How Much Fiber Decreases Diverticulosis Risk?
The average western diet contains only about half the amount of fiber
needed to reduce pressure build up in the colon, which is required to
avoid diverticulosis. Studies show that in areas where
diverticulosis rarely occurs, the fiber intake is close to 45 gm/day;
the average western diet contains only about 20-25 gm.
Last Editorial Review: 4/17/2002
It takes 15-20 gm of fiber in order to have a significant impact on
colonic pressures; this is not necessarily an easy task-below are
statistics from a medical text showing how much you need to eat to
achieve the 15-20 grams of fiber needed.
There are many ways to add the needed fiber to the diet; ideally this
should be done slowly and progressively. For example, you would need
to take in; 131/2 oz of Wholemeal Bread, or 221/2 oz of Carrots, or
26 oz of Cabbage, or 49 oz of Apples, or the following cereals- 41/2
oz of Bran Chex or 9 oz of Total cereal in order to double stool
weight (equal to 20 gm of fiber). You can accomplish the same thing
by ingesting 11/2 oz of Unprocessed Bran. In addition, 2 tsp of
Psyllium provides 6-7gm of fiber-and this often produces less gas and
High Fiber diets are not necessarily for everyone-but as a rule we
should take in as much as our body can tolerate. Side effects can be
gas, bloating, cramps & diarrhea. Other benefits from eating our
veggies may be a reduction in the risk of Colon Cancer and lower
cholesterol levels. Ask your doctor what you should be doing
nutrition wise, and if necessary consult a certified nutritionist who
can work with your physician.
For more about nutrition, please visit our Nutrition Center.