Adding Fiber to Your Diet

When it comes to fiber, “people think that only grains can provide fiber and underestimate the value of fruits and vegetables," says nutritional scientist Judith Marlett, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She analyzed 325 common foods for their fiber content and found some surprises. For instance, ounce for ounce, stringy celery packs only half the fiber of an avocado.

Food and Portion Size: Grams of Fiber:

Psyllium, 1 tablespoon 10.2

Avocado, 1 medium 8.5

Raisin Bran cereal, 1 cup 8.0

Lentils, 1/2 cup 7.8

Kidney beans, 1/2 cup 7.3

Raisins, 2/3 cup 6.8

Tomatoes, sun-dried, 1 cup 6.6

Tomato paste, 1/2 cup 5.4

Baked potato with skin 4.8

Peas, 1/2 cup frozen 4.4

Pears, 1 medium 4.0

Oatmeal, 1 cup cooked 4.0

Apple, 1 medium 3.7

Brown rice, 1 cup 3.5

Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup 3.4

Whole wheat bread, 1 slice 1.9

Celery, 1/2 cup 1.2

Carol Potera is a freelance health writer in Montana who writes for Shape magazine and WebMD. She has a master’s degree in nutritional science.

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