High-fiber diets

Health professionals recommend that you eat 20 grams (g) to 30 g of fiber every day. You can find the amount of fiber content in packaged foods and fiber supplements by looking at the nutritional information on the package. You should increase the amount of fiber in your diet slowly so that your stomach can adjust to the change. Adding too much fiber too quickly may cause stomach upset and gas. To get adequate fiber in your diet:

  • Choose whole-grain breads and cereals. Buy bread that lists whole wheat, stone-ground wheat, or cracked wheat in the ingredients. And try to choose bread that contains at least 3 grams of fiber in each serving. Eat brown rice, bulgur, or millet instead of white rice.
  • Eat plenty of fiber-containing fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber include raspberries, apples, figs, oranges, pears, prunes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, corn, peas, and beans.

Some health professionals recommend adding bran to your diet to help boost the fiber content. If you do this, start slowly with 1 teaspoon a day. Gradually increase the amount to several teaspoons a day.

Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to help keep your stool soft. High-fiber diets need lots of water to work properly. If your diet is high enough in fiber, your stools should become softer, larger, and easier to pass.

Last Updated: July 23, 2009

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