A method is described that allows rapid estimation of total, soluble, and insoluble dietary fiber as the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) in plant foods. It is a modification of an earlier, more complex procedure. Starch is completely removed enzymatically, and NSP is measured as the sum of its constituent sugars released by acid hydrolysis. The sugars may, in turn, be measured by gas chromatography (GC), giving values for individual monosaccharides, or more rapidly by colorimetry. Both GC and colorimetry are suitable for routine measurement of total, soluble, and insoluble dietary fiber in cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Values obtained are not affected by food processing so the dietary fiber content of various processed foods and mixed diets can be calculated simply from knowing the amount in the raw materials. The additional information obtained by GC analysis is valuable in the interpretation of physiological studies and in epidemiology where disease is related to type and amount of dietary fiber.