Foods High in Fiber Promote Health
and are Easy to Include in Your Diet

Our listing of foods high in fiber are the best-of-the-best in each of their respective categories.  Fiber has been studied extensively in recent years for its health benefits.  There is now convincing evidence that fiber is an integral part of a healthy diet, but is unfortunately one of the most deficient nutrients in the modern diet.


How much fiber is enough?


Great question.  Currently, no formula has been developed to determine an ideal intake from individual to individual.  However, global health agencies and federal governments have released recommendations that range between 20 and 35 grams per day for healthy adults.  The Institute of Medicine suggests a guideline of 14 grams of fiber per 1000 Calories (k/cal).



While a very high amount of fiber could present problems, especially without enough fluids, the consequences of not eating enough foods high in fiber are much worse.  



We think a great goal for adults is 40 grams per day.


An eight-year study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that the average fiber intake for adults living in the United States was approximately 16 grams per day.  The shortfall between what we should take in and how much fiber we actually consume following the modern diet is very significant.


A "Good, Better, Best" Listing of Foods High in Fiber

We have separated our lists of foods high in fiber by food group and in some cases, focused on special foods within the more general food group.



Review our Daily Food Guide for a detailed discussion of food groups, and how to focus your choices when grocery shopping.



Each list is divided into a Good, Better, and Best column.  However, don't be fooled by this progressive system.  Even at the low end, foods under the Good column provide at least 4 grams of fiber in one serving.  This means every food on these lists provide at a minimum 10 % of the daily fiber based on the recommendation above.


These foods are all fiber powerhouses!  One serving from any food under the Best columns provides at least 25% of a 40 gram per day fiber intake.  Choosing any of these foods high in fiber will surely allow each of us to get enough fiber for a healthy diet.


Let's dive in....


Vegetables Can Be Eaten Raw or Cooked

We'll look at vegetables first.  We have separated this food group into two categories:  Cooked and Raw. In most cases, the category chosen for each food corresponds to the typical way it is eaten.


In general, foods that are cooked do lose some of their fiber as well as other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.


That is not to say that foods listed under Raw Vegetables cannot be cooked, and vice versa.  


The serving size in most cases is 1 cup.  The exception is green, leafy vegetables because after cooking, 2 cups of raw greens becomes 1 cup.



Raw Vegetables

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Jicama



Endive



Chile Peppers


Serving

1 cup



2 cups



1 cup

Fiber

5.9 g



5.6 g



4.2 g

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Kohlrabi Cabbage


Mustard Greens


Sorrel Greens


Fennel


Serving

2 cups



2 cups



2 cups



1 bulb 

Fiber

9.8 g



8.4 g



7.7 g



7.3 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Serving

Fiber

There are currently
no foods in
this category.


Cooked Vegetables

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Collard Greens


Okra



Broccoli



Turnip Greens


Corn



Rutabaga



Beet Greens



Savoy Cabbage

Serving

 1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup 

Fiber

5.3 g



5.2 g



5.1 g



5.1 g



4.6 g



4.3 g



4.2 g



4.1 g

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Acorn Squash


Sweet Potatoes


Spinach



Hubbard Squash


Taro



Brussel Sprouts


Parsnips 


Serving

1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup

Fiber

9.0 g



8.2 g



7.0 g



6.8 g



6.7 g



6.4 g



6.2 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Yams


Artichoke 


Serving

1 cup



1 piece

Fiber

16.4 g



10.3 g

Fruits:  The Common, The Exotic, and Some Incredible Berries

We've divided the food group of Fruits in three categories.  Common Fruits make up the majority of fruits eaten in North America and Europe, while the Exotic Fruits are more indigenous to South and Central Americas and Asia.


Many of the exotics can be found in specialty stores, gourmet markets, or online retailers.


Berries are truly a special group of fruits.  They are antioxidant powerhouses, have an extremely low glycemic load, and pack a serious amount of fiber. 



Common Fruits

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Lemons


Kiwi


Pears


Oranges


Serving

1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup

Fiber

5.9 g


5.3 g


5.0 g


4.4 g

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Raisins

Serving

1 cup

Fiber

9.9 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Avocado


Figs (dried)

Prunes


Dates (dried)

Pome-
granate 

Serving

1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup

Fiber

15.6 g


14.6 g


12.2 g


12.0 g


11.3 g


Berries

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Blueberries


Currants


Cranberries 


Serving

1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


Fiber

6.0 g


4.8 g


4.6 g


Better
(15-25%)

Food

Raspberries


Loganberries


Blackberries


Boysenberies


Gooseberries 


Serving

1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup

Fiber

8.0 g


7.8 g 


7.2 g


7.0 g


6.5 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Elderberries 

Serving

1 cup

Fiber

10.2g


Exotic Fruits

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Serving

Fiber

There are currently
no foods in 
this category.

