High Fiber Food Chart – Top Foods High in Dietary Fiber

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High Fiber FoodsStarting with a little nutrition background, food contains macronutrients and micronutrients. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals while macros consist of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. There are three types of carbohydrates, or carbs: sugars, starches and fiber.

Fiber is a carbohydrate and natural fiber is from plant sources, fruits, vegetables and beans. High fiber foods fall into 3 general categories based on their sources: fruits, vegetables and beans and lentils.

How much fiber do I need? The recommended daily amount you need is related to the total number of calories you eat in a day. The USDA recommends 14 grams for every 1,000 calories you eat. If you take in 1500 calories each day, your goal should be 21 grams of natural fiber. 2000 calories would require 28 grams.

As examples, a cup of broccoli contains 5 grams of fiber, dark green leafy vegetables are generally 5 grams per cup, apples 5 grams each, raspberries contain 8 grams per cup. Beans are your best source of at 12-15 grams per cup. You can see that the right choices will quickly add up for you to reach your recommended daily totals.

Why is fiber important? 

  • It is a complex carbohydrate, it is slowly digested and has a low glycemic index meaning it raises blood sugar slowly without the wild accompanying insulin swings.
  • It (especially well-hydrated fiber) moves more quickly through the intestines, you should feel full sooner and remain full for a longer period which will decrease your overall calorie intake.
  • It cleans your lower intestines and colon as it moves through the digestive tract. A clean colon is free of unhealthy bacteria, undigested food residue and less inclined to develop polyps or colon cancer.
  • It reduces or eliminates constipation and keeps you “regular”

Here are the top 5 simple, natural high fiber foods you should include in your daily diet to reach your 20-30 grams:

  1. Apples – Golden delicious, Fuji, granny smith or McIntosh, they all contain about 5 grams and they’re relatively inexpensive, require no preparation and they’re portable.
  2. Black beans – Black beans provide 10-12 grams per cup (measured cooked) and provide protein in addition to fibrous carbs. Add beans to salads, soups, and chili. Combine beans with cooked brown rice to combine and double your proteins.
  3. Breakfast – The right breakfast can provide half of your daily requirement. Start with shredded wheat (avoid the sugar coated varieties) or steel cut oats and add your favorite berries and whole grain toast or a 100% bran muffin. This combination is easily 12-15 grams of healthy fiber. Add a glass of organic orange or apple juice.
  4. Lima beans – Love them or hate them, but lima beans are packed with fiber and potassium and are naturally low in sodium. It is the ideal food to combat high blood pressure. Also high in protein, iron, copper and manganese.
  5. Green SmoothiesYour own blender creation can provide many health benefits in a high fiber smoothie. Start with a cup of healthy vegetables like kale, spinach or broccoli, add a cup of water or coconut water, add a cup of your favorite high-fiber fruits like banana, berries, pineapple, mango, then add a couple of ice cubes and blend until smooth. A healthy and tasty way to start the day with 5 plus grams.

Here are an additional 20 high fiber foods from the food chart to add to your shopping list:

  1. Pinto beans
  2. Chickpeas
  3. Corn
  4. Peas
  5. Navy beans
  6. Turnip greens
  7. Kidney beans
  8. Raspberries
  9. Broccoli
  10. Soybeans
  11. Green beans
  12. Swiss chard
  13. Spinach
  14. Cranberries
  15. Oats
  16. Fennel
  17. Cauliflower
  18. Celery
  19. Sprouts
  20. Figs
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