Fiber Up!

This week, let’s make a pact to increase our fiber intake.


Why we need it:

a complex carbohydrate with no nutritional value but important because it helps to move waste through the body…so, helps maintain bowel health!

  • Reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Helps control blood sugar levels
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight

How much do we need:

Children ages 1-3 = 19 g/day

Children ages 4-8 = 25 g/day

Females ages 9-18 = 26 g/day

Males ages 9-13 = 31 g/day

Males ages 14-50 = 38 g/day

Females ages 19-30 = 25 g/day

Males ages 50 and older = 30 g/day

Females ages 31 and older = 21 g/day

Pregnant females = 28 g/day

Nursing females = 29 g/day

Best Food Sources:

1 cup lentils = 15.6 grams fiber

½ cup garbanzo beans (chick peas) = 9 grams fiber

1 cup raspberries = 8 grams fiber

1 sweet potato with skin = 4.8 grams fiber

½ cup dates = 7.1 grams fiber

1 cup canned pumpkin = 7.1 grams

1 cup raisin bran = 7 grams fiber1 medium apple with skin = 4.4 grams fiber

1 medium apple with skin = 4.4 grams fiber

2/3 cup peas = 4 grams fiber

1 slice whole wheat bread = 3 grams fiber

¼ cup whole wheat flour = 3 grams fiber (compared to ¼ cup all-purpose white flour which contains less than 1 gram fiber)

Ways to get more fiber into your diet:

  • Add uncooked oatmeal, cornmeal, or bulgur to casseroles, meatloaf, or burgers.
  • Make your own microwave popcorn. Place ¼ cup plain popcorn kernels into the bottom of a paper lunch bag. Fold down top of bag two times. Cook in microwave for 90 seconds or until popping slows down. For healthier popcorn, season with cinnamon, ButterBuds, garlic salt, or sprinkle with soy sauce.
  • Eat prepared, whole-grain cereals as your snack. Choose cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber.
  • Prepare at least 1 meal each week using beans or legumes.
  • Gradually increase your fruit and vegetable intake so that you are eating 2 to 4 servings of fruit and 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day. Try to stick to fruits and vegetables in their true form, such as an entire apple with the skin (1 apple=4.4g fiber) instead of applesauce (½ cup=1.3g fiber).

Fiber up.  Let’s do this!

Your Partner in Health,

Carol Frazey, M.S.

About the Author Carol Frazey

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