awareness about the importance of fiber in one's daily diet was an Irish surgeon named Denis Parsons Burkitt. His book, "Don't Forget Fibre in Your Diet" which was published in 1979, was an international best-seller.
Later, in 1980s, Audrey Eyton published "F-Plan" based on Burkitt's works. While Burkitt's book suggested the diet be adopted as a way of eating, Eyton promoted it as a solution to weight loss. Later in 2006, she came up with a revised version of the diet plan called 'F2 Diet' which claimed to be more effective than the F-Plan diet.
Popularized by fitness experts and nutritionists, a high fiber low fat diet is essential for those wanting to follow healthy lifestyle and for those wanting to ward off obesity. It is especially beneficial for those suffering from disorders like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Here's what makes a diet rich in dietary fiber so beneficial.

The High Fiber Low Fat Diet Plan

The diet plans will differ according to what the diet is aiming at. The low fat high fiber diet is not only a healthy eating diet plan, but can also be used to lose weight.
It is helpful for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, diverticulitis, menopausal symptoms, and to prevent Parkinson's disease and colon cancer. So, it is always advised to consult a dietitian. He/She will be able to design a personalized diet plan according to your requirements. Let's talk about the how diet plan can be adopted as a way of eating.
When following this diet plan, incorporate low-fat sources of fiber in your daily diet. Add various soups and juices. Drink only black and green tea. Also, you should drink a lot of water. At least eight glasses of water should be consumed each day to avoid constipation.

Benefits of Consuming High Fiber

Fiber is found in all types of plant food like veggies, fruits, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, etc.
Unlike other nutrients, fiber doesn't provide the body with energy or break down into glucose but just passes through the digestive tract. This makes your stool bulkier, making it easier to pass.
Eating fiber also makes you feel full for a long time thereby reducing your appetite. What basically happens is that your brain needs almost 20 minutes to realize your stomach is full. Fibrous foods take a longer time to chew. This increases your eating time, giving the body some time to know that it is full, thereby reducing your chances of over-eating.
There are two types of fiber - soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber (found in nuts, seeds, beans, oatmeal, legumes, berries, barley, etc.) dissolves in water to form a gel that helps in slowing down the digestion process. This action helps in reducing the cholesterol, as well as keeps the blood sugar levels balanced.
Insoluble fiber (found in leafy vegetables, whole wheat, corn, flaxseed, etc.) does not dissolve in water. This is the kind of fiber which moves through our intestines undigested. It makes your stool bulkier which is especially helpful for people suffering from constipation and diarrhea.

Benefits of Consuming Low Fat

Good sources of fats are milk and milk products, sea food, nuts, olives and flax seeds and should be consumed everyday. Trans fats or saturated fat foods like red meat, deep-fried foods, biscuits, cakes and pastries should be avoided.
Contrary to common belief, fats are just as necessary for the body as other nutrients. You need to consume fats to have a lean body, healthy heart and liver, shiny hair and a beautiful skin. They lubricate your joints, act as an anti-aging agent, prevent loss of body heat, transport fat soluble vitamins and help you sharpen your brain.
So, why do fats have such a bad reputation? Although small amount of fats is necessary for the normal functioning of the body, eating fats in a large amount causes major health problems like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, etc. One gram of fat contains almost 9 calories and hence, should be consumed judiciously to avoid health risks.
In short, eating a high fiber low fat diet has the following benefits:
Helpful for people with digestive disorders
Helpful for people with diabetes
Helpful for people with diverticulitis
Helps prevent colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases
Aids in weight loss and helps in maintaining a healthy weight

Side Effects (If fiber is consumed in excess)

♦ Indigestion
Heartburn
Fluid retention
Gas
Stomach cramps

Who should not follow this diet?

♦ People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
People suffering from kidney failure
Pregnant and lactating women
Children

Meal Options

Here are a few options to help you plan a high fiber low fat diet plan:

Breakfast

♦ 1 bowl of oatmeal cereal with 1 apple (with skin) and 1 glass orange juice
♦ ½ cup berries with ¾ cup raisin bran
♦ 1 medium banana/orange with 1 cup oatmeal
♦ 2 slices of whole wheat bread with 1 egg

Lunch

♦ Green salad with whole wheat chicken/vegetable sandwich, 1 cup pinto beans
♦ ½ cup chickpeas, 2 slices of whole wheat bread and 1 cup low-fat yogurt
♦ Vegetable salad with ½ cup pasta and 1 oz. chicken
♦ 1 carrot, ½ cup rice and 1 cup lentils

Snacks

♦ 1 whole wheat English muffin
♦ 3 cups popcorn
♦ 1 oz. almonds
♦ 1 oz. peanuts

Dinner

♦ Vegetable salad, ½ cup spinach/ broccoli, ½ cup whole wheat rice
♦ 1 cup tomato soup, 1 cup whole wheat spaghetti, ½ cup baked beans
♦ ½ cup beef/pork, ½ cup rice, 1 oz. low fat cheese
♦ Green salad, 1 oz. shellfish, 1 dinner roll

Dessert

♦ ½ cup fresh fruit salad
♦ ½ cup milk pudding
♦ 2 vanilla wafers
♦ ½ cup Jello

A Few Recipes

Apple Oat-Bran Muffins

Ingredients:

♦ 1 tablespoon olive oil
♦ 2 large green cooking apples
♦ 1¼ cups oat bran
♦ 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
♦ 1 cup white flour
♦ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
♦ 1 can apple juice concentrate
♦ 1 cup water
♦ ½ tsp nutmeg
♦ 2½ tsp baking soda
Method:

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Peel, core and chop the green apples and keep aside. In a large bowl, mix the pastry flour, white flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and oat bran. Mix and stir well. Then, add the apple juice, water and chopped apples to the mixture and work into a thick batter.
Grease the muffin pan with some olive oil, pour the batter into the grooves, bake for around 30 minutes and serve hot. This can be a good option for breakfast.

Bean and Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

♦ 1 pound canned black beans, drained
♦ ½ cup processed cheese
♦ 1 cup salsa
♦ 4 sandwich buns, cut in half lengthwise
♦ ¼ cup recipe-ready crushed tomatoes
♦ ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Using a blender, mix together the tomatoes, cumin and beans and blend well until smooth. Sauté this mixture in a pan and keep aside. Add cheese, mix well and keep aside.
Remove a little of the center of the sandwich bun and fill it with the mixture. Repeat for all the sandwich buns. Place the buns in the oven and bake for around 5 minutes. Serve hot for lunch with salsa.

Black Beans and Couscous

Ingredients:

♦ 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight
♦ 1 cup raw couscous
♦ 1 tsp baking soda
♦ 6-8 cloves minced garlic
♦ 2 tsp oregano
♦ 1 tsp cumin
♦ 1 tsp salt
♦ 1 tsp pepper
Method:

Steam the couscous and keep aside. Place beans and bay leaves in a saucepan with some water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, pepper, cumin and oregano. Simmer until the beans have softened and then add the baking soda and salt. Stir, mix well and serve the couscous with the cooked black beans for dinner.
When you start this diet, don't consume excessive fiber or cut out fats completely. Plus, it is important to include other nutrients in your diet. The body needs a well-balanced diet, regular exercise and a good amount of sleep to maintain its overall health. It will not only make you physically fit, but will also benefit your mental and emotional health.
Disclaimer: This is solely for informative purposes and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject. Always consult a dietitian/nutritionist before following any diet.