Why eat a high-fiber diet?
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, including normalizing bowel movements, helping maintain bowel integrity and health, lowering blood cholesterol levels, and helping control blood sugar levels. A high-fiber diet may also help you maintain a healthy weight.
How much fiber do you need to achieve these results? The chart below shows the recommendations for adults from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
|Age 50 or younger||Age 51 or older|
|Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.|
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
Jump-start your day
Start your day with a fruit smoothie. If smoothies aren't your thing, try a high-fiber cereal — one with 5 or more grams of fiber a serving. Look for the words "whole grain," "bran" or "fiber" in the name. Or bulk up your favorite cereal by adding a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran. Then top with berries. In fact, it's a good strategy to eat fruit at every meal.
Pack a punch with dinner
As you plan dinner, keep in mind that fruits and vegetables should be about half your meal. Salads are an easy way to accomplish this. This grilled steak salad with roasted corn vinaigrette has nearly 10 grams of fiber.
If eating raw veggies isn't your thing, try adding cooked ones to sauces, soups and stews. For example, toss sauteed vegetables with whole-wheat spaghetti. Have some fruit for dessert to boost the fiber count.