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- Medline Plus: Fiber
- Mayo Clinic.com: Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet
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Roughage is another name for dietary fiber, which occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables and grains. A diet high in dietary fiber can have many health benefits, including aiding digestion, reducing constipation and controlling weight. Dietary fiber is also used to treat a variety of conditions, such as heart disease, diverticulosis and diabetes. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should aim for 28 grams of fiber.
Fruit boasts a high content of dietary fiber. Since fiber is often concentrated in the peel, not eating them will reduce fiber content. A large apple provides about 3.3 grams of fiber; a banana, approximately 3.1 grams; a cup of blackberries, 7.6 grams; a small orange, 3.1 grams; and a cup of raisins, 5.4 grams.
Vegetables also have a high dietary fiber content. A cup of baked beans has 10.4 grams; a cup of lentils, 15.6 grams; and a cup of winter squash, 5.7 grams. A half of a sweet potato provides 3.9 grams; a cup of split peas, 16.3 grams; and a cup of carrots, 3.1 grams.
Grains, including bread and cereal, also are good sources of dietary fiber. A slice of whole grain bread provides 1.7 grams; a cup of oatmeal, 4 grams; and a cup of brown rice, 3.5 grams. Brown rice has more fiber than white rice, and wheat bread has more fiber than white bread.
Nuts also provide dietary fiber 2. A serving of 24 almonds provides approximately 3.3 grams; 28 peanuts, about 2.3 grams; and 14 English walnut halves, about 1.9 grams.
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