Monday, January 11, 2010

Fiber, Fiber Where Have You Gone

I recently read a post where someone made a comment that the person should be getting 25g of fiber a day. Fiber is something I definitely think about, but I hadn't actually paid attention to how much fiber I was getting at the end of each and every day. Luckily I've been tracking my food most days on FitDay, so I just went back and looked over my fiber intake since I started tracking my food on December 8th.

I realized I'm not getting nearly enough fiber. On average I'm only getting 16.6g of fiber each day. One day I actually got just 5.9g of fiber! I didn't have any idea it was that low! So I thought about it and realized there are probably a number of us that aren't getting nearly enough fiber in our diets. I did a little research and found out which fruits and vegetables have the most fiber. There are more than I'll list here, but these are the fruits and veggies I like the most. I also figured out how many calories you had to consume for each gram of fiber you got out of the food, that way we can try and get the most fiber bang for our calorie buck (this is where my number's nerdy side of me comes out).

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)
1. Artichoke (1 medium) - 85 calories / 6.5g fiber = 13.1 calories per gram of fiber
2. Broccoli - 103 calories / 6g fiber = 17.2 calories per
3. Carrots - 83 calories / 4.4g fiber = 18.9 calories per
4. Green Peas - 167 calories / 8.8g fiber = 19.0 calories per
5. Cauliflower - 82 calories / 4.3g fiber = 19.1 calories per
6. Green Beans - 83 calories / 4.3g fiber = 19.3 calories per
7. Asparagus - 73 calories / 3.6g fiber = 20.3 calories per
8. Brussel Sprouts - 89 calories / 4g fiber = 22.3 calories per
9. Mushrooms - 77 calories / 3.4g fiber = 22.6 calories per
10. Edamame - 189 calories / 8.1g fiber = 23.3 calories per

Fruits (raw, not cooked)
1. Raspberries (1 cup) - 64 calories / 8g fiber = 8.0 calories per
2. Blackberries (1 cup) - 62 calories / 7.6g fiber = 8.2 calories per
3. Strawberries (1 cup) - 49 calories / 3.0g fiber = 16.3 calories per
4. Orange (1 medium) - 62 calories / 3.1g fiber = 20.0 calories per
5. Kiwi (1 fruit) - 47 calories / 2.3g fiber = 20.4 calories per
6. Apple (1 medium) - 72 calories / 3.3g fiber = 21.8 calories per
7. Blueberries (1 cup) - 83 calories / 3.5g fiber = 23.7 calories per
8. Banana (1 medium) - 105 calories / 3.1g fiber = 33.9 calories per
9. Dried Cranberries (1 cup) - 339 calories / 6.3g fiber = 53.8 calories per

Wow, so raspberries and blackberries are the clear winner here. It's funny the things you don't realize that can make such a big impact. I mean, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so say I take a cup of raspberries and top that with 4 Tbsp of Reddi Whip Original Light Whipped Cream. That would give me an awesome dessert to satisfy my sweets craving for less than 100 calories and I'd get 8g of fiber. Not too shabby!

I also wanted to include a dried fruit, because while they do get you a good amount of fiber they also take up a large portion of your daily calories to get there. It just goes to show that going the fresh route is a much better choice! I'm really glad I took the time to look into this, because seeing the numbers and seeing everything in black and white like this makes it clear what small changes can make a bigger impact on our overall diets. It's taking the time to educate ourselves on issues like this that help us to make more informed decisions and fix areas where we may not realize we are lacking.


  1. husband and I were laughing this weekend that it makes us OFFICIALLY OLD :) that we think about fiber content---and yet its amazing how much MORE you can eat when its good healthy fiberous stuff, huh?

    (and shhh. but I have a can of whipped cream in the fridge. processed stuff. used sparingly but a woman needs some vices---yes? :))


  2. Lol, I couldn't agree more. A little whipped cream never killed anyone...I hope. :-P