Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Confused by fiber? Well, you’re not alone. Most people are. But you don’t have to know all the ins and outs of fiber to get benefit from it. When you eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, you usually get most of the fiber you’ll need, which means you’ll also be lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, and constipation. Not a bad package deal.
Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans.
5 Quick Tips: Choosing High Fiber Foods
1. Go with whole fruit instead of juice. Whole apples and whole oranges are packed with a lot more fiber and a lot fewer calories than their liquid counterparts.
2. Break the fast with fruit. Get off to a great start by adding fruit, like berries or melon, to your breakfast every day.
3. Check the label for fiber-filled whole grains. Choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Read “Health Gains from Whole Grains” for a list of whole grains and their benefits.
4. Eat more beans. It’s easy to forget about beans, but they’re a great tasting, cheap source of fiber, good carbs, protein, and other important nutrients.
The aim of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source is to provide timely information on diet and nutrition for clinicians, allied health professionals, and the public. The contents of this Web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site. The information does not mention brand names, nor does it endorse any particular products.