Calories and Fiber in Standard Portions

Fiber is important for all including seniors and those approaching retirement. Fiber ensures normal bowel functions, helps in weight management, promotes heart health, and helps to control blood glucose.

From the USDA/USDHHS Guidelines: “Dietary fiber is the non-digestible form of carbo-hydrates and lignin. Dietary fiber naturally occurs in plants, helps provide a feeling of fullness, and is important in promoting healthy laxation. Some of the best sources of dietary fiber are beans and peas, such as navy beans, split peas, lentils, pinto beans, and black beans. Additional sources of dietary fiber include other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. All of these foods are consumed below recommended levels in the typical American diet. Bran, although not a whole grain, is an excellent source of dietary fiber. “

“Dietary fiber that occurs naturally in foods may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Children and adults should consume foods naturally high in dietary fiber in order to increase nutrient density, promote healthy lipid profiles and glucose tolerance, and ensure normal gastrointestinal function. Fiber is sometimes added to foods and it is unclear if added fiber provides the same health benefits as naturally occurring sources.”

“The AI for fiber is 14 g per 1,000 calories, or 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men. Most Americans greatly underconsume dietary fiber, and usual intake averages only 15 g per day. Breads, rolls, buns, and pizza crust made with refined flour are not among the best sources of dietary fiber, but currently contribute substantially to dietary fiber consumption because they are ubiquitous in typical American diets. To meet the recommendation for fiber, Americans should increase their consumption of beans and peas, other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods with naturally occurring fiber. Whole grains vary in fiber content. The Nutrition Facts label can be used to compare whole-grain products and find choices that are higher in dietary fiber.”

Full USDA/USDHHS guidelines can be found here.