By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Closing the Fiber Gap
Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Meal Plan Packed with Fiber
- Breakfast: whole-grain bran flake cereal (5 grams of fiber), half a banana (1.5 grams of fiber), and skim milk.
- Snack: 24 almonds (3.3 grams of fiber) and a quarter cup of raisins (1.5 grams of fiber)
- Lunch: Turkey sandwich made with 2 slices of whole wheat bread, lettuce, and tomato (5 grams of fiber), and an orange (3.1 grams of fiber)
- Snack: Yogurt with half a cup of blueberries (2 grams of fiber)
- Dinner:Grilled fish with a salad of romaine lettuce and shredded carrots (2.6 grams of fiber), half a cup of spinach (2.1 grams of fiber), and half a cup of lentils (7.5 grams of fiber)
- Snack: 3 cups popped popcorn (3.5 grams of fiber)
7 Ways to Add More Fiber
- Start your day with a whole-grain cereal that contains at least 5 grams of fiber. Look at the list of ingredients to be sure the whole grain (such as whole wheat, whole rye, or whole oats) is first on the list.
- Read labels and choose foods with at least a few grams of fiber per serving. A good source of fiber contains 2.5-4.9 grams of fiber per serving. An excellent source has 5 grams or more per serving.
- Use whole-grain breads with at least 2-3 grams of fiber per slice for sandwiches.
- Choose whole fruit over juice. Whole fruit can have as much as twice the amount of fiber as a glass of juice.
- Toss beans into your soups, stews, egg dishes, salads, chili, and Mexican dishes. Substitute beans for meat in at least one vegetarian meal per week.
- Experiment with international cuisines (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and beans in main dishes.
- Make snacks count as opportunities to enjoy foods high in fiber. For instance, snack on raw vegetables with bean dip or hummus.