According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a healthy diet should incorporate 21 to 25 grams of dietary fiber for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. But getting adequate amounts of fiber in your diet requires more than just increasing the number of fruits and vegetables you eat, because not all are the same—a fruit may have surprisingly less fiber if eaten without the skin, for example.
If you’re aiming to eat a high-fiber diet, take note of these five foods that might be lower in fiber than you’d expect.*
Unlike many other fruits, melons are low in dietary fiber. Cantaloupe and honeydew melon both contain 1.4 grams of dietary fiber per cup (diced), while watermelon contains a staggeringly low 0.6 grams per cup. While melons have many health benefits, they are not a reliable source for dietary fiber.
Leafy greens may be touted for their nutritious value, but lettuce is an exception when it comes to dietary fiber. A serving of lettuce contains just 1.8 grams of dietary fiber—meaning you’d need a lot of salads to make a significant dent in your fiber intake.
Getting adequate amounts of fiber in your diet requires more than just increasing the number of fruits and vegetables you eat.
Hot cereal like Cream of Wheat or grits can offer little fiber if it’s not specified to contain whole grains. For example, one cup of standard Cream of Wheat has just 1 gram of fiber, while the whole grain version has 3 grams. Keep this in mind when choosing a hot cereal for breakfast.
You may have heard that fruit juices offer little fiber because they don’t contain the flesh of the fruit, but the skin is just as important. Applesauce is a prime example of this: a small Red Delicious apple eaten with the peel contains 3.6 grams of fiber, while one serving of applesauce, which has the flesh of the apple but not its skin, contains just 2.7 grams.
Sweet Potatoes (Sometimes)
Sweet potatoes are generally a high-fiber food, but the way they’re prepared makes a major difference in their nutritional offerings. A serving of boiled sweet potato (eaten without the peel) contains 2.5 grams of fiber, while baked sweet potato (with the peel) contains 3.3 grams.
One way to compensate for eating foods that are low in fiber is to take a fiber supplement every day—especially one with psyllium husk, which doesn’t ferment in your gut the way some other supplements do. Bellway fiber blends not only help keep you on track to get the dietary fiber you need, but they’re also all-natural, made with just psyllium husk and real fruit—nothing artificial. Try one of our fiber supplement powders today!
*Data is based on USDA database, with dietary fiber content rounded to the nearest 1/10 gram.