by Cat, Mar 2, 2015 (Photo, right, originally by Sage Ross, from Wikimedia Commons)
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that we cannot digest without the help of our gut bacteria, but it provides many benefits to the gut and to overall health. It is present only in plant foods.
- Seeds, including legumes, grains, nuts and other seeds provide the highest fiber content;
- Supplementally, ground flax or psyllium can be added to a morning smoothie;
- Adding nuts to salads, granola or porridge, or including them with snacks is another great source;
- Root veggies and tubers, cabbage family veggies, fruits and berries are all relatively high in fiber.
The recommended daily amount of dietary fiber is 20 – 32 grams (1). A large study (Annals of Internal Medicine (2)); see also Mercola (1), WebMD (3), Forbes (4)) determined a high-fiber diet improves weight loss, blood sugar, heart health, and blood pressure.
All seeds, including legumes, grains and nuts have the highest fiber content per serving, but many fruits and veggies, especially root veggies and tubers also shine.
High-fiber food charts, lists
- High Fiber Foods Chart (from Mt. Sinai Hospital (5)) is organized by food type in alphabetical order, from Almonds to Zucchini;
- Top Fiber-Rich Foods List (from Today’s Dietitian (6)) is organized by food category.
- 75 High Fiber Foods (& recipes) for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (from The Fiber Guardian, organized by meal (7))
Supplemental fiber powders:
- ground flax provides 3 g fiber/Tbsp
- ground psyllium provides 7 g fiber/Tbsp
- Mercola: High Fiber Diet Helps Boost Weight Loss (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/02/high-fiber-diet-weight-management.aspx
- Study summary: Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(4):248-257 (annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2118594)
- WebMD (webmd.com/diet/20150216/eating-more-fiber-helped-people-lose-weight-researchers-report)
- Forbes (forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2015/02/16/very-simple-high-fiber-diet-stands-up-to-american-heart-association-diet/)
- Mt. Sinai Hospital: High Fiber Foods Chart (wehealny.org/healthinfo/dietaryfiber/fibercontentchart.html
- Today’s Dietitian: Top Fiber-Rich Foods List (todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/063008p28.shtml)
- Fiber Guardian: 75 High Fiber Foods (& recipes) for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (fiberguardian.com/75-high-fiber-foods-breakfast-lunch-dinner)