1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Choosing Dietary Fiber

Lesson Two


Updated April 16, 2014

According to the Institute of Medicine:

The recommended intake for total fiber for adults 50 years and younger is set at 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, while for men and women over 50 it is 30 and 21 grams per day, respectively, due to decreased food consumption.

Do you really need to worry about getting the different types of fiber? Probably not. As long as you eat a variety of high-fiber foods such as grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables, you will get plenty of soluble and insoluble fibers.

People who currently have low fiber diets may want to increase their daily intake of high-fiber foods slowly because some fiber may increase gas and bloating. The body adjusts the increased amount of fiber over time and the gas and bloating will decrease.

This Week's Assignment

Whole grain products such as oatmeal, whole grain breads, brown rice, spelt bread and whole grain pasta are very healthy sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, plus lots of vitamins and minerals.

Since many people do not get enough fiber in their diets, I would like you to concentrate on adding whole grains to your diet this week. If you really don't eat any whole grains, add one serving of a whole grain to your diet every day. If you eat one or two servings of whole grains each day, add one more serving. Everyone should eat at least three servings of whole grain products each day.

This Week's Quiz

You can test your knowledge of fiber with this quiz: Quiz Two - Fiber

This is lesson two of the basic nutrition - macronutrients e-course. Up next, lesson three is about protein. You may sign up for the whole e-course at Basic Nutrition - Macronutrients


"Carbohydrates." Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health. March 20, 2007.

"USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference." USDA Agricultural Research Service. March 20, 2007.

Boudet AM. "Evolution and current status of research in phenolic compounds." Phytochemistry. 2007 Jul 20.

"Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids." Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. September 05, 2002.

Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. "Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism." Fourth Edition. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Pub Co. 2005.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.