Why is fiber important?

Fiber is found only in plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fiber:

  • Helps keep us “regular” and prevents constipation
  • Might help protect against certain diseases, such as: cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Seems to play a role in weight loss, probably because high-fiber foods make you feel fuller and they displace higher-calorie foods in the diet

High-fiber foods can help in the treatment of:

  • Constipation
  • Diverticulitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

How much fiber do you need each day?

For children 3 to 18 years old, add “5” to their age in years. So, for children 7 years old, they need at least 7+5=12 grams (g) of fiber/day. For adults, needs vary by age and gender:

  • Men, 50 years old and younger=38 g/day
  • Men, 51 years old and older=30 g/day
  • Women, 50 years old and younger= 25 g/day
  • Women, 50 years old and older=21 g/day

What else should I know about fiber?

Increase the amount of fiber in the diet slowly, so you do not develop a crampy, bloated stomach. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids as you increase your fiber intake. Many different forms of fiber exist, so you should eat a variety of high-fiber foods and whole-grain breads and cereals to get all of the benefits

Why is fiber important?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans.

Types & Roles:

  • Soluble fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. Soluble fibers are more common in foods such as beans, peas, oats, barley, apples and citrus fruits.
  • Insoluble fiber can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation. Good sources of insoluble fiber include beans, whole wheat or bran products, green beans, potatoes, cauliflower and nuts.

Soluble Fibers:

Apples, Beans, Berries, Broccoli, Chia, Flax, Mango, Nutritional Yeast, Oats, Peas, Sunflower Seeds

Insoluble Fibers:

Avocado, Brown Rice, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Nuts, Pears, Wheat