April 22, 2009

Start with Cereal

People who eat the most cereal fiber a day reduce their risk of heart disease by about one-third. You can opt for oatmeal or cold cereal; just pick a variety that has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Sneak Them In

You have several options: Pureé chickpeas, white beans, or black beans and use them to thicken soups, or simply toss in a handful. Throw some bulgur into mashed potatoes; swap 25 to 75 percent of white flour in baked goods with whole-wheat; and add avocado or hummus to sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard.

Look for Tasty Whole-Grain Products

You'll find whole-grain versions of everything from bread and pasta to couscous and energy bars on store shelves these days. Make them your mainstays. Also try air-popped popcorn; one study found that people who munch on this treat consume twice as many whole grains a day as those who don't.

Blend Pasta with Veggies

Two cups of pasta have 400 calories. But a cup of pasta and a cup of veggies provide the same fullness factor for just 250 calories. Plus, you get veggies' vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Pick up Shape's special Make Over Your Body issue for complete details about this 21-day plan. On newsstands now!