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How much fiber do women need: High-fiber foods – Mayo Clinic

Should I be eating more fiber?

You probably know the basics about fiber: it’s the part of plant foods that your body cannot digest, and there are two types — soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are good for us.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel. It is the form of fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and regulate blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber is found in black beans, lima beans, Brussels sprouts, avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, turnips, and pears.

Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive system relatively intact, adding bulk to stools. It is the form of fiber that prevents constipation and regulates bowel movements, removing waste from the body in a timely manner. Insoluble fibers are found in whole wheat flour, wheat bran, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.

Despite these health benefits, most Americans get less than half the suggested amounts of daily fiber. The popularity of very-low-carbohydrate diets like the ketogenic or “keto” diet, the Atkins diet, and the Whole 30 diet, which may unintentionally decrease fiber consumption, hasn’t helped matters.

It may be time to give fiber another look.

New evidence confirms protective effect of fiber

A new analysis of almost 250 studies confirmed on a large scale that eating lots of fiber from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can decrease your risk of dying from heart disease and cancer. Those who ate the most fiber reduced their risk of dying from cardiac disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and/or colon cancer by 16% to 24%, compared to people who ate very little fiber. The study also concluded that more fiber is better. For every additional 8 grams of dietary fiber a person consumed, the risk for each of the diseases fell by another 5% to 27%. Risk reductions were greatest when daily intake of dietary fiber was between 25 and 29 grams.

Two observational studies showed that dietary fiber intake is also associated with a decreased risk of death from any cause. Those eating the highest amount of fiber reduced their risk of dying by 23% compared to those eating the least amount of fiber. In these studies, the associations were more evident for fiber from cereals and vegetables than from fruit.

Weight control is another benefit of high-fiber diets. By helping you feel full longer after a meal or snack, high-fiber whole grains can help you eat less. In one large study, adults who ate several servings of whole grains a day were less likely to have gained weight, or gained less weight, than those who rarely ate whole grains.

Fiber: how much is enough?

On average, American adults eat 10 to 15 grams of total fiber per day, while the USDA’s recommended daily amount for adults up to age 50 is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Women and men older than 50 should have 21 and 30 daily grams, respectively.

In general, it’s better to get your fiber from whole foods than from fiber supplements. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel, and Benefiber don’t provide the different types of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients that whole foods do.

When reading a food label, choose foods that contain more fiber. As a rule of thumb, choose cereals with 6 or more grams of fiber per serving, breads and crackers with 3 or more grams per serving, and pasta with 4 or more grams per serving. Another strategy is to make sure that a whole-grain food has at least 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbohydrate. If you look for a 1:5 ratio, that is even better.

Ignore the marketing on front of the package labels. Just because a bread is labeled “multigrain” or “12 grain” does not mean it is a whole grain. The grains could be refined and the bread may be low in fiber. When you look at the ingredient list, make sure “whole” is the first ingredient.

Easy ways to get more fiber in your diet

Here are some strategies to increase fiber in your diet:

  • Start your day with a bowl of high-fiber cereal.
  • Add vegetables, dried beans, and peas to soups.
  • Add nuts, seeds, and fruit to plain yogurt.
  • Make a vegetarian chili filled with different types of beans and vegetables.
  • Add berries, nuts, and seeds to salads.
  • Try snacking on vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and green beans. Serve them with a healthy dip such as hummus or a fresh salsa.
  • Eat more whole, natural foods and fewer processed foods.

A few important tips as you increase your fiber:

  • Do so gradually to give your gastrointestinal tract time to adapt.
  • Increase your water intake as you increase fiber.
  • If you have any digestive problems, such as constipation, check with your physician before dramatically increasing your fiber consumption.

Take a positive approach to eating more high-fiber foods. Beyond reducing risk of chronic disease, eating a variety of whole foods that contain good sources of fiber can be an easy and enjoyable way to keep you fuller longer and help control your weight. Fiber can expand your horizons with different tastes and textures, and can be a bonus to your health.

