What is fiber & why do we need it?

Fiber is the part of plant foods that is not digested. Eating plenty of fiber-rich foods can:

  • Help lower your cholesterol
  • Help control your blood sugar response
  • Keep your digestive system running smoothly and prevent constipation
  • Help you feel full after eating

How much fiber?

More than 90% of women and 97% of men do not meet recommended intakes of dietary fiber. Health experts recommend that adults eat at least 22-34 grams of fiber daily. A balance of soluble and insoluble fibers is recommended. Eating according to MyPlate can help you meet your dietary fiber goal.


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Tips to remember:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep fiber moving through your body.
  • Increase your fiber intake slowly over several weeks. This will prevent excess gas or bloating.
  • Start your morning with fiber by having a bowl of whole grain cereal like shredded wheat, bran flakes, or oatmeal.
  • Check the nutrition facts label. Five grams or more of fiber per serving is considered high. Look for whole grain bread with at least 2 to 3 grams of fiber per slice. 
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Eating plenty of both types of fiber

This type of fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid and acts as a scrub brush in the digestive system.

  • Eat fruits and vegetables (apples, pears, eaggplant, etc.) with edible skin left on.
  • Plan meals with legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils) several times a week.
  • Eat oatmeal often - as a cereal or in breads, muffins, and desserts.
  • Try recipes with barley. Check out our Vegetable Barley Soup recipe.
  • Eat fruit and vegetables with seeds, like strawberries and zucchini.

This type passes through your digestive tract largely intact and may help with lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar.

  • Choose brown rice instead of white rice and whole grain bread instead of white bread. 
  • Snack on popcorn, dried fruits, raw vegetables, and nuts.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes.

Featured Recipes

Coming soon.