Fiber is found only in plant products (i.e. fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds.) Since yogurt is entirely dairy, there is no fiber present. Soy yogurts, and other plant based yogurts may contain some, but not much (unless it is artificially added.) So how can you naturally add fiber to your yogurt? Try these quick toppers:
- Nuts: Raw or toasted, adding nuts sure adds flavor and crunch. Try walnuts or almonds. They are high in fiber and healthy fats. Both the fat and fiber will make you feel full longer. They even add a little protein. Nuts are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and protects skin integrity. Remember, a serving of nuts is no more than a small handful. Adding more than that will pack on calories as nuts are high in fat.
- Raisins: A small amount of raisins can go a long way. Since they are dried, a serving is about 1/4 cup (if a serving of grapes is about 20, picture 20 raisins.) Since they are so concentrated, they are very high in fiber. Try other dried fruits as well (cherries, blueberries, craisins.) This is for those with a sweet tooth.
- Flax seed: Want the nutty flavor, with no added texture? Add 2 tbsp ground flax seed. It is jam packed with fiber and healthy fats. It can be purchased ground already, or you may grind it up yourself. I suggest grinding it (instead of leaving it whole) because our teeth have a difficult time breaking the outer shell, and our stomachs and intestines have a hard time digesting it. You get the most nutrients from the inner part of the seed, so it’s best to just grind it up.
- Toasted Oats: Rolled oats or steel cut oats are perfect. You don’t even have to toast them, raw is just as tasty! Oats are a whole grain high in B vitamins and fiber. Try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup to your bowl of yogurt.
- Bran cereal: Choose your favorite bran cereal (non-flakes work best) and add it to yogurt instead of milk. You get the high fiber from the cereal and the high protein from the yogurt. Perfect breakfast combination.
Any other great yogurt topping ideas? I would love to try something new!
Image credit to creative commons user Luciano Belviso