43 High-Fiber Foods You Should Add to Your Diet
Thanks to the highly-refined, modern American diet, the average American isn’t getting enough of one of the most important nutrients: fiber. Without a consistent intake of healthy, high-fiber foods in your diet, you’ll experience dips in energy, have difficulty losing weight, and also increase your risk of diabetes and inflammation.
Americans should consume 28 grams of fiber per day if they’re following a 2,000 calorie diet, according to the FDA. Unfortunately, we’re getting nowhere close to that amount. A report from the Food and Drug Administration says that the average American woman eats only 15 grams of fiber a day, while the average adult man consumes just under 19 grams per day.
Luckily, following a few smart swaps and intelligent additions of high-fiber foods to your diet can help get you reach these suggested intake goals. Using the USDA Food Composition Database, we’ve rounded up 43 go-to foods for fiber that all contain more than 10 percent of your DV (Daily Value) of the nutrient per standard serving size. Add these high-fiber foods to your shopping list, and then check out these expert weight loss tips while you’re so motivated!
Here are 43 of the best high-fiber foods.
High-Fiber Foods, Listed from Least to Most Fiber
The following high-fiber foods are considered to be a “good source” of fiber, which means they provide 10%-19% of your DV. That translates to between 2.8 and 5.5 grams of fiber per standard portion size.
These tiny nuts are filled with fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. A one-ounce serving of pistachios will give you 2.8 grams of fiber, along with 6 grams of protein.
Incorporate this healthy grain into soups and stews, or even feature it as a side dish with some added spices. The dietary fiber found in this grain “helps you extract and remove cholesterol, which is correlated with heart disease,” explains Jessica Crandall, a Denver-based RD, Certified Diabetes Educator, and National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Add this food to your diet, and be sure to avoid these foods that are bad for your heart!
If you can resist picking off every last bit of that pesky white stuff on the orange segments, you’ll retain more of the waist-whittling nutrient.
If you’re craving something fruity, bananas are one of the best fiber-rich fruits to have. One banana has a little over 3 grams of fiber, and also contains a high amount of potassium, an essential nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure. And there are more health benefits of bananas beyond their high-fiber power.
It’s not the spinach leaves that are going to fill you up, but rather that creamy avocado you slice on top of them. On average, one medium avocado contains around 10-13 grams of filling fiber and adding it to your meals or finding a few awesome avocado recipes can increase satiety tremendously.
When you think of whole grains, chances are this movie theater favorite doesn’t come to mind—although it should. Since popcorn is considered a whole grain, it consequently is relatively decent in fiber. Just be sure to stick to air-popped to avoid unwanted calories or artificial flavors. We recommend these healthy ways to dress up popcorn.
You should be eating this fall-favorite vegetable year-round for its high fiber content. Despite being pureed, each half-cup serving of delicious pumpkin has almost 4 grams of fiber. If you want to incorporate more of this tasty veggie into your diet, check out these interesting ways to incorporate canned pumpkins in your diet.
Teff is a super-grain known for its high fiber content. Add this to your dinner plate instead of refined grains to get a hearty and fiber-packed kick into your meal.
Dried figs are a very portable and very palatable source. One little, dried fig contains nearly one gram of fiber and about 20 calories. Mix a few in a bag with some nuts, and you’ve got yourself a healthy and wholesome snack for when you’re on-the-go and starting to run out of fuel.
Believe it or not, this Bugs Bunny favorite can actually increase feelings of fullness post-snacking—much more than any pretzel sticks can. Throw a bunch in a small baggie and pull them out mid-afternoon when the munchies kick in. Try these healthy snack ideas, too.
“Fiber has no magical fat-burning properties; simply put, it helps you feel full without adding a lot of extra calories to your diet,” explains Crandall. “When you have a baked potato (with skin) instead of a bag of potato chips, for example, you’re not only eating fewer calories, but you’re less likely to feel hungry again an hour later.” Sweet potatoes, in particular, boast around 6 grams of fiber per large baked potato for only 160 calories.
Sugar Snap Peas
Rather than grabbing a bag of chips or pretzels, spend a few minutes at night throwing together a small bag of portable and affordable veggies. Cherry tomatoes, carrots, and mini bell peppers are all great snack options but these satisfying snap peas contain 4 grams of fiber per one cup serving.
