What does fiber do?
- Contributes to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Helps you feel full, so you can avoid overeating
- Moves food along in the intestines; this helps to keep your bowel habits more regular
How much should I eat?
- 25 g per day for women
- 38 g per day for men
What foods can I eat to get more fiber in my diet?
- Whole grain breads and cereals
- Whole grains like quinoa, bulgur, and brown rice
- Nuts like almonds and pistachios
- Seeds like flax and chia
- Beans like kidney and garbanzo
- Fruit like raspberries and pears
- Veggies like collard greens, spinach, and broccoli
How do I use a food label to find out if a food is high fiber?
- A food is “high fiber” when it has 5 or more grams per serving
- A food is “a good source of fiber” when it has at least 3 grams per serving. The American Diabetes Association suggests choosing foods with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving.
What else do I need to know about fiber?
- If you increase the amount of fiber you eat, do so slowly. Too much too quickly can cause bloating, cramping, or gas.
- Look for whole-grain breads and cereals. The first or second ingredient should be 100% whole wheat, rye, oats, or bran.
- Enjoy your fruits and veggies with the peels and skins intact.
- You may need even more water as you eat higher amounts of fiber. Upping your water intake helps your body process fiber comfortably.