Eat More Fiber and Boost Your Health!

Did you know that less than 3% of Americans get enough fiber in their diets? It is recommended that women eat 25 grams of fiber per day and men 38 grams. On average, Americans only eat about 50% of the amount of recommended fiber per day.

Eating enough fiber each day has benefits for your overall health.

How can you eat that much fiber?

Eating a balanced and colorful diet, making half your grains whole grains, and aiming for 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day is the easiest way to reach your daily fiber goal.

A word of advice: When eating more fiber, increase intake gradually and make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep things moving and prevent bloating or stomach pain.

Health benefits of fiber:

  • Keep you feeling full longer
  • Achieve or maintain a healthy weight
  • Help maintain a healthy digestive system
  • May help lower cholesterol
  • Help manage blood sugar levels
  • Reduce risk for developing high blood pressure, heart disease and certain digestive diseases


Fiber rich foods: 

  • Berries (Raspberries, Strawberries, etc.)
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Whole wheat products
  • Split peas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Collard greens
  • Carrots


Check food labels!

Dietary fiber is included under the Carbohydrates section of the Nutrition Facts panel. Choose products with at least 2 g of fiber per serving.

Easy ways that you can boost your fiber:

  • Choose whole grain or whole wheat over white bread products
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. You do not have to eat them raw. Include them in smoothies, soups or add pureed vegetables to your sauces or stews.
  • Leave skin on your fruit such as apples and pears. This part of the fruit is often the highest in fiber.
  • Sprinkle seeds (such as flax seeds) in your morning cereal, on your oatmeal, smoothies, baked goods or yogurt.


Here is a example of a day that has 25 grams of fiber: 

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal (1 cup) topped with half a cup of berries (6g of fiber) 
  • Morning snack: 1 orange and handful of almonds (4g of fiber)
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich on 2 slices of whole wheat bread, with tomatoes and lettuce (5g of fiber)
  • Afternoon snack: ¼ cup of Hummus with vegetables (5g of fiber)
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with 1 cup of broccoli and ½ sweet potato (6g of fiber)
  • Snack: 3 cups popcorn (3.5g fiber) 


Great recipes with fiber rich ingredients:

Breakfast Smoothie (add ground flaxseed to increase fiber)

Veggie Stuffed Pita (use whole wheat pitas)

Chicken Parmesan with Side Salad (use whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread crumbs)


Kirsten Berding Harold, former University of Illinois dietetic intern
April 3, 2018
Blog Topics