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Which foods contain a high level of fiber?

Bran, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables are all natural fiber-rich sources. In general, the less processed the food is, the higher its fiber content. Some fortified foods, like certain breakfast cereals, also contain very high levels of fiber. You should check the Nutrition Facts label to find out the amount of fiber you will be getting per serving. Use the HealthWatch 360 iPhone app or GB Diet and Nutrition Evaluator to find out if you are eating right.
get more out of your top foods

Bran
Bran is a high fiber food.

Bran, cornadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 77.6
Per Serving (g) 22
Serving Size 1 oz (28.35 g)
Cereal
Cold cereal is a high fiber food.

Cold cereal, Fiber Oneadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 46.7
Per Serving (g) 28
Serving Size 1 cup (60 g)
Cereal
Hot cereal is a high fiber food.

Hot cereal, oatmeal, instant, dryadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 7.3
Per Serving (g) 3
Serving Size 1 packet (41 g)
Dried Fruit
Dried figs are a high fiber food.

Figs, driedadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 10.8
Per Serving (g) 4
Serving Size ¼ cup (37 g)
Dried Fruit
Sun-dried tomatoes are a high fiber food.

Tomatoes, sun-driedadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 7.4
Per Serving (g) 2
Serving Size ¼ cup (27 g)
Dried Fruit
Dried apricot is a high fiber food.

Apricots, driedadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 7.0
Per Serving (g) 2.3
Serving Size ¼ cup (33 g)
Beans
Pinto beans are a high fiber food.

Beans, pinto, cookedadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 9.4
Per Serving (g) 8
Serving Size ½ cup (85 g)
Beans
Kidney beans are a high fiber food.

Beans, kidney, cookedadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 6.3
Per Serving (g) 5
Serving Size ½ cup (79 g)
Beans
Lentils are a high fiber food.

Lentils, cookedadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 6.1
Per Serving (g) 6
Serving Size ½ cup (99 g)
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds are a high fiber food.

Nuts, almondsadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 10.6
Per Serving (g) 3
Serving Size ¼ cup (1 oz)
Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a high fiber food.

Seeds, sunfloweradd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 10.6
Per Serving (g) 3
Serving Size 3 tbsp (1 oz)
Vegetables
Artichokes are a high fiber food.

Artichokesadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 9
Per Serving (g) 9
Serving Size 1 small (100 g)
Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a high fiber food.

Chocolate, darkadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 7.1
Per Serving (g) 2
Serving Size 1 oz (28.35 g)
Fruit
Raspberries and other berries are a high fiber food.

Raspberriesadd to food log

Per 100 g (g) 6.5
Per Serving (g) 8
Serving Size 1 cup (123 g)

 

 

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What is fiber?

Dietary fiber refers to a group of compounds found in plant-based foods that cannot be digested by the human body. The most common dietary fibers include cellulose, dextrins, inulin, lignin, chitins, pectins, waxes, and non-digestible starches. Most of these are carbohydrates but unlike other carbohydrates, fibers do not provide energy because they cannot be digested. However, dietary fibers provide many other health benefits.

There are two types of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat bread, barley, and brown rice and promotes healthy bowel movement making them particularly beneficial to people struggling with conditions such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome. Soluble fiber is found in oatmeal, peas, beans, apples and strawberries and helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels making it particularly beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Both types also make you feel satiated without adding extra calories to your diet.

What are the functions of fiber in the human body?

Because fiber is not digestible by the human body all physiological effects of fiber are a result of interactions within the digestive system. Both insoluble and soluble fibers promote bowel movement by increasing fecal volume and reducing fecal transit time. As a result, waste stays only briefly in the colon which leads to better colon health. Insoluble fiber is partially degraded by beneficial microbes in the colon to produce lactate and short chain fatty acids which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and reduces the risks for many diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer. Soluble fiber interferes with lipid absorption, which can lower cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and improve heart health.

How much fiber do I need in my diet?

Recommendations for total fiber intake by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans depend on your age and gender (Table 1). For men and women between 31-50 years old, recommendations are set at 31 and 25 g/day respectively, roughly equivalent to the amount of fiber in 3 and 2 cups of kidney beans. There is no Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for fibers.

TABLE 1. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TOTAL FIBER INTAKE (g/DAY)

Age (years) Male Female
1-3 14 14
4-8 20 17
9-13 25 22
14-18 31 25
19-30 34 28
31-50 31 25
≥ 51 28 22
Pregnant 28
Lactating 29

Should I take a fiber supplement?

The best way to get sufficient dietary fiber is from fiber-rich foods, which are mainly unprocessed, whole foods such as whole beans, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables. Fiber-fortified foods such as cereals are the next best choice. Fiber supplements are also helpful when dietary intake of fiber is inadequate. However, too much fiber can potentially interfere with mineral and vitamin absorption. If you have intestinal problems or take certain medications, talk to your doctor before adding any fiber supplements to your diet.

How do I get sufficient dietary fiber?

We recommend using the GB HealthWatch Diet and Nutrition Evaluator to get the most accurate estimate of your current fiber intake.

The best way to increase fiber intake is to eat fiber-rich foods like those shown in Top Foods. Many fortified foods also list their fiber content on the Nutrition Facts label. Choose foods with a higher fiber content when shopping.

For people who cannot get enough fiber from their diet, fiber supplements are an alternative. When shopping for a supplement, be careful because individual fiber supplements are often targeted for specific conditions. For example, inulin is a natural soluble fiber made from chicory root. As a supplement, it functions as a prebiotic to stimulate growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon thereby preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and reducing the risk for infection. In contrast, another soluble fiber, called psyllium, when sold in supplement form is more suitable for treating constipation.

Though the benefits of fiber often outweigh the disadvantages, too much dietary fiber from foods and/or supplements may cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients, or interact with certain medications. You should always consult your health provider before taking any dietary supplement.




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