Women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day.
*Fiber content can vary between brands.
soluble and insoluble fiber
Color coding of table entries:
- Applies to both soluble and insoluble fiber
- Applies to soluble fiber only
- Applies to insoluble fiber only
Dietary fiber functions and benefits
|Increases food volume without increasing caloric content, providing satiety||May reduce appetite|
|Attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, trapping carbohydrates and slowing absorption of glucose||Lowers variance in blood sugar levels|
|Lowers total and LDL cholesterol||Reduces risk of heart disease|
|Regulates blood sugar||May reduce onset risk or symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes|
|Speeds the passage of foods through the digestive system||Facilitates regularity|
|Adds bulk to the stool||Alleviates constipation|
|Balances intestinal pH and stimulates intestinal fermentation production of short-chain fatty acids||May reduce risk of colorectal cancer|
Fiber does not bind to minerals and vitamins and therefore does not restrict their absorption, but rather evidence exists that fermentable fiber sources improve absorption of minerals, especially calcium. Some plant foods can reduce the absorption of minerals and vitamins likecalcium, zinc, vitamin C, and magnesium, but this is caused by the presence of phytate (which is also thought to have important health benefits), not by fiber.