Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Eat Better Feel Better

So, You Want to Increase your Fiber Intake?

Monday, March 14, 2022

Dietary fiber

Tips for increasing fiber intake

  • Drink more water as it is essential to fiber, to avoid gas and bloating
  • Start your day with high fiber options (5 grams or above per serving) that is also low in added sugars: such as bran, oats, added flax or chia seeds, or breakfast burrito with beans
  • Make use of fiber additions in your foods such as adding 2 tablespoons of chia seed or ground flax seed to almost anything. They blend in easily!
  • Use snacks as an opportunity to get your fiber intake up: such as carrots and hummus, fruits and vegetables such as an apple or celery
  • Add legumes (beans and peas), nuts or seeds to salads, soups and side dishes
  • For dessert after dinner, try choosing whole fruits, or a chia chocolate avocado pudding!
  • If your gut is sensitive to fiber, try pureeing the foods or adding to smoothies 

Dietary fiber intake is essential for overall health. Increasing your dietary fiber intake can:

  • Nourishes the microbiome (the good bacteria) to prevent and treat diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lower your cholesterol and control blood sugar - the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can be decreased1,2 and blood sugar is stabilized as the fiber slows the absorption of into your bloodstream. Sources of soluble fiber you can eat to accomplish this include oats, beans, and apples with the skin.
  • Lower blood pressure3,4,
  • Lower breast cancer risk 5
  • Lower heart disease risk in both men and women6,7
  • Helps with weight loss by helping to make you full sooner and longer 

How much fiber is recommended every day?
Minimum amount is 30 grams

Do you regularly consume 30 grams of fiber per day?

nutrition fiber label
"Nutrition Facts Label - Food - Nutrition -
Healthy Eating" by factsfood_15
is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re unsure, there are two things you can do to become more certain:

  • Look at the Nutrition Facts label. You can look just under where it says, “Total Carbohydrate” and you should see “Dietary Fiber” (blue arrow). You can see how many grams of fiber there are for each serving size that you consume. Minimize the sugars (red arrow). Is this a good food choice? Not for fiber...
    • If the food you’re eating does not have a nutrition facts label, there are resources to help you figure it out! One resource is MyFitnessPal’s food calculator where you enter the food and there will be information on the amount of fiber included.
  • Consider starting a food journal. With journaling your foods and discovering the amounts of fiber in each one, you can better gauge if you are meeting recommendations. Take note of what you ate and write down how much fiber you consumed per serving. You may also be surprised at the foods that may or may not have fiber in them!


What’s the recommended water intake every day?
48 to 64 ounces

One of the most important takeaways is to drink water. If you increase your fiber, you must also increase your water intake. Fiber binds with water and is necessary for fiber to produce is benefits. Drink at least 48 ounces of water everyday if you are increasing your fiber intake.

Be on the lookout for symptoms related to increasing your dietary fiber intake:



Thirsty or Dehydrated

Drink more water


Bloating or Gas

May benefit from digestive enzyme supplements prior to eating

More water, cut back on sugars

Abdominal Cramping

Drink more water

Digestive enzyme supplements


Drink more water

Lots of greens

Food journal
"Food Journal Aug 01, 08" by
Cheryl-Ann is licensed under

As you begin to eat more fiber, it is common to have bloating, especially if your body is not accustomed to eating much fiber. If you have bloating after you start eating more fiber, you can either gradually increase your fiber intake over a period of a few days to weeks as tolerated and/or consider including digestive enzyme supplements. Your body may need a “training period” to become accustomed to an optimal fiber load. Digestive enzymes supplements may be used prior to eating to assist your body in processing the fiber; they can be found in many health food stores and online. The digestive enzyme supplements to look for will have many types of words on the nutrition facts label that end with “-ase.”

For more information on reading a food label pertaining to fiber, you can visit the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s website showing their interactive nutrition facts label at:


1 - Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, Sacks FM. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(1):30-42. doi:10.1093/ajcn/69.1.30

2 - Bazzano LA. Effects of soluble dietary fiber on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and coronary heart disease risk. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2008;10(6):473-477. doi:10.1007/s11883-008-0074-3

3 - Streppel MT, Arends LR, van 't Veer P, Grobbee DE, Geleijnse JM. Dietary fiber and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(2):150-156. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.2.150

4 - Khan K, Jovanovski E, Ho HVT, et al. The effect of viscous soluble fiber on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018;28(1):3-13. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2017.09.007

5 - Farvid MS, Eliassen AH, Cho E, Liao X, Chen WY, Willett WC. Dietary Fiber Intake in Young Adults and Breast Cancer Risk. Pediatrics. 2016;137(3):e20151226. doi:10.1542/peds.2015-1226

6 - Pereira MA, O'Reilly E, Augustsson K, et al. Dietary fiber and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(4):370-376. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.4.370

7 - Rimm EB, Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, Spiegelman D, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Vegetable, fruit, and cereal fiber intake and risk of coronary heart disease among men. JAMA. 1996;275(6):447-451. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530300031036

nutrition label
nutrition label
nutrition label