Fiber – Everybody’s Favorite Topic

Fiber! (Groan) Everyone’s favorite topic…

But don’t leave yet! You need this and I’ll make it quick and simple.

Research shows Americans aren’t getting their fill. Actual intake among adults is about 18 grams of fiber per day for men and 14 for women – far below the recommended daily fiber intake. Here’s how much you should be aiming for:

  • Men – 38 grams per day
  • Woman – 25 grams per day
The Benefits of Fiber

Most people think of fiber as keeping you “regular.” While that’s true, fiber’s benefits to your body don’t stop there. Research has demonstrated fiber also helps:

  1. Lower your weight — Fiber slows down how fast food leaves your stomach. The longer your stomach stays full, the less likely you are to keep eating.
  2. Reduce your cholesterol — Fiber binds to bile in your intestines. Bile, formed from cholesterol, is necessary to digest fats. So your body gets used to using cholesterol to make more bile, keeping less of it from traveling around in your blood and clogging your arteries.
  3. Keep your gut healthy — Fiber becomes food for the beneficial bacteria in your colon. This is particularly helpful for those with inflammatory bowel disease.
  4. Improve glucose control — Via gut bacteria, fiber increases short chain fatty acids. These fatty acids have a beneficial effect on glucose control in people with metabolic syndrome.
  5. Balance estrogen levels — Estrogen dominance (most often associated with women) leads to a cascade of unpleasant hormonal effects. Increasing fiber helps bind to excess estrogen in the GI tract, keeping it out of the bloodstream.
Sources of Fiber

Fiber is found in an abundance of whole foods in varying amounts. Here are some of the top picks.

Raspberries, 1 cup ……………………..8 g
Pear, medium …………………………….5 g
Apple, medium …………………………..4 g
Avocado, ½ medium …………………..4 g
Banana, medium ………………………..3 g
Strawberries, 1 cup sliced ………….3 g
Dates, 1 medium ………………………..1 g

Broccoli, 1 cup cooked ………………….5 g
Sweet potato, 1 cup cooked …………4 g
Spinach, 1 cup cooked ………………….4 g
Artichoke hearts, ½ cup ………………..3 g
Brussels sprouts, ½ cup cooked …..3 g
Carrots, 1 cup cooked …………………..3 g
Asparagus, 8 spears ………………………2 g
Beets, ½ cup cooked ……………………..2 g
Lettuce, 1 cup ………………………………..1 g

Black beans, ½ cup cooked …………7 g
Kidney beans, ½ cup cooked ………8 g
Oatmeal, 1 cup cooked ……………….4 g
Whole wheat bread, 1 slice….…..2-3 g
Brown rice, ½ cup ………………………..2 g
Almonds, 10 …………………………………3 g



Raspberries, pears, avocados and beans are the clear winners here. If you were counting on all those lettuce-based salads to get your fill of fiber, sorry, but you’ll find lettuce is pretty low on the list. Beef up your salads with avocado, cooked broccoli or beans and you’ll be on your way to getting your fiber fill.

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