How Much Fiber Do You Need?

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
05/30/13  11:26 PM PST

Fiber not only helps to keep you regular and prevent heart disease, it feeds the normal flora in your colon. These beneficial bacteria process the fiber you eat into compounds that protect your immune system and fuel the cells of your intestinal tract. You’ll find fiber in carbohydrate foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Aim for a total daily fiber intake of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.


Choose whole-wheat versions of bread, crackers and pasta. Make sure the first ingredient is whole-wheat flour and that each serving contains at least 3 grams of fiber.

One serving equals:

1 slice bread

5-10 crackers

1/2 cup pasta

1/3 cup quinoa or brown rice

1/2 cup oatmeal



Shoot for 2-4 servings of fruit daily.

One serving contains roughly 3 grams of fiber:

1/2 medium banana

1 1/4 cup strawberries

17 grapes

1 small orange, apple or pear



Eat 4 or more servings of veggies per day.

One serving contains between 3 to 5 grams of fiber:

1/2 cup cooked veggies

1 cup raw veggies

1/2 cup beans, peas, corn or lentils

1 small sweet potato


Recipe: Whole-Grain Strawberry Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 container (6 oz) vanilla low-fat yogurt

3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 ¾ cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 container (6 oz) strawberry low-fat yogurt

1. Heat griddle to 375°F or heat 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Grease with canola oil if necessary (or spray with cooking spray before heating).

2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In medium bowl, beat eggs, vanilla yogurt, water and oil with egg beater or wire whisk until well blended. Pour egg mixture all at once into flour mixture; stir until moistened.

3. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbly on top, puffed and dry around edges. Turn; cook other sides 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Top each serving (2 pancakes) with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1 to 2 tablespoons strawberry yogurt.

Serving size: 2 pancakes

Makes 7 servings

Nutrition per Serving (with strawberries and yogurt): Calories 260 (Calories from Fat 80); Total Fat 9g (Saturated Fat 1.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 4.5g); Sodium 390mg; Potassium 300mg; Dietary Fiber 4g

% Daily Value: Total Fat 14% (Saturated Fat 8%); Sodium 16%; Potassium 9%; Dietary Fiber 16%; Calcium 15%; Vitamin D 2%



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