With 4 grams of fiber per serving, starting your day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal is sure to set you on the right track. A study published in the Nutrition Journal found that participants who consumed oatmeal on a regular basis experienced a drop in bad cholesterol (and waist size!) due to their increased fiber intake.
You don’t have to cut chocolate out entirely to have a healthy diet. If you’re craving chocolate, some cocoa powder in a protein shake could kick your cravings without adding excess calories.
Edamame is one of the many beans that are packed with fiber. Just half a cup of edamame has four grams of fiber. Munch on these on your next snack break to get a dose of fiber in your day. We like tossing them with some sesame oil and hot sauce.
Potatoes have gotten a bad reputation, and they’re actually a great source of fiber. Just one medium russet potato has 4 grams of fiber, and you can easily add them to just about any dish you make. Just don’t forget to eat the skin!
Bulgur is another high-fiber wheat you should be adding to your diet. For a delicious side salad, combine bulgur with cucumbers, chickpeas, red onion, and dill and dress with a lemon vinaigrette.
Apples may trail behind pears in this category, but they’re still a good way to sneak more fiber into your day—as long as you don’t peel them! One medium apple contains around 4.4 grams of the belly-friendly nutrient and can help ward off junk food cravings between meals. Bonus: Apples are one of the 50 healthiest foods for women!
Who knew you could get a good source of fiber from one of your favorite taco sides? Don’t pass on these beans on your next trip to your local Mexican restaurant.
Nuts and seeds are always great while you’re on the go. Snack on unroasted almonds, which have a whopping 4.5 grams of fiber per quarter-cup serving. If you opt for roasted almonds, you miss out on about half a gram of fiber per serving. Be sure to pick up almonds labeled as raw, natural, or unroasted to get more fiber bang for your buck.
Unfortunately, spinach artichoke dip will never make it onto any diet-friendly list—but some of its main ingredients certainly do. These juicy, tender artichoke hearts are just teeming with fiber. “I believe the weight loss benefits associated with greater fiber intake are tied to feelings of fullness and satiety,” says Crandall. That’s why you better get the inside scoop on the 25 foods that make you hungrier!
Whole Grain Pasta
Not all pastas are created equal; some are actually pretty good for you! “I really have people look at their brands and read their labels to determine what is considered a good source of fiber because it really is going to vary from brand to brand,” says Crandall. On average, whole wheat pastas contain 6.3 grams of fiber per one cup cooked serving.
Whole Grain Bread
One slice of a true whole grain bread can contain around 4 or 5 grams of fiber and upwards of 16 grams of inflammation-reducing whole grains. Recently, though, brands are doubling up on fiber content and boasting over 10 grams per slice in some cases.”When you’re looking at your bread, look for that first ingredient that says whole grain,” Crandall recommends. “You want to stick with whole grain, not multigrain, which simply means that there are different types of grains present.”
If you’re not a warm porridge person in the morning, fear not. A 1-cup bowl of bran flakes can provide you with nearly 6 grams of fiber. Skip the raisin bran and add-in your own fruit to keep sugar counts under control and fiber totals even higher.
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Steel cut oats contain almost double the amount of fiber than rolled oats, which is why you should be opting for these instead. Try one of these overnight oats recipes to give yourself a morning fiber boost with these tasty breakfast treats.
Broccoli is one of the best vegetables to add to your next dinner or lunch for some fiber. It has some of the highest fiber content of most vegetables at over 5 grams per cup.
One medium pear contains around 5.5 grams of fiber, but in order to get all those grams you need to keep the skin intact because that’s where most of the nutrient is concentrated. This same rule applies to apples, potatoes, and even that white stuff you love to pick off of oranges after you’ve peeled the outer layer off!
Now, the best of the best
The following foods are considered to be an “Excellent Source” of fiber, which means they provide more than 20% of your DV. That translates to more than 5.6 grams of fiber per standard portion size.
Pomegranate is another superfood that’s packed with fiber. And on top of this gut-friendly nutrient, pomegranate seeds are also teeming with polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that have been shown to shrink fat cells!
