High Fiber Diet

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Fiber facts

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is part of a plant that cannot be digested. Thus, it adds virtually no calories to the diet. Dietary fiber provides a feeling of fullness and adds bulk in the diet. Fiber is classified as water soluble and water insoluble.

Aim for 20-35 grams of fiber every day

Soluble fiber: Attracts water and turns to a gel during digestion
  • Delays the time it takes for the stomach to empty which may enhance weight loss efforts by helping you feel full for a longer period of time
Oat bran, barley, rice bran, brown rice, lentils, dried beans and peas, nuts, seeds, some fruits and vegetables, and psyllium (found in some cereals and fiber supplements)
Insoluble fiber: Passes through your digestive tract virtually intact
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps minimize diarrhea
  • Helps manage blood glucose
Wheat bran, corn bran, whole-grain breads and cereals, vegetables, fruit skins and nuts

Tips for increasing the fiber in your diet

  • Eat more whole-grain bread, including whole wheat tortillas and baked goods made with whole grain flours
  • Choose whole grain pasta (such as whole wheat), brown rice, wild rice, bulgur, millet, barley and buckwheat
  • Snack on popcorn instead of potato chips, or try dried fruits and nuts
  • Choose fresh fruits over juice
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with the skin on (apples, pears, peaches, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes)
  • Substitute legumes (beans, lentils, peanut butter) for meat at least twice a week or add cooked navy, kidney, pinto beans or chickpeas to soup
  • Select high-fiber cereals for breakfast or mix a high-fiber cereal, such as All-Bran or Fiber One, with your favorite brand; add some fresh fruit
  • Drink 8 cups or more water to keep fiber moving through your body
  • Use fiber supplements only if instructed by your physician or a registered dietitian

Sample menu for 35 grams of fiber

FoodServing SizeFiber (grams)
High-fiber cereal like All-Bran or Fiber One1/2 cup13
100 percent whole-wheat bread2 slices 4
Tomato1 medium4
Apple with skin1 medium4
Baked potato with skin1 medium4
Cooked peas1/2 cup4
Strawberries1 cup3
Popcorn, air popped1 cup1

Additional fiber-containing foods

FoodServing SizeFiber (grams)
Brown Rice1 cup9
Orowheat English Muffin14
Orowheat Bagel144
Whole wheat pasta1 cup2
Couscous or macaroni1 cup4
Oatmeal1 cup13
Zen Bakery fiber cake8
Raisin Bran1 cup10
Kashi Go Lean cereal3/4 cup6
Grape-Nuts1/2 cup6

Beans: Serving Size Fiber (grams)
Baked beans, chickpeas1/2 cup6
Black, kidney or pinto beans1/2 cup7
Lentils1/2 cup8

Vegetables (raw):Serving Size Fiber (grams)
Celery1 stalk1
Vegetables (cooked):Serving Size Fiber (grams)
Broccoli or Corn1/2 cup2
Spinach1/2 cup3

Fruit: Serving Size Fiber (grams)
Orange1 medium3
Grapes1 1/2 cups2