How to Figure out Your Fiber Intake

by Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D., Demand Media Google
    Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts are high in fiber.

    Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts are high in fiber.

    According to a 2012 review published in “Current Atherosclerosis Reports,” increasing your fiber intake can decrease your cardiovascular disease risks. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends women consume 25 grams and men eat at least 38 grams of fiber every day. Keeping track of what you eat and figuring out your daily fiber intake can help you meet your fiber requirements.

    Items you will need

    • Food diary
    • Computer with Internet
    • Calculator

    Step 1

    Keep a food journal, recording everything you eat in a day. You can use a paper journal or an online food diary, as long as you keep it with you during the course of the day. Record the type of food and the specific amount you eat. If the food you're eating comes in a package with a food label, the amount of fiber per serving is listed on the label. Use use this information to record the grams of fiber you consumed based on the amount of food you ate.

    Step 2

    Use an online nutrition database to determine the fiber content of unpackaged foods, such as restaurant foods or fresh produce. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database is a helpful resource you can use to look up unknown fiber contents of foods listed in your food diary.

    Step 3

    Use a calculator to add the grams of fiber you consumed at each meal and snack listed in your food diary. The sum will yield your fiber intake for the entire day. Compare your actual fiber consumption with your goals to make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet.

    About the Author

    Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images