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Figuring Out Fiber - Part 2

How Much is Enough?

Isn't a high-fiber diet meant for older people more interested in staying regular than for me -- someone craving greasy french fries or chocolate pancakes?

Fiber should be an important part of your diet at any time of your life, whether you're pregnant or not. But in fact, pregnant women are even more susceptible than most to constipation and hemorrhoids, two problems that can be minimized with enough fiber.

Once you've learned more about why fiber is good for you (Figuring Out Fiber - Part 1), the next step is to make a point of including it in your diet. When trying to eat as nutritionally as possible, fiber can play a significant, tasty role in keeping you healthy and trim. It's easy, if you know a few basics.

How much do I need?
Adult females, age 50 years and younger, need 25 grams of fiber per day. Pregnant women need even more than this (20-35g) to help speed up digestion and slowed-down intestines.

Too much fiber too quickly may cause constipation or stomach discomfort. Increase fiber in your diet slowly, and boost your fluid consumption by drinking 8 or more glasses of water daily.

To get an idea of the amount of fiber in common foods, check out this chart (numbers indicate grams per serving):

Fruit
A½ c Raspberries= 5
1 Apple= 4
1 c Blueberries= 4
3 Dried Prunes= 3
1 Banana= 3
1 Pear= 3
1 Orange= 3
1 c Strawberries = 3
1 c Grapes= 2
A¼ c Dried Apricots= 2
1 Peach= 2
1 c Pineapple= 2
2 Plums= 2
1 c Cantaloupe= 1
1 c Watermelon = 1
A½ Grapefruit= 1
1 c Apple Juice= 0
1 c Orange Juice= 0


Beans
A½ c Lentils= 7
A½ c Pinto Beans= 7
1 c Lentil Soup= 7
A½ c Kidney Beans= 6
Vegetables
(A½ cup cooked)
(A½ cup cooked)Green peas= 4
Brussels sprouts= 3
Carrots= 3
Broccoli= 2
Cabbage= 2
Cauliflower= 2
Corn= 2
Green beans= 2
Spinach= 2
Asparagus= 1
1 Potato with skin= 4
1 stalk Celery= 1
A½ Green Pepper= 1
1 c Lettuce= 1
1 med. Carrot= 2
A½ Tomato= 1


Other Grains
Flaxseed (2T)=7
Pumpernickel Bread= 4
Whole Wheat Bread= 4
7 Triscuits= 4
White Bread= 1
Cereal
A½ c Fiber One= 14
1/3 c All Bran= 14
A¾ c Kashi= 8
1 c Raisin Bran= 8
Continued ›
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About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
Becky Hand

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