How Much Fiber per Day?

You need fiber as part of a normal daily diet. Fiber can be found in whole grain foods, vegetables, seeds, legumes, nuts, and fruits. It gives bulk to the stools for better bowel movements. There are a couple of types of fiber you should know about: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. They have different properties that are both good for your health. So how much fiber per day do you really need?

How Much Fiber per Day Is Recommended?

In general, most people need about 25-30 grams of fiber per day from the food you eat. Unfortunately, most people only get about 15 grams of fiber daily, which doesn't measure up to the recommended amount necessary for good health. 

To be specific, men and women have different fiber recommendations. They need different amounts of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.

Men/Women

For men who are less than 50 years of age, you should take about 38 grams of fiber daily. For men who are at least 51 years of age, the dietary requirement is 30 grams per day. If you are on a low calorie diet, you don't need that much fiber. The recommended amount of fiber is about 10-13 grams for every 1,000 calories you eat.

Women need to take in about 25 grams of fiber daily if you are 50 years of age or less. Those who are older than 51, the recommended amount of fiber is 21 grams daily. If you are on a low calorie diet, you should probably take in about 10-13 grams of fiber per 1000 calories total.

Soluble/Insoluble

There are no particular recommended amounts of soluble fiber you need to take per day; however, the United States Department of health and Human Services describes a diet known as the TLC diet (therapeutic lifestyle change diet). According to the TLC diet, you should eat about 10-15 grams of soluble fiber daily if you want to actually lessen the amount of LDL cholesterol in the diet. You can find soluble fiber in nuts, seeds, certain vegetables, oats, barley, legumes, and psyllium seeds.

Insoluble fiber isn't good at lessening the LDL cholesterol in your blood when compared to soluble fiber, but it is good for the digestion by adding roughage to the foods you eat. You can prevent constipation, reduce weight gain, and enhance satiety when you eat insoluble fiber. It is also good in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. You can find insoluble fiber in various kinds of foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, seeds, nuts, and legumes.

How to Include More Fiber into Your Diet

Sine you have known how much fiber per day you need, and most people don't get enough every day, here are some ways you can try to get more fiber in your diet daily:

1.   Start Early in the Morning

Begin your day with a high-fiber cereal for breakfast. There are many choices out there and you can read the labels to find out which ones are highest in fiber. Look for a fiber amount that is at least 5 grams or more in each serving. Look for cereals that say "fiber", "bran" or "whole grain" on the packaging. If you don't like the high fiber choices out there, buy some unprocessed wheat bran and sprinkle it on whatever type of cereal you choose to eat in the morning.

2.   Change over to Whole Grains

Try to have whole grains be about half of all the grains you eat. This means finding breads that say whole wheat flour, whole wheat, or just about any kind of whole grain listed as one of the ingredients listed on the label. The label should also say that it contains about 2 grams of fiber per serving. Try recipes that contain wild rice, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bulgur wheat, or barley in the recipe.

3.   Alter Your Baked Foods

If you are using flour for baking, use whole grain flour instead of white flour. The recipe will taste a little bit different, but it is very healthy for you. If you are making cakes, cookies, or muffins, you can try putting in unprocessed wheat bran, uncooked oatmeal, or crushed bran cereal into the recipe for a full-bodied flavor and a bulked-up food.

4.   Eat More Legumes

You can get a lot of fiber if you incorporate peas, beans, and lentils into your diet. Put some kidney beans into your soup or add it to a mixed green salad. Try a recipe for nachos that contains refried black beans in it, along with whole wheat chips, many types of fresh vegetables, and salsa.

5.   Incorporate Vegetables and Fruits into the Diet

All types of vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and also have added minerals and vitamins for better health. You should try to incorporate at least five servings of vegetables and fruits in your diet each day.

6.   Eat Healthy Snacks

There are good snacks and bad snacks. Raw vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, and low fat popcorn make for good snack choices. You can also get some fiber by eating handful of dried fruits or any type of nuts, but the latter is high in calories, so you should stick to just a handful on occasion.

The video below lists some food choices with high fiber. Learn from it and incorporate more fiber into your diet.

Note:

To know how much fiber per day is important, while getting a lot of fiber is healthy for you, it isn't always a good idea to get too much. You can actually get too much fiber if you are taking in a lot of fiber in the form of supplements along with a high fiber diet. Some side effects of this include bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps, as well as problems with absorbing nutrients. 

 
 
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