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High Fiber Diet

High Fiber Diet


The High Fiber Diet is designed to increase the amount of soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet. Fiber has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, improve blood glucose tolerance after a meal, and promote regular fecal elimination due to the fiber's water-holding capacity.

The High Fiber Diet is applied to those with symptoms of chronic constipation, diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also useful when an increased stool volume and reduced fecal transit time is desired. The objective of the diet is to provide at least 25 grams per day of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin-rich foods (fiber) in the diet.

Higher fiber diets can bind trace minerals due to the presence of phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate). If fiber is added to a mineral-depleted diet it can result in poor mineral bioavailability and deficiency. Mineral-rich whole foods should be used to increase the fiber component of the diet.

With excessive consumption in the absence of proper fluid intake, fiber can actually result in worsening of the symptoms of chronic constipation. For this reason the high fiber diet is not to be considered an alternative to a laxative.

Sample Menu

Menu for One Day

1 orange
1 egg (poached or egg substitute)
3/4 c all bran cereal
1 slice toasted whole wheat bread
1 tsp margarine or butter
1 c skim milk or milk - 2% fat
10 whole, shelled, unsalted almonds Hot, noncaloric beverage

1 c barley vegetable soup        
2 oz slice turkey breast
2 slices whole wheat bread
Sliced lettuce & tomato
1 pear
1 c skim milk or milk - 2% fat
2 tsp butter, margarine, or mayonnaise

1 c tomato juice
3 oz broiled halibut
1/2 c dark whole buckwheat (kasha)
1/2 c steamed broccoli
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 tsp margarine or butter
1/2 c canned blackberries
Hot, noncaloric beverage
3 tbls bran in 1 cup of yogurt - lowfat plain
1/2 c salad: romaine or Boston lettuce; sliced
carrot, cucumber, mushroom, bell pepper, celery
2 tsp oil & vinegar dressing

Total Calories For The Day: 2,252

Nutrient Content:


Food Exchange List

Bread and Cereal Exchange List: 4 or more servings/day


Whole wheat breadWhole wheat pastas
Whole wheat cerealsBrown rice
Whole wheat flourBeans (dried)
Whole wheat crackersGreen peas

All breads and cereals which are not recommended, particularly products made from refined, fiber-free grains and flours

Fat Exchange List: as needed; moderation advised



Fruit Exchange List: 2 or more servings/day

All, especially raw fruits


Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List: 6 or more servings/day



Milk Exchange List: 2 or more servings/day

All low-fat


Vegetable Exchange List: 2 or more servings/day

All, especially high fiber vegetables such as: broccoli, carrot, and brussel sprouts


Miscellaneous Exchange List: not applicable

Note: Include six to eight cups of fluids, such as water, per day.


Ryding, A. & B. Odegaard. Prophylactic Effect of Dietary Fiber in Duodenal Ulcer and Bowel Disease. Lancet, October 2, 1982.

Trowell, H. 1972. Ischemic Heart Disease and Dietary Fiber. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 25.

Tucker, D.M. & G.E. Ingleff. Dietary Fiber and Personality Factors as Determinants of Stool Output. Gastroenterology, 81. 1981.