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High Fiber Diet
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a high-fiber diet?
A high-fiber diet includes foods that have a high amount of fiber. Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that is not broken down by your body. Fiber keeps your bowel movements regular. Fiber can also help lower your cholesterol level, control blood sugar in people with diabetes, and relieve constipation. Fiber can also help you control your weight because it helps you feel full faster. Most adults should eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day. Talk to your dietitian or healthcare provider about the amount of fiber you need.
What foods are good sources of fiber?
- 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 small 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
What are some ways that I can increase fiber in my diet?
- Choose brown or wild rice instead of white rice.
- Use whole wheat flour in recipes instead of white or all-purpose flour.
- Add beans and peas to casseroles or soups.
- Choose fresh fruit and vegetables with peels or skins on instead of juices.
What other guidelines should I 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 liquids as you add fiber to your diet. You may have nausea or develop constipation if you do not drink enough water. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
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