How to Figure out Your Fiber Intake

How to Figure out Your Fiber Intake

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Gradually increase your fiber intake to avoid adverse effects.

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If you're like most Americans, you get in about 15 grams of fiber per day, less than the recommended 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams a day for men, reports the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fiber is the part of the carbohydrate foods you eat that your body cannot digest. You want an adequate amount in your diet to regulate bowel habits and prevent constipation, to reduce your risk of heart disease and to help control your weight. Sources of dietary fiber include fruits and vegetables, cereals and grains, beans, nuts and seeds.


Record everything you've eaten within the previous 24 hours on a piece of paper. Include the amount of each food you've consumed. Use cups and tablespoons as your units of measure.


Record grams of fiber for the carbohydrate-containing foods you eat. You can find information on grams of fiber per serving of commonly eaten foods on an online nutrient database. If the food you eat has a label, use the amount of fiber per serving found on the nutrition facts panel.


Add up all of the fiber grams on your list, using a calculator. If you fall short of the recommendation, gradually add a variety of fiber-rich foods to your diet.


Continue to track your fiber intake daily until you are in the habit of meeting your daily fiber goal. It may take a few weeks for you to tolerate the recommended amount.

Things Needed

  • Calculator


  • To boost your fiber intake, try adding flaxseeds to your morning oatmeal. One tablespoon provides 3.3 grams of fiber, according to Harvard University Health Services. A 1/2-cup serving of black beans on your afternoon salad will provide an additional 6 grams of fiber. Stir 1 cup of fresh raspberries into yogurt for an additional 3.3 fiber grams.


  • Increasing your fiber intake too quickly may cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. Add more fiber gradually, and drink plenty of water, recommends the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Consult with your doctor before adding fiber to your diet if you have gastrointestinal disease.

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