How Much Fiber Per Day? Grams, Sources, Benefits, and More

How Much Fiber Per Day? Grams, Sources, Benefits, and More

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Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R. D., Nutrition — By Brett Smiley — Updated on May 30, 2023

Guidelines advise different amounts of fiber depending on your age and sex. As you age, your fiber needs may go down.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the Daily Value for fiber is 28 grams per day for adults on a 2,000-calorie diet. This number may also depend on age or sex.

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest the following amounts of fiber:

  • Women under 50: 25 to 28 grams per day
  • Men under 50: 31 to 34 grams per day
  • Women 51 and older: 22 grams per day
  • Men 51 and older: 28 grams per day

Children ages 1 to 18 should eat 14 to 31 grams of fiber per day, depending on their age and sex. Even higher fiber intakes, seen in countries around the world, may significantly reduce chronic disease risk.

Fiber does digestive grunt work but doesn’t get the same glamour as vitamin D, calcium, and other nutrients.

It’s important to get the right amount of fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly. Fiber also provides a lot of health benefits beyond digestion, such as help with weight loss and with balancing gut bacteria.

The average American eats only about 16 grams of fiber per day. That’s quite a bit less than the daily recommended intake for a lot of people. Read on to learn more about the benefits of fiber, where to get fiber, symptoms of consuming too much fiber, and more.

As a whole, fiber delivers a lot of health benefits:

  • supports weight loss
  • reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and more
  • lowers risk of diabetes
  • increases digestive and bowel health
  • fuels healthy gut bacteria
  • may lower risk of colorectal and breast cancer

In general, “dietary fiber” is an umbrella term for the parts of plants and other foods that your body can’t digest. Your body does not break down fiber. Instead, fiber passes through your system and eases symptoms such as constipation.

It’s important to eat a wide variety of foods instead of relying on one source for fiber intake.

The best way to get fiber without consuming too many calories is to eat high fiber foods. Most vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods contain fiber.

If your body is slowly adjusting to more fiber, spread out your portions across multiple meals instead of eating a lot in a single serving.

Here are more high fiber foods to try:

Fiber-rich foodsGrams (g) per serving size
split peas, cooked16.4 g per cup
lentils, cooked15.6 per cup
black beans, cooked15.4 per cup
lima beans, cooked9.2 g per cup
green peas, cooked8.8 g per cup
raspberries8 g per cup
cooked barley6 g per cup
oat bran6 g per cup
medium pear with skin5. 6 g per pear
medium apple with skin4.8 g per apple
bran flakes5.5 g per 3/4 cup
cooked Brussels sprouts6.4 g per cup
almonds3.6 g per 1 oz.
chia seeds8.4 g per 1 oz. (2 tbsp.)

Looking for how to get your kids to eat more fiber? Check out these 10 high fiber foods your kids will actually eat.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that comes in three main forms: soluble, insoluble, and fermented fiber.

  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water and slows down digestion. It can help lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and plays a different role in digestion. It adds bulk to stool and passes through your system more quickly. Basically, it helps keep your pipes working regularly and prevents constipation.
  • Fermentable fiber can come from either of the previous two categories, although it is more often soluble fiber. Fermented fiber helps increase the healthy bacteria in your colon.

It’s best to gradually add fiber to the diet. You don’t want to shock your system with too much bulk. “Start low, go slow,” as the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders puts it.

Here are some tips for adding fiber — but not too much:

  • Eat whole fruits such as pears and apples instead of drinking fruit juices.
  • Opt for whole grain foods instead of white rice, white bread, and white pasta.
  • Snack on vegetables instead of pretzels and chips.
  • Eat beans and lentils daily.
  • Sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, smoothies, or salads.
  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water when you eat fibrous food.

You may also find it helpful to track the foods you eat and note the fiber content to better understand how much you’re actually eating. Some people who find it hard to eat enough fiber may want to consider taking a fiber supplement.

