Finding the best foods for fiber

By Tanya Davis | Published Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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How much fiber should you eat in a day? According to the USDA Nutrient Database and Berkley Wellness, you should aim for 14 grams for every 1,000 calories you consume. For example, 21 grams of fiber if you eat 1,500 calories a day and 35 grams if you eat 2,500 calories.

People with diabetes should aim for even more fiber – 15 to 25 grams per 1,000 calories.

Consume a variety of foods to get a mix of fiber compounds. Choose whole grains over refined and whole fruits over juices. Compare food labels to find products with more fiber.

The following are the top 10 food sources of fiber in descending order of grams per serving.

  • Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup – 8 grams
  • Raspberries, fresh, 1 cup – 8 grams
  • Beans, cooked, cup – 7 grams
  • Artichoke hearts, cup – 7 grams
  • Figs, dried, cup – 7 grams
  • Pasta, whole-wheat, cooked, 1 cup- 6 grams
  • Pear, with skin – 6 grams
  • Avocado, California, half – 5 grams
  • Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup – 5 grams
  • Oatmeal, instant, cooked, 1 cup – 4 grams

With beans listed as the No. 3 source for fiber, I thought it a good opportunity to share the following Better Living for Texans cowboy salad recipe. The Decatur and Alvord Cares summer nutrition program participants gave this recipe a huge thumbs up for taste, flavor and ease of preparation.


Servings: 7

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or lime juice
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper

Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Mix oil, vinegar or lime juice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour oil mixture over salad ingredients and toss lightly. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Nutritional information per serving: 160 calories; 54 calories from fat; 6g total fat (0g saturated); 610 mg sodium; 22g carbohydrate; 8g fiber; 6g protein.

Tanya Davis is a Wise County Extension agent.

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