Add Fiber to Your Diet

(FN1459 Reviewed June 2023)
Publication File:
Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D. Food and Nutrition Specialist
Web only
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Having more fiber in your diet helps lower blood cholesterol and prevents constipation, and may help prevent cancer. Many people shortchange themselves on the 20 to 35 grams per day fiber recommendation. The average American consumes 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day.

Circle the foods that are fiber-rich, then put a star (✩) by the foods you will add to your diet.

Whole-wheat bread Sugar cookies
Sugar Oatmeal
Broccoli Fresh vegetables
Pinto beans Apple juice
Ice cream Peas and corn
Fresh orange Potato chips
Bran cereal Raisins
Lentil soup Fresh fruits
Sausage Brown rice
Fried eggs Bran muffins

Key: You should not have circled sugar, ice cream, sausage, fried eggs, sugar cookies, apple juice, or potato chips.

Try this easy, fiber-rich recipe.

Split Pea or Lentil Soup

½ cup uncooked lentils or split peas

1 small onion, sliced thin

1 small stalk celery, chopped

¼ cup tomato sauce

2 cups water

Salt, pepper (to taste)

Wash the lentils or peas. Put all ingredients in a kettle. Heat to boiling, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils or peas are tender.

Makes 2 cups.

Nutrition information per cup: 170 calories, 7 grams (g) fiber, 0.5 g fat, 32 g carbohydrate and 11 g protein.

Fiber Up Your Menu

These two menus show how to modify your menu to increase the fiber and decrease the fat content by making healthier choices all day. Remember to increase your fiber intake slowly, and drink plenty of water to avoid digestive upset.

Original Menu

Fried eggs

White toast with butter and jelly

Cornflakes with milk

Apple juice


Canned tomato soup

Turkey sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise


Coffee and milk

Fried chicken

Mashed potato with butter

Tomato juice

White bun

Ice cream w/ chocolate sauce

Sugar cookie

Potato chips

Grape juice

Ice cream

Approximate fiber total based on typical serving sizes: 3 grams

Approximate fat total: 115 grams

Fiber-rich Menu

Raisin Bran cereal with skim milk

Oat Bran Banana Bread (see FN1458)

Fresh orange slices


Split Pea or Lentil Soup

Turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lettuce and tomato

Oatmeal raisin cookie

Skim milk

Baked chicken (don’t eat skin)

Baked potato (eat the skin)

Steamed broccoli

Whole-grain bun

Low-fat ice cream with strawberries

Fresh apple slices with cinnamon



Approximate fiber total based on typical serving sizes: 35 grams

Approximate fat total: 28 grams

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