You may have noticed that many of your favorite packaged foods are touting how many grams of fiber are included in a serving. From cereal to granola to sliced bread, we see countless brands letting consumers know just how much filling fiber can be found in their goods. But what’s the big benefit? Unlike most carbohydrates, sources of fiber aren’t broken down into sugar. Instead, it regulates the body’s use of sugars while balancing satiety levels. In other words, it fills you up and keeps you from feeling hungry after eating.
Health sources, including the American Heart Association Eating Plan, recommend that adults have about 30 grams of fiber in their daily diet, but most of us currently consume just half of that amount. With sources of fiber being readily available in a variety of delicious foods, there’s really no excuse to be skimping. Here are some great sources of fiber and how you can start eating more of the weight loss-promoting food.
8 Foods For Sources Of Fiber
Known to be a super convenient superfood, almonds have about 6 grams of fiber per half-cup. With vitamin E, copper, magnesium, calcium, and protein in this tiny, bite-sized snack, the nuts have been indicated as lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. At 260 calories per half-cup serving, they should be eaten with slight moderation of course. A handful maybe more than you think!
Apples have about 4-5 grams of fiber each. From Granny Smith to McIntosh, the sweet and sour fruit is available in wide varieties and can be stored in your fridge at home for up to two weeks on average. Be sure to eat the skin, which is where most of the fiber is found. Accordingly, applesauce and apple juice are not appropriate substitutes.
Whether you chow down on a whole artichoke or just eat the hearts, you’ll get somewhere between 7 and 10 grams of fiber per serving. You can stuff artichokes with quinoa or mushrooms, chop up the hearts to eat with pasta or steam them and dip the leaves in a mixture of Greek yogurt and lemon juice.
4. Black beans
With a whopping 15 grams of fiber per cup, black beans are incredibly filling and perfect for topping salads, crostini, soups, and even lasagna. They’re also packed with protein and powerful antioxidants and have been shown to lower the risk of colon cancer.
One cup of lentils has about 15-16 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber. These legumes are fun to cook with a variety of seasonings as they assume the flavor of whatever they’re with. With both soluble and insoluble fiber, lentils contribute to healthy digestion and can remedy problems like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
The classic winter breakfast bowl of oatmeal has about 4 grams of fiber, and even the instant stuff is good for you. The soluble fiber in this food benefits your heart and your digestive system. Just be careful to read the nutritional information on the box. Some brands, especially those geared towards kids, load it with sugar, so you’ll want to steer clear of those.
Have you ever noticed how filling a cup or two of air-popped popcorn can be? With two sources of fiber, the favorite movie-time snack should be paired with water for easy digestion instead of soda or juice. And forget the kind you get at the theatre. Make your own at home and top it with some herbs or a little bit of parmesan.
8. Whole wheat pasta
Now that most major grocery stores carry a number of brands making whole wheat pasta, we’re no longer restricted to the refined versions. One cup of cooked whole-wheat pasta has about 6 grams of fiber, along with a solid amount of vitamin B and iron. The taste and texture may take some getting used to, but your health is well worth it.
Adding more sources of fiber to your meals is a relatively simple nutrition fix that can have hugely beneficial outcomes, including the regulation of metabolic syndrome, glucose, and lipid homeostasis, inflammation, and insulin levels. But you should incorporate more into your diet at a slow pace so that your digestive system doesn’t experience bloating, pain, diarrhea, or gas.
Have fun finding new, fiber-rich foods to enjoy, and don’t be tempted to take supplements. Whole foods are a much better Source of Fiber and adopting new eating habits will lead to better lifelong health.
High Fiber Foods, Best Food Sources of Fiber
How much fiber should you eat in a day? Aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume—for example, 21 grams if you eat 1,500 calories a day and 35 grams if you eat 2,500 calories. People with diabetes should aim for even more fiber—15 to 25 grams per 1,000 calories. Consume a variety of foods to get a mix of fiber compounds. Choose whole grains over refined and whole fruits over juices. Compare food labels to find products with more fiber.
This chart lists some of the top food sources of fiber, in descending order of grams per serving.
|Where to find fiber
|Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup
|Raspberries, fresh, 1 cup
|Beans, cooked, ½ cup
|Artichoke hearts, ½ cup
|Figs, dried, ½ cup
|Pasta, whole-wheat, cooked, 1 cup
|Pear, with skin
|Avocado, California, half
|Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup
|Oatmeal, instant, cooked, 1 cup
|Peas, green, ½ cup
|Popcorn, 1 ounce.
|Spinach, cooked, 1 cup
|Sweet potato, ½ cup
|Banana, 1 medium
|Barley, cooked, ½ cup
|Beets, ½ cup
|Butternut squash, ½ cup
|Jicama, sliced, ½ cup
|Nuts, 1 ounce
|Carrot, 1 large
|Corn, ½ cup kernels
*Source: USDA Nutrient Database