Fiber is found in the walls of the cells of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and is resistant to being broken down and digested.14,15
- Dietary Fiber describes the carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants that are not digested and absorbed in the small intestine.14,22
- Functional (Soluble) Fiber consists of the isolated carbohydrates that aren’t digested and absorbed in the small intestine, and that benefit the functions of our bodies.14,22
- Total Fiber is the sum of dietary and functional combined.14,22
Benefits of Fiber
- Fiber can promote good digestive health and can aid in weight loss efforts. 8,14,22,24
- Foods containing fiber are digested more slowly by the body and can make you feel full and satisfied after eating less. 1,8,14,22,24
- Development of cancer depends on many factors. Eating a diet low in fat and high in grain products, fruits, and vegetables that contain dietary fiber may reduce your risk of some cancers.
- Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly of the soluble type, may reduce the risk of heart disease, a disease associated with many factors.
How the FDA defines foods that are an “excellent source” or “good source” of fiber:
- Excellent Source – at least 5 grams per 50 grams of bread or at least 20% of the daily recommended amount
- Good Source – at least 2.5 grams per 50 grams of bread or 10-19% of the daily recommended amount
Did You Know?
Most Americans consume about half the recommended amount of fiber – only 15g per day. 12,14,22
How much do you need each day?
According to the USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the adequate intake (AI) for fiber is 14g per 1,000 calories, or about 25g per day for women and 38g per day for men.12
Adapted from Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC, National Academies Press, 2002 22
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