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Eating Tips to Decrease Your Risk for Cancer and Heart Disease

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Why include Fiber in your Diet?

  • Populations that eat greater amounts of fiber-rich foods are generally healthier.
  • Fiber helps to keep our bowel movements regular and ward off certain diseases.
  • Carcinogens in our intestines bind to it and move through our colon more quickly than they otherwise would, reducing our risk for colon cancer.
  • Fiber also helps transport cholesterol out of our body, reducing our risk for heart disease.
  • Fiber also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed.

How to Increase Your Intake of Fiber

To increase your intake of fiber, eat more whole and natural foods, and fewer processed foods. Some good examples of fiber-rich foods include:

  • Legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas)
  • Other vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grains (wheat, oats, barley)

For a more complete list see:

FRUIT/VEGETABLES

AMOUNT

TOTAL FIBER (grams)

Apples with skin

1 medium

5.00

Apricot

3 medium

0.98

Apricots, dried

5 pieces

2.89

Banana

1 medium

3.92

Blueberries

1 cup

4.18

Cantaloupe, cubes

1 cup

1.28

Figs, dried

2 medium

3.74

Grapefruit

1/2 medium

6.12

Orange, navel

1 medium

3.40

Peach

1 medium

2.00

Peaches, dried

3 pieces

3.18

Pear

1 medium

5.08

Plum

1 medium

1.00

Raisins

1.5 oz box

1.60

Raspberries

1 cup

8.34

Strawberries

1 cup

3.98

 

 

 

VEGETABLES

AMOUNT

TOTAL FIBER (grams)

Avocado (fruit)

1 medium

11.84

Beets, cooked

1 cup

2.85

Beet greens

1 cup

4.20

Bok choy, cooked

1 cup

2.76

Broccoli, cooked

1 cup

2.30

Brussels sprouts

1 cup

2.84

Cabbage, cooked

1 cup

4.20

Carrot

1 medium

2.00

Carrot, cooked

1 cup

5.22

Cauliflower, cooked

1 cup

3.43

Cole slaw

1 cup

4.00

Collard greens, cooked

1 cup

2.58

Corn, sweet

1 cup

4.66

Green beans

1 cup

3.95

Celery

1 stalk

1.02

Kale, cooked

1 cup

7.20

Onions, raw

1 cup

2.88

Peas, cooked

1 cup

8.84

Peppers, sweet

1 cup

2.62

Pop corn, air-popped

3 cups

3.60

Potato, baked w/skin

1 medium

4.80

Spinach, cooked

1 cup

4.32

Summer squash, cooked

1 cup

2.52

Sweet potato, cooked

1 cup

5.94

Swiss chard, cooked

1 cup

3.68

Tomato

1 medium

1.00

Winter squash, cooked

1 cup

5.74

Zucchini, cooked

1 cup

2.63

 

 

 

CEREAL, GRAINS, PASTA

AMOUNT

TOTAL FIBER (grams)

Bran cereal

1 cup

19.94

Bread, whole wheat

1 slice

2.00

Oats, rolled dry

1 cup

12.00

Pasta, whole wheat

1 cup

6.34

Rice, dry brown

1 cup

7.98

 

 

 

BEANS, NUTS, SEEDS

AMOUNT

TOTAL FIBER (grams)

Almonds

1 oz

4.22

Black beans, cooked

1 cup

14.92

Cashews

1 oz

1.00

Flax seeds

3 tbs

6.97

Garbanzo beans, cooked

1 cup

5.80

Kidney beans, cooked

1 cup

13.33

Lentils, red cooked

1 cup

15.64

Lima beans, cooked

1 cup

13.16

Peanuts

1 oz

2.30

Pistachio nuts

1 oz

3.10

Pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup

4.12

Soybeans, cooked

1 cup

7.62

Sunflower seeds

1/4 cup

3.00

Walnuts

1 oz

3.08

Note: Adding more fiber to your diet will likely help you lose weight and improve your health, but do it gradually. Rapid increases in consumption of fiber may result in gas or diarrhea.

And be sure to drink plenty of fluids when adding fiber to your diet. While fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 03 December 2009 16:20
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