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High Fiber Diet
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A high-fiber diet includes foods that have a large amount of fiber. Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that is not broken down by your body. Fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular. Soluble fiber may help lower your cholesterol. Soluble fiber is found in oats, beans, peas, and certain fruits and vegetables (oranges, pears, brussels sprouts, and carrots). You may need to eat more high-fiber foods if you have constipation, diverticulosis, or high cholesterol.
Good sources of fiber:
The amount of fiber that most adults should have in their diet is 20 to 35 grams per day. Talk to your dietitian or primary healthcare provider about the amount of fiber that you should have each day.
- Foods with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving:
- ⅓ to ½ cup of high-fiber cereal (check the nutrition label on the box)
- ½ cup of blackberries or raspberries
- 4 dried prunes
- 1 cooked artichoke
- ½ cup of cooked legumes, such as lentils, or red, kidney, and pinto beans
- Foods with 1 to 3 grams of fiber per serving:
- 1 slice of whole-wheat, pumpernickel, or rye bread
- ½ cup of cooked brown rice
- 4 whole-wheat crackers
- 1 cup of oatmeal
- ½ cup of cereal with 1 to 3 grams of fiber per serving (check the nutrition label on the box)
- 1 piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana, pear, kiwi, or orange
- 3 dates
- ½ cup of canned apricots, fruit cocktail, peaches, or pears
- ½ cup of raw or cooked vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, squash, or corn
Other diet guidelines to follow:
- Add fiber to your diet slowly. You may have abdominal discomfort, bloating, and gas if you add fiber to your diet too quickly.
- Drink plenty of liquid as you add fiber to your diet. You should drink at least 8 eight-ounce cups of water each day. If you do not drink enough water, you will develop constipation.
- Ask your primary healthcare provider or dietitian about tablets or liquid drops that contain simethicone. These can help decrease gas. Check with your primary healthcare provider before you use any over-the-counter products to decrease bloating or abdominal discomfort.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.