High Fiber Foods

There are many benefits of adding some high fiber foods to our diets. The positive effects of dietary fiber have been the subject of numerous health articles and they range from weight loss to lowering our risk of heart disease. Fiber not only improves our health, but it can fill us up and reduce mid-meal hunger pangs. Because dietary fiber is not actually digested by the body, it helps fill up the stomach and aids in digestion as food passes through our body. As you start adding more high fiber foods to your diet, be sure to drink plenty of water. This helps the fiber properly dissolve and expand, and it also is the world’s best thirst-quencher (It’s also zero calories, caffeine & chemical free, and can be quite economical if you have a clean source!)

Dietary fiber comes in two forms:

  1. Soluble – Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can be found in oat bran, oatmeal, beans, citrus fruits, apples, and carrots. Soluble fiber is credited as a good way to lower cholesterol levels in our blood.
  2. Insoluble - Insoluble fiber aids the digestive system by moving material through quicker. This type of fiber is sought after to relive constipation and can be found in vegetables, nuts, wheat flour, and wheat bran.

When we eat sugary foods, our bodies get a quick source of energy and usually leave us craving more energy shortly thereafter. When we eat high fiber foods, we get a more gradual energy release and a stomach full of food that takes longer to digest. Why does this matter? If we go to the vending machine and chose a candy bar, we’ll satisfy our hunger for a little bit but we’ll looking for more sugar in less than an hour. If we chose popcorn, we’re more likely to be satisfied for a longer period of time…not to mention consuming far fewer calories and grams of fat.

Below is a table of high fiber foods and their calories, if you’re counting calories. See which foods appeal to you and would be good substitutes for some of your existing snacks or meal items. I started eating oat bran for breakfast a few years ago and have really enjoyed it the fact that it fills me up; it helped reduce my cholesterol levels, and it’s an overall warm and tasty meal. See what foods below can help improve your overall health, and help you attain your fitness goals:

Table: High Fiber Foods

Food Calories Fiber (grams)
Almonds - 1/4 cup 56 2.4
Apple - medium 70 4.0
Baked beans - canned 180 16.0
Baked potato - 7 oz 140 5.0
Banana - medium 8" 100 3.0
Beans, Pinto - 1/2 cup 160 16.0
Beans, Lima - 1/2 cup 150 5.8
Beans, Kidney - 1/2 cup 95 9.7
Beans, Green - 1/2 cup 10 2.1
Bread, white (2) 160 1.9
Bread, rye (2) 110 5.8
Bread, wheat (2) 120 6.0
Broccoli - 1/2 cup, raw 20 4.0
Carrots - 1/2 cup 20 3.4
Cereal, Cheerios - 1 cup 100 3.0
Cereal, All Bran - 1/2 cup 90 10.4
Cereal, Oatmeal Squares - 1 cup 210 5.0
Cereal, Cornflakes - 3/4 cup 70 2.6
Cereal, Rice Krispies - 1.25 cups 120 0.0
Cereal, Wheaties - 1 cup 100 2.0
Cereal, Raisin Bran - 1 cup 200 5.0
Chick peas - 1/2 cup 90 6.0
Corn, 1/2 cup 65 5.0
Cranberries, 1/2 cup 245 4.0
Lentils - 1/2 cup 190 6.5
Macaroni (Pasta) - 1 cup 200 5.7
Oatmeal - 3/4 cup 210 7.6
Oat bran - 1/2 cup 200 18.6
Orange - medium 70 2.4
Peach - medium 40 2.5
Pear - medium 90 4.0
Peas, green - 1/2 cup 60 9.1
Popcorn, 94% FF - 6 tbsp 240 8.0
Rice, white - 1/2 cup 80 2.0
Rice, brown - 1/2 cup 85 5.5
Spinach, cooked - 1/2 cup 25 6.9
Strawberries - 1 cup 45 3.0

The next time you reach for the cookie jar or make a run for the ending machine, try some of the high fiber foods above for a snack.  They’ll satisfy your hunger and help improve the health of your heart.  Try packing a baggie of cut vegetables or a piece of fruit if you’re on the go.  High fiber foods can help get you on the path to eating right…and eating less!

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