What is Fiber?

Fiber is a nutrient in food that helps keep your stomach and intestines healthy. Fiber comes from plants, like grains, vegetables and fruits, and has many important jobs in your body. Fiber helps move food through your stomach and intestines and helps make stools (easier to pass. It also helps you pass stool more regularly.

How Much Fiber Should I Eat Every Day?

Adults and teens should eat 25-35 grams of fiber every day. Children over age 2 should eat grams of fiber equal to their age plus 5. You can find out how much fiber is in your food by reading the nutrition label. Be sure to look at the serving size on the nutrition label too.

It’s important to add more fiber to your diet slowly. Adding fiber too quickly can make you feel gassy and have stomach pain.

How Can I Add More Fiber to My Diet?

  • Use whole-grain, gluten-free flours and grains. See the chart “Whole-Grain, Gluten-Free Flours and Grains” on the back of this handout for ideas on which types of whole-grain, gluten-free flours and grains you can try. You can also look for gluten-free food that has whole-grain, gluten-free flours and grains in it.
  • Have beans as a side dish with your meals. You can also add beans to salads. See the “Types of Beans” on the back of this handout for types of beans and how much fiber is in each.
  • Add chopped, dried fruit to cookies, muffins, pancakes or bread before baking. Dried fruit has fiber that can help ease constipation.
  • Eat brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice. If it’s hard to switch from white rice, try mixing brown or wild rice with white rice.
  • Add rice bran to recipes. You can also add rice bran to gluten-free cereals or on top of yogurt. Rice bran has 1.5 grams of fiber per serving. Some brands you can find in the grocery store are Ener-G®, Bob’s Red Mill®, El Peto® and Kinnickkinnick®.
  • Eat 5 servings or more of fruits and vegetables every day. Make sure to include fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. See the “Fruits and Vegetables with Fiber” chart on the back for fruits and vegetables and how much fiber is in each.
  • Snack on nuts and seeds. A ¼ cup of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts or almonds has 3-4 grams of fiber. Note:Don’tgive children under age 4 nuts or seeds. Children under 4 can choke on nuts and seeds.
  • Add fiber supplements to your diet. A fiber supplement is a pill or powder you mix with water to add fiber to your diet. See the “Fiber Supplements” chart on the back of this handout for different fiber supplements and how much fiber is in each.

Where Can I Learn More About Adding Fiber to My Gluten-Free Diet?

  • The Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital.
    • www.celiaccenter.org
    • 617-724-8476
  • The Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide by Shelly Case
    • www.shellycase.com
  • The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast & Healthy by Bette Hagman.
    Published by Henry Holy and Company, Inc. 115 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011
  • Wheat-Free Recipes and More by Carol Fenster, PhD.
    • www.savorypalate.com

Whole-Grain, Gluten-Free Flours and Grains

Flour or grain  Grams of fiber per cup
Indian ricegrass (Montina®) 36
Flaxseed meal 33.5
Garbanzo (chickpea) flour 21
Amaranth flour 18
Garfava (garbanzo/chickpea and fava bean) flour 12
Buckwheat flour 12
Cornmeal 10
Wild rice 9
Quinoa 6
Brown rice 3.5

Fruits and Vegetables with Fiber

Fruit or vegetable  Serving size Grams of fiber per serving
Raspberries 1 cup 7-8
Raisins 1 cup 7-8
Apple 1 whole 3-4
Pear 1 whole 3-4
Blueberries 1 cup 3-4
Strawberries 1 cup 3-4
Orange 1 whole 3-4
Tangerine 1 whole 3-4
Sweet potato (medium) 1 whole 3-4
Carrots (cooked) 1 cup 3-4
Squash ½ cup 3-4
Peas ½ cup 3-4

Types of Beans

Bean  Grams of fiber per cup
Pinto beans 15
Lentils 15
Kidney beans 13
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) 15

Fiber Supplements

Supplement Active ingredient Grams of fiber per serving
Fibersure® Inulin 5 grams per heaping teaspoon
Metamucil® Regular
(wafersaren'tgluten-free)
Psyllium 3 grams per teaspoon
Metamucil® Smooth Psyllium 3 grams per tablespoon
Citrucel® Methylcellulose 2 grams per heaping tablespoon

 

 Rev: 10/2016

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