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Increase Fiber Intake: How to get the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber

So… the doctor told you to increase your fiber intake? Well, you are in the right place! I'll be the first to admit that getting 25-35 grams of fiber in one day can be difficult, but that doesn't mean it's impossible! Fiber is interesting because humans do not have digestive enzymes to break it down as we do for fat, protein, and simple carbohydrates. Fiber is considered a "non-digestible" carbohydrate. However, there is something that can break down the fiber we eat - microbes! Oh, and do these microbes impact our overall health. So now when a doctor recommends you increase fiber intake, you know what they mean is to feed your microbes so "they" can help you stay regular and improve GI health. 

What has fiber? PLANTS. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Fun fact: Did you know our ancestors likely ate around 100 grams of fiber per day? They ate a variety of plant foods in large quantities. 

Why is fiber important? 

4 Tips to Increase Your Daily Fiber Intake

  1. Add 1 cup of beans or lentils to your meal 
  2. Cover half of your plate with vegetables (raw or cooked)
  3. Choose a whole-grain as your carbohydrate serving (barley, brown rice, quinoa, oats) 
  4. Eat dessert! And add a serving of fruit

High Fiber Diet 1-day Example

Meal 1: Oatmeal - 7 grams of fiber

Meal 2: Mediterranean Salad - 19 grams of fiber

Meal 3: Salmon and Veggie Dinner - 6 grams of fiber 

Dessert: Chia Seed Pudding - 12 grams of fiber 

Total: 44 grams of fiber

The above meal plan is the ultimate goal. I don't expect anyone to get to 40+ grams of fiber overnight. If you currently eat less than 15 grams of fiber daily, introduce it slowly. Try increasing your intake by 2-3 grams per day. For example, if you usually eat 5 grams of fiber, try getting 8 grams on your first day and go from there.

Please remember when you increase fiber in your diet, it is essential to increase your water intake as well. The two go hand in hand. Recommended MINIMUM: 65 oz water daily. Exact recommendations vary depending on your size and gender: 80-100 oz. 

If you have further questions or would like an individualized nutrition plan, please make an appointment with our dietitian nutritionist Tatiana.

Tatiana Keay, MS, RD 

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