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How much dietary fiber do I need?

Consider that the average American now consumes less than 15 grams of dietary fiber daily, while prehistoric man got between 100 and 150 grams of dietary fiber every day! A vast amount of scientific and medical literature suggests that the incidences of many “modern health plagues” (such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers) decrease when humans receive 35 or more grams of fiber daily. We recommend that you consume 10 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories you consume, but should you consume less than 2,500 calories, you should still strive for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber each day. You'll be surprised to discover just how easy it is to reach this goal. For a handy listing of foods according to their content of dietary fiber, just see Dietary Fiber - Food Sources.

If you consume a lot of animal foods or refined fats or sugars, which contain no fiber at all, you may want to get even more dietary fiber to prevent constipation and lower your risk of colon cancer. Just remember that you need to increase your water intake when you increase your fiber intake.

Find out if you are consuming enough fiber by going to our Food Advisor. This handy tool will take you less than five minutes.

The best way to increase your fiber intake is simply to eat more unrefined foods, such as fresh fibrous fruits (e.g., berries and apples), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, whole-grain products (especially oats and flaxseeds), sea vegetables, root vegetables (e.g., celery root, turnips), and fibrous vegetables like yams and sweet potatoes. Other excellent or very good sources of dietary fiber include celery, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, lentils, squash, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. In addition to dietary fiber, these foods provide a bounty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients. Here are three delicious recipes that will taste-temptingly increase your intake of dietary fiber:

For more detailed information on dietary fiber, you can read our comprehensive Dietary Fiber article. For daily recommendations for a tasty fiber-rich diet, check out our Feeling Great Menu.

Send us your favorite recipes using the World's Healthiest Foods, so we can share them with others!

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