I recently had an individual ask the following question:
How much fiber do I need to eat to equal 25 grams? How many pieces of fruit, slices of bread, cups of barley or flaxseed? I can’t relate to 25 grams.
I want to share the answer with everyone. Read on. . .
How Much Dietary Fiber
You need to consume between 25-35 grams of dietary fiber daily. Of this, soluble fiber should make up 15 grams. For every 1-2 grams of daily soluble fiber intake, LDL (bad) cholesterol is lowered 1%.
The average US dietary fiber intake is 12-18 grams/day. If your current diet is very low in dietary fiber, do not increase to 35 grams overnight. A sudden increase will result in gastrointestinal (stomach) distress and unpleasant side effects (flatulence and diarrhea). You want to increase your intake gradually.
Top 5 Foods Containing Dietary Fiber
1. Legumes - 15-19 grams of fiber per cup
2. Wheat bran - 17 grams per cup
3. Prunes - 12 grams per cup
4. Asian pear - 10 grams each
5. Quinoa - 9 grams per cup
Two fruits worth mentioning are the raspberry (8 grams dietary fiber per cup) and blackberry (8 g dietary fiber per cup).
Each of the following contains 2 grams of soluble fiber:
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup oat bran
1 cup collard greens
1 cup cooked rye cereal
1 cup cooked barley
1 cup lentils
1 cup broccoli
1 cup parsnips
1 cup Brussels sprouts
1 large sweet potato
½ cup apricots or figs
¼ cup ground flax seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
Read food labels to increase your dietary fiber intake. If you select foods that are whole grain and eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, you will likely meet your daily fiber needs.
Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides clients step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so they can live life and enjoy their family for years to come. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques. She can be found on Twitter @lisanelsonrd and Facebook at hearthealthmadeeasy.