(Photo by Jan Smith)

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Time published an article with the headline, To Lose Weight, Experts Suggest a Focus on Fiber. 

What is fiber? Simply put, fiber is the kind of carbohydrate the body can’t digest. The sources of natural fiber are plant-based, things like berries, vegetables, oatmeal, bran. We’ve all heard about plant-based diets and health.

But, should you throw fiber-added sweetened yogurt, high fiber breakfast bars, or extra-fiber bread in your cart?

As with all foods, the closer to the source, the better for health and, yes, weight loss or maintenance.

As nutrition author and guru Michael Pollan says, “Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Focusing a diet on whole foods, whether a chicken breast and broccoli or vegetable stir fry is a healthy approach to weight loss. Fiber-added chocolate sandwich cookies? Not so much!

Try this tasty salad recipe from Cooking Light.


Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

This recipe contains 6.7 g of fiber per serving. Substitute edamame (soy beans) for lima beans, if desired.

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided 
1 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar 
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans
4 cups chopped tomato (about 3 medium) 
1/2 cup sliced green onions 
1/2 cup chopped carrot 
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.

Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté tofu 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool completely.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, basil, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Stir in quinoa.

Cook lima beans according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Cool completely. Add the lima beans, tofu, chopped tomato, green onions, chopped carrot, and black beans to quinoa mixture; stir gently to combine. Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.