Chilly Days, Chili, and Fiber :)

Chili is such a versatile dish, I think.  Sometimes I eat it sloppy-joe style, sometimes with warm stoneground corn bread from the oven, and sometimes I eat it with brown rice.

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Today I even added on some spaghetti squash.  I was halfway through my meal before realizing that I still had some in the fridge.  Popped it in the mirowave for a minute or so, and out came the  most perfect chilly day meal. 😀

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Did you know that vegetarian chili (or even meat chili which you add beans and veggies to) is loaded with fiber?  And keeping you regular is just one of its many job descriptions. 😉  It also:

  • can help control blood sugar—especially important for people with diabetes
  • helps lower cholesterol, due to its “binding powers.”
  • lowers digestive problem risks

Fiber is actually a carbohydrate, but it’s not able to get digested by the body which means zero calories with tons of health benefits. 😀

How do I get more fiber in my diet?:

Remember that there is a whole variety of food sources to get fiber from, and the best way to get it is through actual food.  Supplements or foods with added fiber may offer some slight benefits, but they don’t offer you the “whole package” that whole foods have to offer you (vitamins, minerals, polyphenols–that’s another topic altogether! 😀 )  Here are some of the best sources to provide you with both insoluble and soluble fiber.

Insoluble Fiber Sources—good for constipation/irregularity:

  • almonds
  • celery
  • whole wheat flour
  • wheat bran
  • many other “fibrous” vegetables

Soluble Fiber Sources—helpful in stabalizing blood sugar levels and reducing cholesterol

  • oatmeal
  • beans (such as chili… 😉 )
  • barley
  • apples

Just a note…remember to increase fiber intake slowly and include lots of water too to prevent any uncomfort!  You don’t want to eat three big bowls of chili if you don’t normally eat that much fiber in your diet. 😉

(p.s. What’s your absolute favorite way to eat chili? 😀 )

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About Sarah

Hi and Welcome!!! I'm a chocolate & coffee loving Registered Dietitian with a passion for helping people reach their goals. When I'm not busy working, I enjoy photography, cooking, and spending quality time with my family (and pets!) Thanks for stopping by!

18 thoughts on “Chilly Days, Chili, and Fiber :)

  1. Love chilli! My family always ate it with rice- it’s served with potato wedges in the UK too, but never as a soup/stew dish like I saw in the US. I love cornbread though- the Amys chilli/rice/cornbread meal introduced me to that combo. OMG! Fab 😀

    Good fiber info! Note about wheat bran- it’s absorbent so absorbs essential nutrients as well. Calcium and iron being the main ones so if you take supplements or are concerned about low iron/calcium, wheat bran is best avoided.

  2. Great fiber info! I’ve known that some fiber can’t get digested but I always wondered if you don’t absorb the calories as well.. is that really true??

    • Yep, totally true! 😀 Although the ingredient list most often takes this into consideration when calculating the calories. But since you’re getting more bulk for less calories, it means you’ll be fuller, faster. Of course, a person can get *too* much fiber if its replacing other foods, so it’s always a good idea to balance it out in the diet.

      It always comes down to balance. 😀

  3. My best memory of Chili is when my mom used to make a HUGE batch of it in the crock pot, and I would eat it by the BOWLful topped with cheese and scooped up with Tostitos chips! Not the healthiest, but definitely the yummiest!!!

    • I love that you eat it your favorite way and balance it out the rest of the week. Sounds perfect. 😀

      And you reminded me of another chili recipe I grew up on, which was served with cheese and corn chips as well. Definitely one of my favorites too. 😀

  4. ahhhh chili is so good! definitely one of my winter/fall favorites! i love the idea of serving it with spaghetti squash – i am seeing that everywhere in the blogosphere!

  5. All last week the cafeteria had a vegan bean chili that was to die for. I love beans, and the fact that they’re good for fiber and protein makes them so much better. Lentils are also a great thing, but I make sure to drink TONS of water with them so things don’t get a little rough haha

  6. I had no idea almonds had a lot of fiber! Thanks for the lesson… unfortunately, almonds make me feel icky and blaoted (maybe due to the fiber, hmmm).

    I love chili with ww noodles! MY husband’s family turned me on to this. I bet spaghetti squash is brilliant, too!

  7. mmm it is getting cold here and i have been craving chili! i loved the list you gave of why it is good. and good for you! i love eating it with my mom’s homemade scones.

  8. Pingback: Life is just a bowl of broccoli « Yes, I want cake.

  9. Hey! I’ve been reading your blog and it’s been very inspiring. Thanks for all the great recipes! I’m training for my FIRST HALF =) with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training and in an effort to get awareness out there I’m doing a giveaway from my blog http://www.runninaround.wordpress.com . It’s mostly runner geared but would be great for any athlete or women in general. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind checking it out and letting your friends/blog fans know? Thanks so much and keep it up!

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