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General Nutrition and Diet Facts

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More Fiber

 

Most of us are having a typical diet which is low in fiber. Approximately, we are taking about 20 grams of dietary fiber per day. It is recommended to increase that amount by at least half, to 30 grams per day.

Foods from animal sources have no fiber. The main dietary sources of fiber are legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods also are low in fat and many are good sources of vitamins A and C, so they fit well.

You can increase your fiber consumption by eating whole grain breads, using whole wheat flours, brown rice, barley, bulgur, or buckwheat by themselves or combined with other foods, using dried beans or lentils in soups, salads, and stews or in dips, adding wheat or oat bran.

Best sources of dietary fiber :

  • Dried beans, peas, lentils
  • Bran cereals—All Bran, Raisin Bran, Most, Shredded Wheat.
  • Whole wheat and whole grain products—rye oats, buckwheat, stone ground cornmeal, barley.
  • Sweet corn, potatoes with skin, peas.
  • Broccoli (very high), spinach, carrots, sprouts, green snap beans.
  • Raspberries, strawberries, plums, pears, apples (especially with skin), bananas, cherries.
  • Figs, apricots, dates, raisins, prunes.
  • Almonds, peanuts, walnuts.


  • Although all are good sources of fiber, these foods are listed in order of fiber content. Dried beans, peas, and lentils provide the most in the group; nuts provide the least. Remember, nuts are also high in fat.

    Getting enough fiber :

    Food Grams
        2 slices whole wheat bread     5
        1 cup cooked brown rice or bulgur, or 1 small baked potato with skin     5
        ¾ cup whole grain cereal     5
        1 piece fruit     5
        1 cup cooked vegetables     5
        1/3 cup cooked beans, peas, lentils     5
        Total     30


    You can also choose high fiber commercial cereals. add bran to dry or cooked cereals, eat air- popped popcorn (unbuttered) as a snack, add red beans, peas, or garbanzos to vegetable salads, eat more fresh fruit, especially apples, pears, peaches, and oranges; eat more fresh vegetables, especially broccoli, carrots, and peas.

    Amounts of foods containing 5 grams of fiber :

    FOOD AMOUNT
        Whole wheat bread     2 slices
        White bread     6½ slices
        Brown rice     1¾ cups
        White rice     4 cups
        Shredded wheat cereal     11/3 cups
        Cheerios-type cereal     6 cups
        Raw bran     3 Tbsp
        Cooked beans, peas lentils     1/3 cup
        Lettuce salad     5 cups
        Celery, diced     2½ cups
        Strawberries, raspberries     2/3 cup
        Oranges     2 medium


    It is best to choose fiber from all the sources. Dietary fiber is made of different substances which all have a role to play in the maintenance of our health.

     

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