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Fiber

What is it?

Dietary fiber consists of all the parts of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. Fiber cannot be broken down in your body. It passes through your body the same way it came in. There are two types of fiber:

Soluble fiber: dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance.

Insoluble fiber: promotes the movement of food and other material`s through your digestive system.

Why do I need it?

  • Improves bowel movements—Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. This makes it easier to pass, decreasing chances of constipation.

  • Lowers blood cholesterol—Soluble fiber can absorb blood cholesterol and carry it out of the body.

  • Controls blood sugar levels—Fiber can slow the absorption of sugar.

  • Aids in weight loss—High fiber help you feel full for a longer period of time.

  • Reduces risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

How much of it do I need?

Age 50 and Younger:

Men 38 grams/day
Women 25 grams/day

When increasing your fiber intake, be sure to increase it gradually. If you increase your fiber all too rapidly, you may experience gas, bloating, and digestive issues and dehydration, since fiber also absorbs water. The best way to increase fiber in your diet is by adding 5 grams a day until you reach your goal. Make sure to consume high fiber foods throughout the day, rather than at just one meal.

What are the best food choices for fiber?

High in Fiber

Grains and whole-grain products
Fruits
Vegetables
Beans, peas, and other legumes
Nuts and Seeds

Low in Fiber

Canned fruits and vegetables
Pulp free juice
White bread and pasta
Non-whole-grain cereals
Fruits and vegetables with removed skin

Refined or processed foods are lower in fiber content because the grain-refining process removes the fiber rich part of the grain. Whole foods are always preferred because they provide the fiber and nutrients your body needs.

Here are some examples of high fiber foods:

High-Fiber Breakfast Foods

Serving Size

Fiber grams per Serving

Oatmeal, quick, regular or instant, cooked

1 cup

4 g

Kellogg’s All Bran Cereal 

½  cup

10 g

Fiber One Cereal

½ cup

14 g

Nature’s Own Double Fiber Whole Grain Bread

1 slice

5 g

Kellogg’s Eggo FiberPlus Calcium Waffles

1 waffle

4.5 g

Raspberries or Blueberries

½ cup

4 g

Strawberries

1 cup

3 g

Bran Muffins

1 small muffin

3 g

Almonds (sprinkle over cereal or yogurt)

1 oz (a little more than handful)

4 g

Flaxseed (sprinkle over cereal or yogurt)

1 oz

8 g

Dannon Light n’ Fit with Fiber Yogurt

4 oz

3 g

Fiber One Yogurt

4 oz

5 g

High Fiber Lunch Foods

Sara Lee Delightful 100% Whole Wheat with Honey Bread

1 slice

2.5 g

Fresh tomatoes (on sandwiches or salads)

1 small tomato

2 g

Baby Carrots

3 oz

2 g

Snow Peas

1 cup

3 g

Progresso High Fiber Homestyle Minestrone

1 cup

7 g

Kidney Beans, cooked

½ cup

7 g

Banana

1 small banana

3 g

Apple

1 small apple

4 g

Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons

2 g

High-Fiber Dinner Foods

Whole-wheat spaghetti noodles

½ cup

3 g

Bulgur

½ cup

4 g

White Beans or Chickpeas

½ cup

6 g

Lentils

½ cup

8 g

Artichoke

½ cup

7 g

Mixed Vegetables

½ cup

4 g

Broccoli

½ cup

3 g

Baked Potatoes with Skin

1 medium potato

5 g

High Fiber Snack Foods

Fiber One Crackers

18 crackers

5 g

Pear

1 small pear

5 g

Orange

1 large orange

4 g

Figs

2 dried figs

4 g

Dates

½ cup

7 g

Edamame

½ cup

3 g

Bell Peppers

1 cup

3 g

Walnuts

1 oz

2 g

Sunflower Seeds

1 oz

2 g