Fiber & Food Labels

Dietary fiber is listed on the Nutrition Facts panel on most packaged food products. Nutrition Facts labels list goals for Americans as 25 grams of dietary fiber per day for a 2,000-calorie diet and 30 grams per day for a 2,500-calorie diet.

Food is considered a high source of fiber if the % Daily Value listed on the Nutrition Facts label is 20% or more. It is a low source of fiber if the % Daily Value is 5% or less.

Based on grams per serving, the categories of fiber sources include:

High Fiber = 5+ grams per serving

Good Source = 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving

More Or Added Fiber = At least 2.5 grams more per serving than a standard serving size

The Food Sources of Dietary Fiber chart lists dietary fiber and caloric content of specific foods that are high to good sources of fiber.

Food Sources of Dietary Fiber

Food Standard Amount Dietary Fiber (g)* Calories
Navy beans, cooked, ½ cup 9.5 128
Bran ready-to-eat cereal (100 %), ½ cup 8.8 78
Kidney beans, canned ½ cup 8.2 109
Split peas, cooked, ½ cup 8.1 116
Lentils, cooked, ½ 7.8 115
Black beans, cooked, ½ cup 7.5 114
Pinto beans, cooked, ½ cup 7.7 122
Lima beans, cooked, ½ cup 6.6 108
Artichoke, globe, cooked, 1 each 6.5 60
White beans, canned, ½ cup 6.3 154
Chickpeas, cooked, ½ cup 6.2 135
Great northern beans, cooked, ½ cup 6.2 105
Cowpeas, cooked, ½ cup 5.6 100
Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup 5.2 149
Bran ready-to-eat cereals, various, ~ 1 oz. 2.6-5.0 90-108
Crackers, rye wafers, plain, 2 wafers 5.0 74
Sweet potato, baked, with peel, 1 medium (146g) 4.8 131
Asian pear, raw, 1 small 4.4 51
Green peas, cooked, ½ cup 4.4 67
Whole-wheat English muffin, 1 each 4.4 134
Pear, raw, 1 small 4.3 81
Bulgur, cooked, ½ cup 4.1 76
Mixed vegetables, cooked, ½ cup 4.0 59
Raspberries, raw, ½ cup 4.0 32
Sweet potato, boiled, no peel, 1 medium (156g) 3.9 119
Blackberries, raw, ½ cup 3.8 31
Potato, baked, with skin, 1 medium 3.8 161
Soybeans, green, cooked, ½ cup 3.8 127
Stewed prunes, ½ cup 3.8 133
Figs, dried, ¼ cup 3.7 93
Dates, ¼ cup 3.6 126
Oat bran, raw, ¼ cup 3.6 58
Pumpkin, canned, ½ cup 3.6 42
Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 3.5 30
Shredded wheat ready-to-eat cereals, various, ~ 1 oz. 2.8-3.4 96
Almonds, 1 oz. 3.3 164
Apples with skin, raw, 1 medium 3.3 72
Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 3.2 33
Whole-wheat spaghetti, cooked, ½ cup 3.1 87
Banana, 1 medium 3.1 105
Orange, raw, 1 medium 3.1 62
Oat bran muffin, 1 small 3.0 178
Guava, 1 medium 3.0 37
Pearled barley, cooked, ½ cup 3.0 97
Sauerkraut, canned, solids, and liquids, ½ cup 3.0 23
Tomato paste, ¼ cup 2.9 54
Winter squash, cooked, ½ cup 2.9 38
Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup 2.8 26
Turnip greens, cooked, ½ cup 2.5 15
Collards, cooked, ½ cup 2.7 25
Okra, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 2.6 26
Peas, edible-podded, cooked, ½ cup 2.5 42
*High Fiber = 5+ grams Good Source = 2.5-4.9 grams

Source: ARS Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Adapted from 2002 revision of USDA Home and Garden Bulletin No. 72, Nutritive Value of Foods.

Preparing Dry Beans

Yields: One pound of dry beans yields about 2¼ cups dry beans or 5 to 6 cups cooked beans. 2¼ cups dry lentils yields 3½ to 4 cups cooked lentils.

Soaking: Dry beans should be soaked before cooking. Remember that beans expand, so choose a pot that is large enough to allow for expansion. Lentils and split peas do not need soaking.

Quick Soak Method: When time is short, bring the water to a boil, then let beans soak in hot water for one to four hours, depending on the variety of beans.

Discard the soaking water and rinse the beans to reduce problematic gas. The essential nutrients are retained in the beans, not the soaking water.

Cooking: To cook, cover beans with fresh water. Use about 6 cups of water for every pound of dry beans. Add seasonings to the cooking water. Note that acid foods, such as tomatoes or vinegar, slow down the softening of the beans, and salt toughens them by removing the moisture. Therefore, these ingredients should be added at the end of cooking time.

Add about ¼ teaspoon cooking oil to the water to prevent foaming. Cover the pot partially and simmer until beans are cooked. Dry beans are easier to digest when they are thoroughly cooked.