That said, too much fiber can also be a bad thing. And your body will speak up (literally and figuratively) with a variety of symptoms if you’re eating too much of it. Fiber supplements have also not been found to be nearly as beneficial as eating high fiber foods.

Keep in mind that everyone’s body reacts to fiber a bit differently. Some people with a condition called irritable bowel syndrome may not tolerate fiber well.

Fiber is also known as “bulk” or “roughage,” and it can make some noise as it passes through your stomach and intestines. While there is no daily upper limit for dietary fiber intake, consuming large amounts may cause discomfort and symptoms such as:

  • gas
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramping

Cut back on your fiber intake if you experience these symptoms and feel that they are the result of your diet and not another condition, like the stomach flu, that has similar symptoms.

If you experience severe symptoms, consult your doctor or visit an urgent care center or the hospital. In rare but serious cases, consuming too much fiber can cause an intestinal (bowel) obstruction, which is a blockage that prevents contents from moving through.

Last medically reviewed on April 27, 2023

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Barber TM, et al. (2020). The health benefits of dietary fibre.
  • Collins K. (2017). Do I need a certain type of dietary fiber?
  • Daily Value on the new Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. (2022).
  • Dietary fiber. (2017).
  • Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. (2020).
  • Eating, diet, & nutrition for constipation in children. (2018).
  • Fiber. (n.d.).
  • Fiber: The carb that helps you manage diabetes. (2022).
  • Food sources of dietary fiber. (2020).
  • Greger M. (2017). How much fiber should you eat every day?
  • Lambeau KV, et al. (2017). Fiber supplements and clinically proven health benefits: How to recognize and recommend an effective fiber therapy.
  • McRae M. (2018). The benefits of dietary fiber intake on reducing the risk of cancer: An umbrella review of meta-analyses.
  • Quagliani D, et al. (2017). Closing America’s fiber intake gap: Communication strategies from a Food and Fiber Summit.
  • Weickert MO, et al. (2008). Metabolic effects of dietary fiber consumption and prevention of diabetes.
  • Whole grains and fiber. (2021).

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

May 30, 2023

Written By

Brett Smiley

Edited By

John Bassham

Copy Edited By

Copy Editors

Apr 27, 2023

Medically Reviewed By

Katherine Marengo, LDN, RD


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Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition — By Brett Smiley — Updated on May 30, 2023

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How much fiber per day does the body need?

Table of contents

  • What is fiber
  • Fiber per day
  • Tips


Please note that all information posted on the site
Prowellness is provided for informational purposes only and is not a personal program, a direct recommendation for action, or medical advice. Do not use these materials for diagnosis, treatment, or any medical procedure. Consult your physician before using any technique or using any product. This site is not a specialized medical portal and does not replace the professional advice of a specialist. The Site Owner is not liable to any party who has suffered indirect or direct damage as a result of misuse of materials posted on this resource.

How much fiber per day does the body need?

Not everyone knows how useful and important fiber is for our body. 90% of the population do not consume even half of the daily allowance of this valuable substance. Hence, poor immunity, general well-being, problems with the intestines. It is necessary to study this issue and change your diet so that the amount of fiber is the daily norm.

What is fiber

Fiber is a complex type of carbohydrate, dietary fiber, which is divided into two large groups:

  1. Soluble fibre. These are dietary fibers that can absorb water and turn into a jelly mass in the intestines. This type of fiber lowers “bad” cholesterol, reduces glucose absorption, improves bowel function, and feeds beneficial gut bacteria.
  2. Insoluble fibre. These are coarse fibers that cannot absorb water and are excreted from the body unchanged. The benefit of these fibers is the ability to improve bowel function by simulating peristalsis. They provide daily bowel movements.

Attention! The positive effects of fiber intake are clear. It promotes weight loss, normalizes metabolism. This leads not only to internal normalization, but also to external beauty, as the skin becomes clear, and weight is reduced, due to a decrease in appetite.

