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Harvest Health at Home: Add Fiber to Your Diet (FN1459, Revised July 2021)

Having more fiber in your diet helps lower blood cholesterol and prevents constipation, and ma help prevent cancer. Many people shortchange themselves on the 20 to 35 grams per day fiber recommendation. The average American consumes 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist

Availability: Web only


Having more fiber in your diet helps lower blood cholesterol and prevents constipation, and may help prevent cancer. Many people shortchange themselves on the 20 to 35 grams per day fiber recommendation. The average American consumes 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. 

Determine which foods are fiber-rich, then select the foods you will add to your diet. 

Whole-wheat bread Fresh orange Sugar cookies Potato chips
Sugar Bran cereal Oatmeal Raisins
Broccoli Lentil soup Fresh vegetables Fresh fruits
Pinto beans Sausage Apple juice Brown rice
Ice cream Fried eggs Peas and corn Bran muffins

Key: You should not have selected sugar, ice cream, sausage, fried eggs, sugar cookies, apple juice or potato chips. 

Try this easy, fiber-rich recipe.                                         

Split Pea or Lentil Soup

½ c. uncooked lentils or split peas
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 small stalk celery, chopped
¼ c. tomato sauce
2 c. water
Salt, pepper (to taste)

Wash the lentils or peas. Put all ingredients in a kettle. Heat to boiling, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils or peas are tender.

Makes 2 cups.

Nutrition information per cup: 170 calories, 7 grams (g) fiber, 0.5 g fat, 32 g carbohydrate and 11 g protein.

Fiber Up Your Menu

These two menus show how to modify your menu to increase the fiber and decrease the fat content by making healthier choices all day. Remember to increase your fiber intake slowly, and drink plenty of water to avoid digestive upset. 

Original Menu Fiber-rich Menu

Fried eggs
White toast with butter and jelly
Cornflakes with milk
Apple juice
Coffee

Morning Raisin Bran cereal with skim milk
Oat Bran Banana Bread (see FN1458)
Fresh orange slices
Coffee
Canned tomato soup
Turkey sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise
Brownie
Coffee and milk
Noon Split pea or lentil soup
Turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lettuce and tomato
Oatmeal raisin cookie
Skim milk
Fried chicken
Mashed potato with butter
Tomato juice
White bun
Ice cream w/chocolate sauce
Evening

Baked chicken (don't eat skin)
Baked potato (eat the skin)
Steamed broccoli
Whole-grain bun
Low-fat ice cream with strawberries

Sugar cookie
Potato chips
Grape juice
Ice cream
Snacks Fresh apple slices with cinnamon
Popcorn
Raisins
Approximate fiber total based on typical serving sizes: 3 grams
Approximate fat total: 115 grams
Approximate fiber total based on typical serving sizes: 35 grams
Approximate fat total: 28 grams

For more information on this and other topics, see www.ag.ndsu.edu/food

Filed under: food
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