Canned beans can be used instead of dry beans when food preparation time is short. Photo credit: Pixabay

Canned beans can be used instead of dry beans when food preparation time is short.
Photo credit: Pixabay

Substituting Canned Beans: These can be used instead of dry beans when food preparation time is short. To reduce gas-producing compounds canned beans, rinse them in a strainer under cool running water. This can reduce their sodium content by 30 to 40 percent. However, this process also rinses away some nutrients, such as B vitamins, which leach from the beans into the canning liquid.

Recipes High in Fiber

Smothered Greens:
3 cups water
¼ pound smoked turkey breast, skinless
1 tablespoon fresh hot pepper, chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon thyme
1 stalk scallion, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 pounds greens (mustard, turnip, collard, kale, or mixture)

Place all ingredients except greens into a large saucepan and bring to boil. Prepare greens by washing thoroughly and removing stems. Tear or slice leaves into bite-size pieces. Add greens to turkey stock. Cook for 20-30 minutes until tender. Makes 5 one-cup servings. Total fiber: 4 grams per serving.
(Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes)

Per serving: Calories 80, Total fat 2g, Saturated fat less than 1g, Cholesterol l6mg, Sodium 378 mg, Total carbohydrate 9g, Dietary fiber 4g, Protein 9g, Potassium 472 mg.

Vegetable Stew:
3 cups water
1 cube vegetable bouillon, low sodium
2 cups white potatoes, cut in 2-inch strips
2 cups carrots, sliced
4 cups summer squash, cut in 1-inch squares
1 cup summer squash, cut in 4 chunks
1 can (15 oz) sweet corn, rinsed and drained
(or 2 ears fresh corn, 1½ cup)
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk scallion, chopped
½ small hot pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, diced (add other favorite vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower)

Put water and bouillon in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and carrots, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for tomatoes, and continue cooking for 15 minutes over medium heat.

Remove the four chunks of squash and puree in a blender. Return pureed mixture to the pot and let cook for 10 minutes more. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the stew to thicken. Makes 8 servings containing 1¼ cups each. Total fiber: 4 grams per serving.
(Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes)

Per serving: Calories 119, Total fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 196mg, Total Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary fiber 4g, Protein 4g, Potassium 524 mg.

Easy Brown Rice and Beans:
4 tablespoons brown rice
¾ cup water
7-ounce can stewed tomatoes
⅓ cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
⅓ cup chopped onions (½ medium onion)
½ cup chopped green pepper (½ medium)
7-ounce can red kidney beans (half a 14-oz. can)
Pinch of garlic powder
2 drops hot sauce
Dash of pepper

Cook rice in water until water is absorbed. In a skillet, cook chopped celery, onion, and green peppers slowly over low heat about 10 minutes. Add drained canned beans, stewed tomatoes, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Add cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Makes 2 to 3 servings.
(Filling up on Fiber)

Per serving: Calories 154, Total fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 327mg, Total carbohydrate 32g, Dietary fiber 7g, Sugar 4g, Protein 6g.

Sunshine Rice:
1½ tablespoon vegetable oil
1¼ cup celery, finely chopped, with leaves
1½ cup onions, finely chopped
1 cup water
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce
1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
¼ cup slivered almonds

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add celery and onions, and sauté until tender (about 10 minutes). Add water, juices, and hot sauce. Bring to boil. Stir in rice and bring back to boil. Let stand covered until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in almonds. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings containing ⅓ cup each. Total fiber: 5 grams per serving.
(Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes)

Per serving: Calories 276, Total fat 6g, Saturated fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 52 mg, Carbohydrates 50g, Dietary fiber 5g, Protein 7g, Potassium 406mg.

Bean Burritos:
1 16-ounce can pinto beans
1 tablespoon oil
1 package (10) flour tortillas
½ cup chopped onions
1 cup grated American or Longhorn cheese
chopped lettuce
salsa or taco sauce

Mash drained beans and heat in oil until hot. Simmer and stir over low heat until thick. Heat flour tortillas until warm and soft. Spread about 2 tablespoons of beans on each tortilla. Add cheese, onions, lettuce, and salsa if desired. Fold one side of the tortilla up about one inch, then roll. Makes 5 servings.
(Filling up on Fiber)

Per serving: Calories 581, Total fat 14g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 957 mg, Total carbohydrate 97g, Dietary fiber 9g, Sugar 1g, Protein 17g.

Yummy Yams:
3 medium yams
1 cup dried prunes (soaked, drained)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons margarine
2 tablespoons fruit juice (orange, apple, etc.)
pinch of mace, pinch of ginger
½ teaspoon salt

Peel and cut yams into ¼-inch slices and steam. Arrange a layer of yams on the bottom of an oiled, small baking dish. Dot with margarine. Top with a layer of prunes. Alternate layers until all is used. Blend the rest of the ingredients together and pour over potatoes and prunes. Bake at 350 °F for about 35 minutes. Makes 3 servings.
(Filling up on Fiber)

Per serving: Calories 319, Total fat 3g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 43 mg, Total carbohydrate 74g, Dietary fiber 9g, Sugar 23g, Protein 3g


Originally published 09/05

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