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The Best Time for Fiber

You’ve resolved to eat healthier in the New Year. As part of your effort, you might be aiming to eat more fiber-containing foods – beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts – to reach a daily goal of 25 – 35 grams.  You recognize the value to your digestive health, your heart health, your weight, and your overall well-being.  You might even be strategizing about ways to incorporate higher fiber foods into your daily eating plan, and wondering about the best times of day to include them.

In short, anytime is the best time for high fiber foods.  To prevent from feeling bloated or gassy, however, the best strategy for incorporating high fiber foods is to spread them over the course of the day and drink plenty of fluids.  In fact, if you pair each fiber-containing meal and snack with a glass of water, this is also a great way to increase your hydration and keep you feeling fuller longer.

So, what does spreading fiber out over the day look like?  Well, you have to do what works best for your schedule and lifestyle, but a good rule of thumb is to consider consuming about 5 – 7 grams at each meal and about 3 – 5 grams at each snack for an overall daily intake of about 24 – 36 grams of fiber. This hits the fiber mark that experts recommend.  Here’s another example of a daily plan that includes 32 total grams of fiber

Meal 1: 5 – 6 grams

Snack: 5 – 6 grams

Meal 2: 8 grams

Snack: 8 grams

Meal 3: 6 – 7 grams

If eating high fiber bars helps you reach your goals, but you don’t want to overdo it in one sitting, consider half now and half later.  In general, using the USDA MyPlate to guide your efforts can help you execute your plan without over thinking it.

Also keep in mind that when you start the day with a healthy choice, you’re more likely to maintain this pattern all day long, so don’t skimp on fresh foods and fiber at your first meal of the day!

Choose my plate

If you are on the run, take a Fiber d’Lish bar with you. They pack 12 grams of fiber. To achieve your daily goals you only need 1/3 of the bar for a morning snack and the other 2/3 for your afternoon snack.


Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC is a registered dietitian, and both a licensed nutritionist and licensed professional counselor. She manages community-based obesity prevention and preventive health and wellness initiatives through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.