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Asian Pears

Guava


Tamarindo


Pummelo


Persimmon      


Serving

1 piece


1 cup


1 cup


1 piece


1 piece

Fiber

9.9 g


8.9 g


6.1 g


6.1 g


6.1 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Chokecherries


Mamey


Granadilla/Passion Fruit

Guanabana


Strawberry Guava


Sapodilla


Sugar Apple


Breadfruit


Guavasteen


Serving

1 cup


1 piece


1 cup


1 piece


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup

Fiber

31.0g


25.4g


24.5g


20.6g


13.2g


12.8g


11.0g


10.8g


10.2g

Edible Seeds:  Whole Grains, Nuts/Seeds, and Legumes

Overall, whole grains are an incredible source of fiber in a healthy diet.  Their real strength as a food group is their near perfect balance between macronutrients.  The amount of carbohydrates, lipids, and protein in each bite are well-proportioned.


They are listed in 1/2 cup dry servings because after cooking they will double in size to be approximately 1 cup of cooked grain, the most common method to consume Whole Grains.


Nuts & Seeds are also one of the best foods high in fiber.  


We have chosen to list their fiber content in 1/2 cup servings because of their high caloric content.


Out of all the foods high in fiber, Legumes take the top spot as an overall food group.  If you eat practically any type of beans on a daily basis, you are well on your way to a healthy fiber intake.  All serving sizes are calculated as cooked Legumes.    




Whole Grains

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Brown Rice       


Serving

1/2 cup
(dry)

 

Fiber

4.7 g

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Spelt


Millet


Buckwheat


Oats


Amaranth


Sorghum


Quinoa 


Serving

1/2 cup (dry)

1/2 cup (dry) 

1/2 cup (dry) 

1/2 cup (dry) 

1/2 cup (dry) 

1/2 cup (dry) 

1/2 cup (dry) 

Fiber

9.3 g


8.5 g


8.4 g


8.3 g


6.5 g


6.1 g


6.0 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Barley


Bulgur


Rye


Serving

1/2 cup (dry)

1/2 cup (dry) 

1/2 cup (dry) 

Fiber

15.6 g


12.8 g


12.3 g



Nuts & Seeds

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Pecans
(
1/2 cup)


Pumpkin Seeds
(1/2 cup)

Fiber

5.2 g


4.4 g

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Almonds
(1/2 cup)


Sesame Seeds
(1/2 cup)


Walnuts
(1/2 cup)


Peanuts
(1/2 cup)


Sunflower Seeds
(1/2 cup)


Poppy Seeds
(1/2 cup)


Pistachios

(1/2 cup)


Hazelnuts
(1/2 cup)


Macademia
Nuts
(1/2 cup)


Fiber

8.8 g


8.5 g



8.0 g


7.9 g


7.7 g



7.1 g



6.9 g


6.6 g


6.3 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Pine Nuts
(1/2cup)


Flaxseed
(1/2cup)

Fiber

29.3 g



23.0 g


Legumes (Beans, Peas, & Lentils)

Good
(10-15%)

Food

Lupini Beans


Serving

1 cup

Fiber

4.7 g

Better
(15-25%)

Food

Broad/Fava Beans

Pink Beans


Moth Beans

Snapbeans 


Serving

1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup

Fiber

9.2 g


9.0 g


6.6 g


6.5 g

Best
(25%+)

Food

Navy Beans

White Beans

Yellow Beans

Cranberry Beans

Adzuki Beans

French Beans

Kidney Beans

Split Peas


Lentils


Mung Beans

Pinto Beans

Black Beans

Lima beans

Garbanzo Beans

Cajun Peas

Cow Peas


Black-eyed Peas

Soybeans

Serving

1 cup


1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup



1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup


1 cup

Fiber

19.1g


18.6g


18.4g


17.7g


16.8g


16.6g


16.5g


16.3g


15.6g


15.4g


15.4g


15.0g


14.0g


12.5g


11.3g


11.1g


10.9g


10.3g

Practical Advice When Increasing Your Fiber Intake

How much water do you drink daily?  Adding foods high in fiber to your healthy diet is a great thing, but fiber is like a sponge.  Its absorbs a lot of water.


Just remember, More Fiber = More Water.


No one likes the idea of using measurements when it comes to eating a healthy diet, but the fact of the matter is that we need to have an idea.  Almost all the foods on these lists of foods high in fiber are based around a 1 cup serving after preparation.  The sole exception is Nuts and Seeds.


A rough estimate for measuring 1 cup would be one men's hand or cupping together two hands of a woman.  We are all unique.  Treat this as an approximation, but it will help you visually to see the amount of food you are eating.



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Fiber mainly comes from Vegetables, Fruits, and larger group of Edible Seeds, which include Whole Grains, Legumes, and Nuts/Seeds.  As a general rule of thumb, increasing food choices within these food groups will put you a path to getting plenty of fiber in your diet.


Enjoy these foods high in fiber and, most importantly, be sure to add them to your grocery shopping list! 



**As always, feel free to use the navigation below to backtrack and get an overview of Healthy Diet Mentor and our plan to get you on your way to a lifelong healthy diet.


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