Proper fiber intake helps prolong life, reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Fiber per day

Eat 25-30 grams of dietary fiber per day to keep your gut and whole body healthy. The exact amount depends on age, weight, and physical activity.

The average norm is 28 grams of fiber per day. This is the norm for both men and women of middle age.

Attention! A person over 50 years of age needs more fiber – up to 30-35 grams. For children under three years old, 19 is enoughgrams of dietary fiber.


For the consumption of useful substances, it is necessary to establish nutrition. Here are some tips for those who want to consume a daily fiber intake:

  1. Oatmeal is better for breakfast. To increase the content of dietary fiber, you can add an apple or some walnuts to it.
  2. Need more legumes. Beans, peas, beans are sources of dietary fiber, as well as vegetable protein. A small serving of boiled beans contains almost 70% of the daily fiber requirement.
  3. Vegetables and fruits must be eaten with the skin on. It contains half of the fiber.
  4. Do not give up seeds and nuts. In small quantities, these foods are able to supply the body with dietary fiber, but it is important for those who lose weight to take into account their caloric content.
  5. Bread must be whole grain.
  6. The fiber absorbs water, and therefore, in order to avoid dehydration, you should follow the drinking regimen.
  7. Barley contains 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  8. Beets for dinner – plus 2 grams of fiber.

    Attention! It is also not worth overdoing with dietary fiber. The increased content of fiber in food leads to malabsorption of vitamins and increased gas formation.

    Coarse bran is one of the largest sources of fiber. They contain 43 grams (one and a half daily norms) of the substance per 100 grams of product.

    One of the first signs of improper fiber intake is diarrhea or constipation. Abdominal pain and cramps can occur immediately after a sharp glut of fiber.


    Please note that all information posted on the site
    Prowellness is provided for informational purposes only and is not a personal program, a direct recommendation for action, or medical advice. Do not use these materials for diagnosis, treatment, or any medical procedure. Consult your physician before using any technique or using any product. This site is not a specialized medical portal and does not replace the professional advice of a specialist. The Site Owner is not liable to any party who has suffered indirect or direct damage as a result of misuse of materials posted on this resource.

    Expert: Ekaterina Podvalenchuk An expert in nutrition and health

    Reviewer: Ekaterina Vorobieva Adept of a healthy and active lifestyle

    Fiber: why is it needed, what is useful and what foods contain it


    © Dose Juice/Unsplash


    Julia Tsiruleva

    October 04, 2021

    We try to take into account the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in order to fully eat. But we often forget about another important element – fiber. RBC Style understands how much dietary fiber and why the body needs it.

    1. How fiber works
    2. How much fiber does the body need
    3. How to choose products
    4. Which foods are rich in fiber
    5. How to lose weight with fiber
    6. Daily diet

    Fiber is a dietary fiber that does not provide us with energy and is not digested by the body, so food and beverage manufacturers do not include fiber when they list a product’s nutritional information. Why fiber should not be forgotten and what is its use?

    How fiber works

    Advertising on RBC www.adv.rbc.ru

    Fiber fibers are processed by beneficial intestinal microflora and support the stable functioning of the digestive system. Fiber reduces the feeling of hunger, and this helps not to overeat and control weight. Soluble dietary fiber regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels, while insoluble fiber cleanses the body and removes toxins. And this is only part of the beneficial properties of fiber.

    In February 2019, Harvard University Medical School published the results of 250 studies [1] that confirm the protective function of dietary fiber. Approximately 30 grams of fiber per day reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer by 16-24%.

    According to the US National Library of Medicine, eating a high-fiber diet reduces mortality from infectious and respiratory diseases from 24 to 56% in men, and from 34 to 59% in women [2].

