Nutrition Articles

Delicious Ways to Boost Fiber Intake

It's Easier (and Tastier) Than You Think!

Fiber is one of the easiest nutrients to incorporate into your diet, and one of the most important. However, many Americans don’t get the much needed 25 to 35 grams recommended daily for a healthy diet. Insufficient fiber intake can increase your risk for many health problems, including constipation, high cholesterol, weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, and even cancer of the colon.

What is Fiber?
Fiber is the fibrous part of a plant food that your body cannot digest. Therefore, when it passes through the digestive system, it acts as a broom, sweeping out all unnecessary waste leftovers from digestible food. Fiber can be found naturally in many foods, and in supplement form. Here are some easy ways to add fiber to your diet:

Replace your white bread with whole wheat bread.
Many breads are packed with fiber—after all, just ½ cup of whole wheat flour packs more than 7 grams. Look for the words "whole wheat" at the top of the ingredients list, but remember to read those nutritional labels carefully. Just because a loaf of bread claims to be "whole grain" or "wheat" doesn’t mean it includes a healthy dose of fiber in the package. Many of those eye-catching labels will reveal only 1 gram of dietary fiber, meaning that the bread is made mostly from white flour, not whole wheat.

Leave the sugary cereals on the shelves.
Whole grain cereals and bran flakes are usually jam-packed with fiber—about 5 grams in one 3/4 cup serving! Fiber One cereal by General Mills is a great choice, packing 14 grams of fiber in each serving! If you’re having a hard time swallowing these healthier varieties, try adding a little sweetness with fresh fruit, vanilla soy milk, a touch of honey, or a sugar-free sweetener.

Pass the beans, please.
Beans and legumes are always a healthy choice, usually containing 6-7 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup serving (cooked). Plus, you can easily add them to just about any meal. Heated as a side, in soups or chili, added to salads, or in place of meat in a main dish, beans have a healthy combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fat that keeps you feeling fuller longer.

Sweeten with fruit; add volume with vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are notorious "diet" foods, but should be must-eat staples of everyone’s diet. These tasty wonders are high in volume, low in calories, and high in fiber—a great combination for any dieter who wants to fill up without breaking his calorie budget.
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Member Comments

  • Hooray for Fiber! - 8/4/2015 12:21:30 PM
  • I work in more fiber where I can, but in cooking I have to be careful because my husband is on a low potassium diet, and many high fiber foods are high in potassium. So I cook with white rice and regular pasta. I use whole-wheat bread and he uses white. - 7/16/2015 9:52:13 AM
  • Enjoyed this article!! But they didn't include my favorite on the list: Avocado! for a 75g serving at 7g of carb, you get 5 grams of fiber! - 1/26/2015 4:45:27 PM
  • I needed to read this article to increase my fiber intake, thanks for the suggestions~ - 10/21/2014 12:57:14 AM
    Psyllium husk is the very best source of soluble fiber and has helped me drop my LDL (Low density Cholesterol) by 38%! Something I was told was impossible. A teaspoon on my muesli every morning and another sprinkled over anything that you can add it to - soup, spag bol, caserol;es etc. - 7/17/2014 8:05:46 AM
    Shameless self-plug alert: Let's hear it for *raspberries*! :) - 2/8/2014 5:09:26 AM
  • I add 2 TBSP ground flax meal to my morning oatmeal. I just mix it into the oatmeal after it's cooked. That adds 4 grams of fiber to my breakfast. - 1/14/2014 3:53:53 PM
    These are but guidelines to general healthy people but for some with certain afflictions more fiber is required due to medication or diet restriction so I feel one really needs to research fiber as to what fits their specific diet needs - Example - some people with Kidneys Stone cannot digest brown rice , wheat flour - diverticula patients need to steer away from some barriers - guess this up to the individual - nice list though . - 1/14/2014 11:16:26 AM
    Thanks. I'm not tracking fiber but will start today. - 1/13/2014 8:55:28 AM
    A very suggestive articale. - 10/22/2013 11:52:25 PM
  • Great article. I take flaxseed vitamins everyday instead of adding to my food. - 7/18/2013 7:58:13 AM
  • @MOOMSHINE I'm pre-diabetic and I watch my carbs as well, and I don't find it hard to reach my fiber goal. See, a tablespoon of flaxseed with every meal for example makes for almost half the daily requirement. I also eat high fiber low GI veggies like grape leaves (a vitamin A powerhouse - 3 cups for 6 carbs 70% of which is fiber), artichokes, brussels sprouts... etc. Essentially anything that has 30% or more of its carbs in form of fiber. I average about 30-40 grams of fiber a day which, though raises the number of carbs doesn't actually affect net carbs all that much. I experimented and found that it's the net carbs number, not the total carbs number that affects my blood sugar. But then again, your body might not respond to things the way mine does. - 7/18/2013 5:35:05 AM
  • What this article fails to mention is that the one thing these foods have in common is a high amount of carbohydrates. So what is it that we diabetics who are eating reduced calories and reduced carbohydrates are supposed to do? No refined carbos, that's for sure, but 25-50 gr of fibre is a lot of calories and carbos. We need help with the math. - 7/11/2013 12:47:19 PM
  • I've finally started tracking my fiber. (I expect it to be eye-opening.) This article was really helpful. Thanks!! - 11/17/2012 11:53:44 AM
  • If you eat that fruit and oats together, all that fiber together at once plus pour milk on the acidic fruit, you are going to feel sick and miserable in a hurry! - 11/16/2012 11:37:27 AM

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