High-Fiber Diet during Pregnancy Characterized by More Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Rachelle A. Pretorius, Debra J. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Higher dietary fiber intakes during pregnancy may have the potential health benefits of increasing gut microbiome diversity, lowering the risk of glucose intolerance and pre-eclampsia, achieving appropriate gestational weight gain, and preventing constipation. In this observational cohort study, we have assessed the dietary fiber intakes of 804 women in late pregnancy, using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (SQ-FFQ). Overall, the median (interquartile range) dietary fiber intake was 24.1 (19.0-29.7) grams per day (g/day). Only 237/804 (29.5%) women met the recommended Adequate Intake (AI) of dietary fiber during pregnancy of 28 g/day. Women consuming the highest quartile of fiber intakes (34.8 (IQR 32.1-39.5) g/day) consumed more fruit, especially apples and bananas, than women consuming the lowest quartile of fiber intakes (15.9 (IQR 14.4-17.5) g/day). These women in the highest fiber-intake quartile were older (p < 0.01), more had completed further education after secondary school (p = 0.04), and they also consumed more vegetables (67 g/day) compared to the women in the lowest fiber consumption quartile (17 g vegetables/day). Bread intakes of 39-42 g/day were consistent in quantities consumed across all four fiber-intake quartiles. Our findings suggest that antenatal education advice targeting increased fruit and vegetable consumption before and during pregnancy may be a simple strategy to achieve increased total dietary fiber intakes to reach recommended quantities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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