    Fiber is extremely important for intestinal microflora

    © Maddi Bazzocco/Unsplash

    How much fiber the body needs

    The more, the better, according to experts [3]. American scientists indicate [4] that women and men under 50 need 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day, and after 50 – 21 and 30 grams, respectively. That’s roughly equal to a cup of lentils, a bowl of boiled beans or buttered broccoli, two pears, a large bowl of tomato and cucumber salad, a serving of vegetable soup, and a handful of prunes.

    Nutritionists in the UK add [5] that children 2 to 5 years old need 15 grams of fiber per day, 5 to 11 years old 20 grams and 11 to 16 years old 25 grams. The average teenager needs to eat 2-3 vegetables a day-these can be cucumbers, tomatoes or carrots, the same amount of fruits (for example, bananas, kiwi, pears, apples), 1-2 toasts of whole-grain bread, a portion of vegetable soup, a plate of baked eggplants or boiled broccoli, a portion of whole cereals (buckwheat, rice), a cup of dry fuel . Experts advise offering children and teenagers plenty of raw vegetables and fruits, so vegetable and fruit salads and vegetable juices can be added above the minimum daily allowance or instead of hot meals.

    Fiber can be offered to children in the form of raw vegetables

    © Foodism360/Unsplash

    How to choose foods

    Experts recommend natural, high-fiber foods. For example, 6 or more grams of fiber is optimal for cereal and muesli, 3 or more for bread and crackers, and 4 or more for pasta. It’s important to make sure whole grains have at least 1 gram of fiber per 10 grams of carbs. The best ratio would be 1:5. Nutritionists emphasize that the words “multigrain” or “12 grains” in the name do not mean anything by themselves – you need to check the list of ingredients.

    What foods are rich in fiber

    First of all, eat as many natural plant foods as possible. Fresh fruits and nuts are often more expensive than regular sweets, and making inexpensive cereals, beans, and lentils isn’t always easy, but it can help you eat a balanced diet.

    Experts consider leaders in fiber content [6]:

    1. Wheat bran — 43.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams of product.
    2. Chia seeds – 34.4 gr.
    3. Dried fruits (figs, apricots, dried apricots) – 18 gr.
    4. Almonds – 12.5 gr.
    5. Buckwheat – 11.3 gr.
    6. Dark chocolate – 10.9 gr.
    7. Oats (oatmeal) – 10.6 gr.
    8. Artichokes – 8.6 gr.
    9. Peas – 8.3 gr.
    10. Barley, oatmeal and pearl barley – 8.0 gr.
    11. Lentils and chickpeas – 7.9 gr.
    12. Raspberry, gooseberry, blackberry – 6.5 gr.
    13. Beans – 6.4 gr.

    How to Lose Weight with Fiber

    Soluble fiber helps fight belly fat [7], one of the most dangerous types of obesity according to experts. An additional 10g of vegetable fibers in the daily diet reduces the risk of gaining excess weight by 3.7% [8].

    Fiber keeps the gut microflora healthy, reduces the production of hormones [9] that cause hunger and slows down the movement of food in the intestines, helping to prevent overeating.

    As with most weight loss methods, a fiber-rich diet alone is not enough to lose weight and maintain results. It is also necessary to take into account the general state of health [10], the usual diet, sleep quality and physical activity.

    To add fiber to your daily diet, you need to eat as many natural plant foods as possible. Fresh fruits and nuts are often more expensive than regular sweets, and making inexpensive cereals, beans, and lentils isn’t always easy, but it can help you eat a balanced diet.

    If you decide to lose weight with fiber, then you should pay attention to:

    • raw and cooked vegetables;
    • whole grain flakes, muesli;
    • oatmeal;
    • soups with vegetables, beans or legumes;
    • Vegetarian stews made from various varieties of beans and vegetables;
    • salads with seeds, berries and cereals.

    In addition, nutritionists advise snacking on broccoli, carrots, beans or cauliflower, seasoned with hummus or fresh salsa, and adding nuts, berries and fruits to simple sugar-free yogurts.