How to Get It: Hate whole grains? Eat beans.
Many people ask me if they have to eat whole-grain pasta, when they prefer white. The truth is, while you do miss out on extra vitamins and minerals (some B vitamins, vitamin E, phosphorus and potassium, to name a few) by opting for the refined grain, the biggest loss is the fiber (whole-grain pastas have two to three times the fiber per serving of regular white pasta). Fiber helps keep you fuller longer and may lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of certain cancers. The recommended intake is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men, yet most Americans are only getting 14 grams! But whole grains aren’t the only healthy foods that can add fiber to your diet. Beans provide a whopping 6 to 7 grams per 1/2 cup, while whole fruits and vegetables (juice doesn’t count!) and some nuts (pecans, pistachios and hazelnuts all deliver 3 grams in a 1/4-cup serving) are also great sources of fiber.