AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807

January 27, 2017

Are You Getting Enough Fiber? The Odds Say No

LAMAR, Mo. - Fiber provides bulk in the human diet, is vital to digestive health and aids in weight management. It is also a nutrient missing in most American diets according to Lindsey Stevenson, nutrition and health specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

Other functions of fiber in the digestive system include lowering cholesterol, improving blood glucose levels, and enhancing the immune system to fight infection and chronic disease.

"The average fiber intake recommendation for adults under 50 is about 32 grams. A little more for men and a little less for women. Many of us aren't reaching these goals because fibrous foods aren't common in the average American diet," said Stevenson.

Fiber is high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. For individuals struggling to find ways to work fiber into their diet, here are ten easy ways to eat more fiber.

  1. Eat oatmeal for breakfast or an evening snack.
  2. Try bran or whole grain cereal with dried fruit and nuts.
  3. Try a sandwich on a whole grain roll or bread.
  4. Switch from white rice to wild or brown rice.
  5. Include beans in your meals two to three times a week.
  6. Add sunflower seeds, walnuts, or almonds to a salad or have a handful as a snack.
  7. Substitute 100 percent whole wheat flour for half the flour in a recipe.
  8. Choose fruit instead of juice.
  9. Include the skins when eating fruits and vegetables.
  10. Satisfy your sweet tooth with apples, berries, or kiwi.

"It's important to make sure you add high-fiber foods gradually, since too much fiber at once can lead to some discomfort," said Stevenson

To calculate your personal fiber needs, visit

For more information on nutrition contact any of these nutrition specialists in southwest Missouri: Dr. Pam Duitsman in Greene County at (417) 881-8909; Lindsey Gordon Stevenson in Barton County at (417) 682-3579; Stephanie Johnson in Howell County at (417) 256-2391 or Mary Sebade in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551.

Source: Lindsey Stevenson, (417) 682-3579

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