Authors as Published

Brittany York, undergraduate assistant, Family Nutrition Program

Get Smart About Fiber on Your Food Labels

Fiber is very important to everyone’s diet. It helps keep the digestive system healthy. Fiber also helps you feel full longer. It can hold off hunger for longer than junk foods or other foods that are low in fiber. This is great because you don’t have to eat as many empty calories (junk food) to feel full.

Usually, fiber is easy to find – whether it is in a whole-grain product or not. To make sure you know how much fiber you are eating, check out the food label. Choose foods that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Made With Whole Grains

  • contains some whole grains
  • lists a whole grain somewhere on the food label
  • provides at least half a serving of whole grain in each serving of food
  • has 51% or more whole grain by weight

100% Whole Grains

  • has only whole grains
  • lists whole grain as the 1st ingredient on the food label
  • provides a full serving or more of whole grain in each serving of food

Types of Whole Grains 


What Doesn’t Belong?

We are trying to make sure that we include fiber from whole grains whenever we can. But some of these foods are not whole grains or don’t have much fiber. Can you circle the foods that do not contain whole grains?



BONUS: Can you name which whole grains are in the foods you did not circle?


Sources: United States Dietary Guidelines (USDA);

Whole Grains Council; “Whole Grains Guide.”

American Dietetic Association (ADA);


Reviewer: Stephanie K. Goodwin, RD, EFNEP/SCNEP graduate assistant

Reviewed by Kathy Hosig, Ph.D., MPH, RD, associate professor, Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine


This publication was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low incomes. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact your local county or city Department of Social Services (phone listed under city/county government).  For help finding a local number, call toll-free: 1-800-552-3431 (M-F 8:15-5:00, except holidays).  By calling your local DSS office, you can get other useful information about services. 

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, disability, or political beliefs.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call, toll free, (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

This publication was partially funded by the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program, USDA, CSREES.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

October 18, 2010

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