High Fiber Diet

Overview

This diet furnishes adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients needed by the body along with a liberal fiber or roughage content. Fiber is found primarily in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products (bread, cereals, and pasta). It provides bulk to the large intestines and when accompanied by an adequate fluid intake, it will increase stool bulk.

The high fiber diet is indicated primarily for irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and constipation. There may be an increase in gas formation as the body adjusts to the extra fiber content of the diet. However, with gradual increases in dietary fiber, these symptoms are less likely to be a problem and often improve as one’s body becomes adjusted to the changes.

general instructions

  1. Drink a minimum of 40 oz of liquid/day with a goal of 64 oz ( 5-8 oz glasses). Limit beverages with caffeine and alcohol as they act as a diuretic in the body.
  2. Increase fiber intake gradually to a goal of 25- 35 grams per day. Do not exceed 40- 50 grams per day.
  3. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.
  4. Exercise daily, if permitted by your physician.
  5. When dining out inquire about whole wheat pastas, buns, pizza crust; including vegetables and consider fresh fruit for dessert.
  6. Depending on severity of disease, individual tolerance, and physician recommendations, foods containing seeds (nuts, popcorn, whole kernel and cream style corn, coarsely ground black/red pepper, cloves, hard seeds including: sesame seeds, seeds from figs, strawberries, tomatoes) should only be used with caution by patients with diverticular disease.
  7. Fruits and vegetables are not only good sources of fiber, but also good sources of phytochemicals, which have been found to boost immunity, increase resistance to disease as well as decrease the incidence of colon cancer. Include phytochemical containing foods in your daily diet.

diet instructions

fruit

  • 2 or more servings per day
  • 2 severing of fruit = 1 medium fruit, 1 cup melons, ¼ cup dried fruit, ½ cup canned fruits
  • In general, each serving provides 2-4 grams of fiber
  • Eat raw fruit with skin when possible. Dried fruit may provide as much as 8 grams of fiber per serving.

Please note the following fruits are rich in phytochemicals: apples, lemons, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, papaya, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, and berries.

vegetables

  • 3 or more servings per day
  • One serving of vegetable = 1 cup raw veggies or ½ cup cooked veggies.

In general each serving provides 2-4 grams of fiber. Avoid overcooking and leave peelings on when possible.

high fiber diet

Please note the following vegetables are rich in phytochemicals: broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, watercress, cauliflower, onion, garlic, kale, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, celery, winter squash, soybean, chives, peppers, lettuce, and bok choy.

breads, cereals/starches: 6 – 11 servings per day

One serving of starch – 1 slice of bread, ½ c cereal, ½ c of rice, ½ c dried beans, ½ hamburger bun, bagel or English muffin. Read labels for actural amounts of fiber and fat. Whole grains, barley, brown rice, oats & legumes are rich in phytochemicals.

  • 100% whole wheat, cracked wheat, rye, buckwheat or bran bread (3g fiber)
  • White wheat bread (3g fiber)
  • Whole grain or bran cereals, oatmeal (3- 10 g fiber)
  • Whole grain pastas (6-8 fiber)
  • Brown rice (2-4g fiber)
  • Whole wheat buns, bagels, muffins (3-5g fiber)
  • Whole wheat crackers (2-3g fiber)
  • Unprocessed bran can be added to casserole & vegetables

Please note other starchy foods like white rice, pasta, and breads are not restricted; however they do not contain the fiber recommended for this diet.

meat

2-3 servings (totaling 5 – 7 ounces per day 
Use dried beans and peas in the place of meat (5 – 8 g fiber per serving)

sugars/sweets

Use in moderation. Try including high fiver snack choices (fresh fruit, Bran muffins, raw veggies, graham crackers, oatmeal cookies, wheat crackers)

milk/yogurt/cheese

2 -3 servings – limit high fat dairy (whole milk, ice cream, cheese)

fats

Use sparingly: 1 – 2 tsp/meal (margarine, salad dressings, cooking oils, Mayonnaise, gravies, nuts, seeds)

sample menu: 27 grams of fiber

Breakfast

¾ c bran cereal- 6g fiber 
½ grapefruit – 3g fiber 
1 egg 
1 c skim milk 
1 tsp margarine 
1 c decaf coffee

Lunch

2 slices whole wheat bread-6g 
1 c tossed salad-3g 
2 oz roast beef 
1 medium apple-3g 
16 oz lemonade

Dinner

1 baked potato w/skin 3g 
3 oz baked chicken 
½ c broccoli 3g 
16 oz water

Nutrition counseling is available with a registered dietitian in the office. For more information and to schedule an appointment, please call The Gastro Clinic at (337) 232-6697.