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Published on February 16, 2013

Strategies for Increasing Dietary Fiber Intake

February 16, 2013

What is dietary fiber?

The part of plant foods that your body cannot digest.

Where is fiber found? 

Mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (dried beans and peas), nuts and seeds. 

What can fiber do to help me?

  • Reduce high blood cholesterol
  • Prevent constipation and relieve hemorrhoids
  • Improve blood sugar control
  • Reduce colon cancer risk

How much fiber do I need each day?

  • Men: 30 to 38 grams
  • Women: 21 to 25 grams 

How can I increase the fiber in my diet?

  • Eat at least 3 ounce-equivalents of whole grains per day, substituting whole grain products (i.e., bread, cereal, rice, pasta) for refined grains.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables – at least 2 cups of fruit and 2-1/2 cups of vegetables each day.
  • Choose whole (fresh, frozen or dried) vegetables and fruits over juices, which have most of the fiber removed.
  • Include legumes (i.e., dried beans and peas) with your meals regularly; increase your intake of these foods gradually to limit the gaseous side effects.
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet gradually, using a variety of food sources. Try to include one fiber-rich food in every meal.
  • Drink plenty of water to enhance fiber’s effectiveness and to prevent constipation.

 

Source: "Strategies for Increasing Dietary Fiber Intake." RD411, n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2013. 

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