When Should I Increase Fiber in My Diet? (with pictures)

B. Miller
B. Miller
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.

There is no bad time to increase fiber in your diet; anyone can benefit from making this dietary change at virtually any point in life. People who want to lose weight, or to lower their cholesterol and therefore their risk of heart disease, might find that it is a good time to increase fiber in their diets. Additional fiber may also help to improve digestion and reduce constipation, so anyone with those issues might find that it is a good time to eat more fiber. Some studies have also shown that increased fiber can decrease the risk of colorectal cancers, which is another reason it's good to start as early as possible.

Bran, which is high in fiber.
Bran, which is high in fiber.

A doctor might offer a recommendation as to when it is a good time to increase fiber in your diet. This may occur after a medical test such as a blood test to check for cholesterol, or a colonoscopy. Anyone who visits a nutritionist will also likely be told to increase fiber. In general, it is best not to wait until there is a problem to seek out high fiber foods, but to try to prevent problems in the first place by eating an overall healthy diet. It is a good idea to combine a diet that is high in fiber with one that also includes enough lean protein, such as fish or chicken.

Bananas are a good source of fiber.
Bananas are a good source of fiber.

A desire to lose weight also indicates a good time to increase fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiber are very filling, meaning you tend to eat less of them, which can promote weight loss. An improvement in digestion can also help to promote weight loss and improve overall feelings of health and well-being. It is important to drink a lot of water with a high fiber diet in order to prevent the bloating that can accompany it.

When increasing fiber, one should always drink extra water to prevent bloating.
When increasing fiber, one should always drink extra water to prevent bloating.

Digestive problems, such a constipation are another indicator that it is time to increase the fiber in your diet. Constipation can create severe discomfort and lead more more problems, such as hemorrhoids. Adding fiber is usually the first step to resolving these kinds of problems. Remember, however, to spread out your daily fiber allotment throughout the day; eating a lot of fiber all at once can cause the opposite problem.

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    • Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.
      Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.
    • Bran, which is high in fiber.
      Bran, which is high in fiber.
    • Bananas are a good source of fiber.
      Bananas are a good source of fiber.
    • When increasing fiber, one should always drink extra water to prevent bloating.
      When increasing fiber, one should always drink extra water to prevent bloating.
    • Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet, either through food or supplements, can have many health  benefits.
      Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet, either through food or supplements, can have many health benefits.
    • Substituting whole grain breads for white bread can add fiber to the diet.
      Substituting whole grain breads for white bread can add fiber to the diet.
    • An increase in fiber in one's diet can help treat constipation and other digestive problems.
      An increase in fiber in one's diet can help treat constipation and other digestive problems.