They may be unfamiliar to you now, but this root vegetable is worth getting to know. Parsnips are closely related to the carrot family and one cup (sliced) of this mildly sweet veggie contains a steady 7 grams of fiber. Try roasting parsnips as you would potatoes, or dice up and toss into a veggie stew to help kill off hunger pangs.
Like most beans, kidney beans are very high in fiber content. These beans have almost 6 grams of fiber per serving, as well as 7.7 grams of protein.
This winter squash is packed with fiber, which is not only good for your digestive system, but also your cholesterol. According to a study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a high fiber diet has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol) levels in the body.
Although they’re not quite at chia seed status, whole flaxseeds offer up to 7 grams of fiber per two tablespoons—which is actually more than those two bites of broccoli can claim. Use them just as you would chia seeds by sprinkling over salads or mixing into yogurt for a super-satiating snack.
You may have pushed them around your plate as a kid—but that stops now. These little green poppers contain a hefty 7 grams of fiber per cup! That same cup also boasts a hefty 8 grams of protein. “I highly suggest trying to micromanage your meals so that you get 7-10 grams of fiber at each meal,” says Crandall. 7 grams? Easy, pea-sy.
Like its pretty little sister, raspberries, blackberries contain 8 grams of fiber per cup, towering over strawberries and blueberries (which contain less than half that amount). Make sure to keep these dark-hued berries where you can see them; you’ll be more likely to reach for them when sweet cravings kick in. “I store all my fruits and vegetables at eye level to make sure that i’m consuming them on a regular basis,” says Crandall. Keeping healthy foods in sight (and unhealthy ones out of sight) is on our list of the best weight loss tips.
Would you guess that a classic Southern comfort food could help you trim down? Collard greens are a great source of waist-whittling fiber. (And also taste great with some crumbled bacon.)
Beans and legumes will always be standouts in this category. If you opt for a full cup of lentil soup, you could consume upwards of 16 grams of fiber, which can help keep your energy steady throughout the day. “Fiber helps to keep our blood sugars more stable, so that we’re not feeling highs and lows in our energy levels,” says Crandall.
Fruit, in general, is a great source of this macronutrient. And with 8 grams in one cup, raspberries steal the sweet spotlight. Mixing this antioxidant-rich berry in with your morning oats or cereal will fill you up, carry you through your morning, and push you to hit that daily 30 grams in no time.
One half-cup serving of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) contains nearly 9 grams of fiber. So, pouring some over your salad will help you hit your daily requirements with minimal effort. Just be sure to keep portions small so that you don’t overload on calories, especially when they are not the main event of your meal; a ¼ cup serving contains close to 200 calories in total. Use these chickpea recipes for more ways to get your fiber from these healthy beans.
Yep, they’re different than green peas even when they look the same! With over 16 grams of fiber in one cup, a serving of split peas will get you to that recommended 10 gram meal mark and then some. You can stick with the age-old classic split pea soup, or use this as an opportunity to look up some fun new recipes and experiment in the kitchen.
Anything with greater than 5 grams of fiber per serving is considered high. One ounce of chia seeds has double that amount! Sprinkle a spoonful of these nutrient-rich seeds into smoothies, yogurt, or on top of salads to boost your fiber intake and reap the digestive benefits. We’ve also curated the best chia seed recipes for even more ideas!
Yes, the grammar school rhyme is right—beans are great for your heart, thanks to their 15 grams of fiber per cup, which work to lower bad cholesterol and fight against heart disease. “Beans are a great source of nutrition—they’re high in protein and fiber, so don’t forget about them! Add them to your salad at lunch or add them to a dish at dinner,” says Crandall.
This wintery squash not only features a subtle, sweet taste, but one cup mashed provides your body with 6 grams of satiating fiber. Plus, acorn squash is also an excellent source of vitamin C—one serving provides about 20 percent of your daily needs—which is important for your immunity.
Navy beans are by far one of the best sources of fiber, making them the most popular of all the high-fiber foods. And even if you’re not looking to get a whopping 34 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake in one serving, you can also rest easy knowing that adding navy beans to your soup can help improve your health as it’s one of the 30 foods that reduce your risk of breast cancer.