Fiber Fantastic

High-fiber foods have been shown time and time again to play a positive role in health.  Fiber can increase satiety, reduce heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk, and enhance digestive health. But despite these benefits, most people do not eat the suggested daily fiber intake of 25 to 38 g for adolescents and adults.  Most individuals are averaging only 15 g of fiber per day.  It is time to cut back on those fatty foods.  But before you start eating all that fiber, keep a few things in mind: when you increase fiber, you should increase your water intake along with it. Add fiber gradually to give your gastrointestinal tract time to adapt. If you have gastrointestinal diseases, including constipation, check with your doctor first.  Here are some recommendations to increase the amount of fiber in your diet today.

1. Eat whole grains whenever possible.  Check the ingredient list to make sure the whole grain is the first or second ingredient on the list. Be aware: products that say “100% wheat” or “multigrain” are usually not whole grain.  Food examples include:

  • 2 slices of whole-wheat bread = 4 grams of fiber
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice = 4 grams of fiber
  • Reduced-Fat Triscuit crackers = 3 grams

2. Choose the right healthy breakfast cereals.  Some cereals have little whole grain. And some whole grain cereals are loaded with unnecessary sugar.  Examples include:

  • ½ cup Fiber One = 14 grams of fiber
  • 1 cup Raisin Bran = 7.5 grams of fiber
  • 1 cup Frosted Shredded Wheat Spoon Size = 5 grams

3. Eat beans a few times a week.  Beans offer lots of fiber, plus they’re loaded with healthy plant protein.

  • 1 cup of canned minestrone soup = about 5 grams fiber
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian or fat-free refried beans = about 6 grams
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans, added to a green salad = 3 grams fiber

4. Have some servings of fruit every day.  You can add it to your morning meal; enjoy it as a snack, or dessert.  Fruit examples:

  • 1 large apple = 4 grams of fiber
  • 1 banana = 3 grams
  • 1 cup strawberries = 4 grams

 5. Have several servings of vegetables daily.  Include a vegetable with lunch, have raw veggies as a snack and enjoy a big helping with dinner.   Try some vegetarian entrees several times a week.

  • 1 cup carrot slices, cooked = 5 grams of fiber
  • 2 cups raw spinach leaves = 3 grams

6. Use a tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds for your smoothie, cereal, snacks, soup, casserole, and more.  One tablespoon of flaxseed has 3 grams of fiber.  And a tablespoon of chia seeds have about 5 grams of fiber.  Plus these seeds provide heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

Food Serving Size Grams of Fiber
Apple (with peel) 1 medium 3
Banana 1 medium 3
Blueberries 1 cup 4
Cantaloupe 1 cup 1
Grapefruit 1 medium 3
Orange 1 medium 3
Pear (with peel) 1 medium 4
Pineapple 1 cup 2
Prunes (dried) ½ cup 6
Raspberries 1 cup 8
Vegetables and beans
Asparagus (5 medium, cooked) ½ cup 2
Kidney beans (cooked) ½ cup 6
Pinto beans ½ cup 8
Broccoli (cooked) ½ cup 2
Carrots ½ cup 2
Cauliflower (cooked) ½ cup 2
Sweet potato, w. skin (baked) 1 medium 3
White potato, w. skin (baked) 1 medium 5
Spinach, frozen, cooked, drained ½ cup 3
Tomato 1 medium 1
Breads, cereals, grains etc.
Rye bread 1 slice 2
White bread 1 slice 1
Whole-wheat bread 1 slice 2
Kellogg’s® All-Bran (original) ½ cup 10
Kellogg’s ® All-Bran Bran Buds 1/3 cup 11
Quaker® Old-Fashioned Oatmeal (cooked) 1 cup 4
Wheat germ, toasted 2 tablespoons 3
Brown rice, cooked ½ cup 2
White rice, cooked ½ cup 0.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 2
Peanuts, dry-roasted ½ cup 6
Post by Adam R

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