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How Much Fiber Do I Need?

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20 to 35 grams per day for adults, adolescents, and older children.

Desirable fiber intake for children (under 18) is calculated by age plus five grams. For example, a six-year-old needs 11 grams of fiber per day.

The average American only gets 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day so most people need to increase their fiber intake.

It is also possible to have too much fiber. Excess fiber can interfere with the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, and upset nutritional balance.

Combinations of foods that would provide you with enough fiber across the day include:

  • High-fiber breakfast cereal (5g) + 4 slices whole-grain bread (6g) + 3 servings fresh fruit (9g) + 1 medium potato with skin (4g)
  • 1 cup brown rice (3.5g) + 3 servings of vegetables (6g) + ½ cup corn, peas or lentils (5g) + 1 ¼ oz almonds (5g) + 3 servings fresh fruit (9g)
  • 1 cup whole-grain pasta (8g) + 3 servings of vegetables (6g) + 1 cup bean soup (6g) + 3 servings fresh fruit (9g)
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal (4g) + ½ cup whole-grain pasta (4g) + 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels (8g) + 3 servings of vegetables (6g) + 3 servings fresh fruit (9g)