News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Sunday, May 29, 2011

High-fiber foods

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.
FruitsServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Raspberries1 cup8.0
Pear, with skin1 medium5.5
Apple, with skin1 medium4.4
Strawberries (halves)1 1/4 cup3.8
Banana1 medium3.1
Orange1 medium3.1
Figs, dried2 medium1.6
Raisins2 tablespoons1.0
Grains, cereal & pastaServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked1 cup6.2
Barley, pearled, cooked1 cup6.0
Bran flakes3/4 cup5.3
Oat bran muffin1 medium5.2
Oatmeal, quick, regular or instant, cooked1 cup4.0
Popcorn, air-popped3 cups3.5
Brown rice, cooked1 cup3.5
Bread, rye1 slice1.9
Bread, whole-wheat or multigrain1 slice1.9
Legumes, nuts & seedsServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Split peas, cooked1 cup16.3
Lentils, cooked1 cup15.6
Black beans, cooked1 cup15.0
Lima beans, cooked1 cup13.2
Baked beans, vegetarian, canned, cooked1 cup10.4
Sunflower seed kernels1/4 cup3.9
Almonds1 ounce (23 nuts)3.5
Pistachio nuts1 ounce (49 nuts)2.9
Pecans1 ounce (19 halves)2.7
VegetablesServing sizeTotal fiber (grams)*
Artichoke, cooked1 medium10.3
Peas, cooked1 cup8.8
Broccoli, boiled1 cup5.1
Turnip greens, boiled1 cup5.0
Sweet corn, cooked1 cup4.2
Brussels sprouts, cooked1 cup4.1
Potato, with skin, baked1 medium2.9
Tomato paste1/4 cup2.7
Carrot, raw1 medium1.7
*Fiber content can vary between brands.
soluble and insoluble fiber
Color coding of table entries:
  • Both Applies to both soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Soluble Applies to soluble fiber only
  • Insoluble Applies to insoluble fiber only

Dietary fiber functions and benefits

Increases food volume without increasing caloric content, providing satietyMay reduce appetite
Attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, trapping carbohydrates and slowing absorption of glucoseLowers variance in blood sugar levels
Lowers total and LDL cholesterolReduces risk of heart disease
Regulates blood sugarMay reduce onset risk or symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Speeds the passage of foods through the digestive systemFacilitates regularity
Adds bulk to the stoolAlleviates constipation
Balances intestinal pH and stimulates intestinal fermentation production of short-chain fatty acidsMay 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 likecalciumzincvitamin C, and magnesium, but this is caused by the presence of phytate (which is also thought to have important health benefits), not by fiber.

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