Dietary fibers are forms of carbohydrates found in plants that cannot be digested by humans. All plants contain fiber, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Fiber is often classified into 2 categories: soluble and insoluble.
Eating a high-fiber diet can also help improve your cholesterol levels, lower your risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, and lower your weight. For people with type 1 or 2 diabetes, a high-fiber diet can also help stabilize blood glucose levels.
A high-fiber diet should contain 20-35 grams of fiber a day. This is actually the amount recommended for the general adult population. Most Americans eat only 15 grams of fiber per day.
Eating a higher-fiber diet than usual can take some getting used to by your body’s digestive system. To avoid the side effects of sudden increases in dietary fiber (like gas, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea), increase fiber gradually and be sure to drink plenty of fluids every day.
|Food Category||Foods Recommended||Notes|
|Meats and Beans|
|Fats and Oils|
|Snacks, Sweets, and Condiments|
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
US Department of Agriculture
Dietary, functional, and total fiber. National Institute of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=339. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Fiber. Harvard School of Public Health website. Available at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Fiber. The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center website. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/fiber. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Nutrition Care Manual. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Eat Right website. Available at: http://nutritioncaremanual.org. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Shield J, Mullen MC. Patient education materials. Supplement to the Manual of Clinical Dietetics. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association; 2001.
Slavin JL. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Health implications of dietary fiber. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108(10): 1716-1731.
12/9/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Aune D, Chan DS, Lau R, et al. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: Systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ. 2011;343:d6617.
Last reviewed August 2015 by Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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