Fitting Fiber into Your Health Routine

by karen on August 8, 2019

Fiber has loads of nutritional benefits, which means you want to be sure to include it in your daily health plan. Foods that are high in fiber help keep us full longer, which helps manage weight—who doesn’t want that? Fiber also helps lower cholesterol and the risk for heart disease, helps keep energy and glucose levels stable through the day, and supports healthy digestion. High fiber foods additionally remove toxins from our bodies and have the ability to cut our chances of developing a multitude of cancers.

Many of the foods you want to be including as your base for healthy eating include fiber. Simply put, any whole, plant-based food provides us with fiber, which is the indigestible component of these foods. It’s easy to get the recommended 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men when you know where to look, but most of us are only getting 50% of the fiber we should be.

The three foods highest in fiber are dried beans (like garbanzos and kidney beans), berries, and bran (the outer layer of whole grains, including wheat, rice and oats). All fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and whole grain foods like breads and cereals contain fiber.

On average, these foods contain the following amounts of fiber:

  • Beans – 8 grams fiber per ½ cup
  • Berries – 8 grams fiber per cup
  • Bran – 4 grams fiber per ¼ cup
  • Fruit – 4 grams fiber per cup
  • Vegetables – 5 grams fiber per cup
  • Whole grains – 5 grams per cup
  • Nuts and seeds – 3 grams per ounce

Track your fiber for a few days. Ladies, aim for 8 grams fiber per meal and gentlemen, 13 grams.

Fiber on the Menu

Here’s a day’s worth of food that, in standard portions, meets the fiber needs for both men and women:

Honey Nut Cheerios *
Raspberries *
Chopped Walnuts *
Soy Milk

Turkey sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread *
Hummus and Snap Peas *

Mixed Greens with Kidney Beans, Sunflower Seeds, Shredded Broccoli *
Mary’s Gone Crackers Superseed Crackers *
Cantaloupe *

* Indicates foods with fiber


High Fiber Snack Recipe

Try this quick and healthy snack to up your fiber intake. Don’t have an air fryer? Use your oven, at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Air Fryer Crispy Chickpeas            4 servings – 3 g fiber per ¼ cup


  • 1 (15 ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 lime wedges


  1. Spread chickpeas on several layers of paper towels. Top with more paper towels and pat until very dry, rolling the chickpeas under the paper towels to dry all sides.
  2. Combine the chickpeas and oil in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with paprika, crushed red pepper and salt. Pour into an air fryer basket and coat with cooking spray. Cook at 400°F until very well browned, 12 to 14 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally. Squeeze lime wedges over the chickpeas and serve.


Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website 

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert

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