What Is It?
Fiber can't be digested by humans. All plants have it, such as fruits, veggies, grains, and beans and peas. It is often put into two types:
- The soluble type draws water into the gut. It can help slow digestion. Some of foods that are high in it are oatmeal, oat bran, barley, beans and peas, apples, and strawberries.
- The insoluble type speeds digestion. It can also add bulk to the stool. Some of foods that are high in it are whole-wheat products, wheat bran, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.
Why Should I Eat This Way?
Eating like this can also help your cholesterol levels, lower your risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, and lower your weight. For people with type 1 or 2 diabetes, it can also help steady blood sugar levels.
How Much Should I Eat?
You should eat 20-35 grams a day. Most people eat only 15 grams per day.
Start Off Slow
It can take your body time to get used to eating more of these foods. If you don't start off slow, you may have gas, cramping, belly swelling, and loose stools. Add these foods slowly. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids each day.
Tips to Eat More
- Choose whole grains over refined grains.
- Add lots of grains to your eating plan, such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, quinoa, and bulgur.
- Eat more vegetarian-based meals. They can be black bean burgers, eggplant lasagna, and veggie tofu stir-fry.
- Choose fruits, popcorn, whole-grain crackers, and nuts when you need a snack.
- Make whole-grain cereal or whole-grain toast part of your daily breakfast.
- When eating out, whether ordering a sandwich or dinner, ask for extra veggies.
- When baking, replace part of the white flour with whole-wheat flour. Whole-wheat flour is very easy to add into a meal.
Foods You Should Eat
|Food Type||List of Foods||Notes|
|Meats and Beans||
|Fats and Oils||
|Snacks, Sweets, and Condiments||
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition.gov—US Department of Agriculture
Colorectal cancer prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/prevention/colorectal-cancer-prevention. Accessed February 4, 2021.
Dietary, functional, and total fiber. National Institute of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=339. Accessed February 4, 2021.
Fiber. The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center website. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/fiber. Accessed February 4, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN Last Updated: 2/4/2021