By Melissa Schuster MS RDN CDN IFNCP, owner of Schuster Nutrition, PLLC

Tips from a Registered Dietitian How Much Fiber Do I Really NeedFiber is a key nutrient in overall health. It promotes good digestion by preventing constipation and maintaining regular bowel movements. It helps balance blood sugar levels, which is important for diabetes and prediabetes. Fiber affects heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Fiber also supports weight loss, providing satiety, blood sugar balance, and cravings prevention. And, fiber helps support a healthy gut microbiome by feeding good bacteria; research shows a strong connection between the gut and the brain, so supporting gut health is essential for mood, energy, and cognitive function.

The general guidelines for fiber are 25 grams/day for women and 38 grams/day for men. Most adults are eating far less than this. As you increase your fiber intake, make sure to also increase your water intake to prevent constipation and promote healthy digestion.

Fiber can be found in a variety of foods:

Fruits and vegetables – these are a great way to add more fiber to your diet. Aim for a variety of colors to also get the benefits of a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Whole grains – oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread or pasta are all good sources of fiber. Whole grain products (look for 100% whole wheat when possible) retain the whole grain, which includes fiber. Refined or white grains lose the outer bran husk, thereby removing the fiber.

Nuts and seeds – nuts, nut butters, and seeds all contain high amounts of fiber. These can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, salads and sandwiches.

Beans and legumes – all kinds of beans and lentils are high fiber sources, and a nice source of plant-based protein.

It’s important to increase fiber slowly and monitor any gastrointestinal side effects (like gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea). I recommend using food sources of fiber, rather than supplements, whenever possible.

Determining your exact fiber needs can be complex and depends on individual factors. If you want a customized nutrition plan, book a 6-Week 1:1 Concierge Nutrition Bootcamp with Melissa Schuster, MS RDN CDN IFNCP.  https://schusternutrition.com/bootcamp

DISCLAIMER: This information contained in this post is not, and should not be construed as, medical advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. Each individual’s situation, nutritional needs and medical situation are different, and the information contained in this post may not be appropriate for your personal situation. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before implementing any change to your lifestyle, food intake, exercise regimen or medical treatment.

 

© 2024 Schuster Nutrition, PLLC

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