Thanks to the highly-refined, modern American diet, the average American isn’t getting enough of one of the most important nutrients: fiber. Without enough of this satiating macronutrient 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. The average adult 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 to your diet can help get you there! 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 to your shopping list and then check out these 30 Fascinating Weight Loss Tricks You Haven’t Tried while you’re so motivated!
Listed from least to most fiber
Fiber per 1 oz: 2.8 grams
These tiny nuts are filled with fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. An ounce serving of this crunchy snack will give you 2.8 grams of fiber, along with 6 grams of protein.
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 3 grams
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. On the flip side, be sure to avoid these 30 Worst Foods For Your Heart!
Fiber per medium orange (peeled): 3.1 grams
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.
Fiber per medium banana (peeled): 3.1 grams
If you’re craving something fruity, bananas are one of the best fiber-packed fruits to have. One banana has a little over 3 grams of fiber, and also contains a high amount of potassium, and essential nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure. For more benefits of bananas, don’t miss these Amazing Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Bananas.
Fiber per ¼ avocado: 3.4 grams
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.
Fiber per 3 cups (air popped): 3.5 grams
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 20 Delicious Ways to Dress Up Popcorn.
Fiber per ½ cup: 3.6 grams
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 18 Things You Can Do With Canned Pumpkin.
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 3.6 grams
Teff is a super-grain known for it’s high fiber content. Add this to your dinner plate instead of refined grains to get a hearty and fiber-packed kick into your meal.
Fiber per ¼ cup (dried): 3.7 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 cup (raw): 3.6 grams
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. For more healthy snack ideas, try these 40 Healthy Snack Ideas to Keep You Slim.
Fiber per 1 medium sweet potato (baked, with skin): 3.8 grams
“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
Fiber per 1 cup (cooked): 4 grams
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.
Fiber per ¼ cup (dry): 4 grams
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.
Fiber per 2 Tbsp (unsweetened): 4 grams
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.
Fiber per ½ cup (beans only): 4 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 medium Russet potato (baked, with skin): 4 grams
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!
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 4.1 grams
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.
Fiber per medium apple (with skin): 4.4 grams
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!
Fiber per ½ cup (canned): 4.4 grams
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.
Fiber per ¼ cup (unroasted): 4.5 grams
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.
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 4.8 grams
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
Fiber per 1 cup (cooked): 4.9 grams, rotini; 6.8 grams, spaghetti
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 but find out The #1 Best Pasta for Your Body before your next trip to the supermarket.
Whole Grain Bread
Fiber per slice: 4-5 grams
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.” For more tips like that, find out 17 Processed Foods Nutritionists Approve Of.
Fiber per ¾ cup: 5 grams
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.
Fiber per ¼ cup (dry): 5 grams
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 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes to give yourself a morning fiber boost with these tasty breakfast treats.
Fiber per 1 cup (cooked, chopped): 5.1 grams
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.
Fiber per medium fruit (with skin): 5.5 grams
One medium pear contains around 5.5 grams of fiber, but in order to get all those grams you need to keep the skin in tact 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!
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Fiber per seeds in ½ pomegranate: 5.6 grams
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!
Fiber per 1 cup (cooked, sliced): 5.6 grams
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.
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 5.7 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 cup (baked, cubed): 6.6 grams
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.
Fiber per 2 Tbsp: 7 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 cup (cooked): 7.2 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 cup: 7.6 grams
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 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips.
Fiber per 1 cup (cooked): 7.6 grams
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.)
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 7.8 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 cup: 8 grams
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.
Fiber per ½ cup (canned, drained): 8.1 grams
One half-cup serving of chickpeas 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. And don’t miss these 20 Amazing, Surprising Ways to Eat Chickpeas for more ways to get your fiber from these garbanzo guys.
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 8.1 grams
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.
Fiber per 2 Tbsp (24 g): 8.2 grams
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 on Instagram for even more ideas!
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 8.3 grams
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.
Fiber per 1 cup (cubed, baked): 9 grams
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.
Fiber per ½ cup (cooked): 9.6 grams
Navy beans are by far one of the best sources of fiber. 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.