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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 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.



1 orange 1 egg (poached or egg substitute)
3/4 cup all-bran cereal 1 slice whole wheat bread (toasted)
1 teaspoon margarine or butter 1 cup skim milk or milk (2% fat)
10 whole, shelled, unsalted almonds (if tolerated) Hot, non-caloric beverage


1 cup barley vegetable soup 2 ounces sliced turkey breast
2 slices whole wheat bread 1 pear
1 cup skim milk or milk (2% fat) 2 teaspoons butter, margarine, or mayonnaise, sliced lettuce and tomato for sandwich


1 cup tomato juice 3 ounces broiled halibut
1/2 cup dark whole buckwheat (kasha) 1/2 cup steamed broccoli
2 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing 1 slice whole wheat bread
1 teaspoon margarine or butter 1/2 cup canned blackberries
3 tablespoons bran in 1 cup low-fat yogurt Hot, non-caloric beverage
1/2 cup salad: romaine or Boston lettuce, sliced carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, green pepper, celery

Nutrient Content:

  • Calories: 2252
  • Protein: 23.5%
  • Carbohydrates: 65.5%
  • Fat: 11%
  • Cholesterol: 414.5 mg
  • Fiber: 19.3 g

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Bread and Cereal Exchange List:

4 or more servings per day


Whole wheat pastas Whole wheat bread
Brown rice Whole wheat cereals
Beans (dried) Whole wheat flour
Green peas Whole wheat crackers

Avoid: All breads and cereals which are not recommended, particularly products made

from refined, fiber-free grains and flours

Fat Exchange List

Recommended: Nuts

Avoid: None

Fruit Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day

Recommended: All, especially raw fruits

Avoid: None

Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List:

6 or more servings per day

Recommended: All

Avoid: None

Milk Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day

Recommended: All low-fat

Avoid: None

Vegetable Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day

Recommended: All, especially high fiber vegetables such as:

• Broccoli • Carrots • Brussels sprouts

Avoid: None

Miscellaneous Exchange List: Not applicable


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


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