Want to eat more fiber? Use this high fiber foods chart (with a FREE printable list of high fiber foods). Incorporating more fiber-rich plants in your diet can help you see some of the many health benefits of fiber in your own nutrition, health, and life, too!
What is Fiber?
Fiber is an undigestible carbohydrate in plants associated with a variety of health benefits, like a decreased risk of:
Types of Fiber: Soluble & Insoluble
All fiber falls into one of two types: soluble or insoluble.
- Soluble fiber attracts water*, creating a gel-like substance with food during digestion. This then slows digestion, leading to potential benefits like weight regulation (the fiber helps you feel full faster), lowered LDL cholesterol and heart disease risk, and improved blood sugar regulation. (*This is why you want to drink plenty of water when consuming a high fiber diet!)
- Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, adds bulk to your stool and helps food pass more quickly through your stomach and intestines. This type of fiber may help prevent colon cancer and some gastrointestinal conditions (like diverticulitis).
And while this primarily happens with soluble fiber, both forms of fiber ferment by bacteria in your gut. This helps increase more bacteria in your gut, which also helps with digestion (and overall health).
Fiber Health Benefits
Fiber is pretty amazing and comes with a lot of health benefits. Studies have found that individuals with high dietary fiber intake are often at a significantly lower risk for:
Additionally, increased fiber intake:
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers blood cholesterol levels
- improves insulin sensitivity (in individuals both with and without diabetes)
And while weight is not the end-all, be-all defining measure of health, fiber supplementation in obese individuals can significantly enhance weight loss.
Increased fiber may also benefit several gastrointestinal disorders, such as:
Some research also suggests prebiotic fibers may enhance immune function.
How Much Fiber Do You Need a Day?
Fiber is essential to daily dietary needs, but the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 have identified fiber as a nutrient of public health concern - children and adults alike are not consuming enough.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation is about 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories consumed, but vary based on age:
|Age||Daily Fiber Needs|
|Children (1-3 years)||19 g|
|Children (4-8 years)||25 g|
|Children (9-13 years)||26 g (girls), 31 g (boys)|
|Adolescents (14-18 years)||26 g (girls), 38 g (boys)|
|Adults (18-50 years)||25 g (women), 38 g (men)|
|Adults (over 50 years)||21 g (women), 30 g (men)|
Also of note, there is not currently an upper limit for daily dietary fiber recommendations.
Side Effects of Too Much Fiber
So with all these benefits of dietary fiber and no defined upper limit, is there such a thing as too much fiber?
Yes, but it's typically more a matter of consuming too much fiber, too quickly -- which is why experts like myself recommend gradually increasing your fiber intake.
Side effects of too much fiber can include:
For more details, and to learn what to do about it, check out my article Too Much Fiber? Here's What to Do.
Printable List of High Fiber Foods
Below is a high fiber foods chart, but if you prefer to download a printable list of high fiber foods to save to your phone or stick to your fridge, click here:
High Fiber Foods Chart
*All nutrition values are sourced from the USDA Dietary Guidelines Food Sources of Dietary Fiber and the USDA National Nutrient Database FoodData Central.
|Asian pear||1 medium||6.5|
|Wild blueberries||1 cup||6.2|
|Apple, with skin||1 medium||4.8|
|Dried figs||¼ cup||3.7|
|Pomegranate seeds||½ cup||3.5|
|Mandarin orange||1 cup||3.5|
|Prune/ dried plums||¼ cup||3.1|
|Green peas||1 cup||8.8|
|Pumpkin, pureed||1 cup||7.0|
|Taro root, cooked||1 cup||6.8|
|Sweet potato, cooked||1 cup||6.4|
|Winter squash, cooked||1 cup||5.8|
|Yam, cooked||1 cup||5.4|
|Broccoli, cooked||1 cup||5.2|
|Cauliflower, cooked||1 cup||5.0|
|Turnip greens, boiled||1 cup||5.0|
|Carrots, cooked||1 cup||4.8|
|Snow peas||1 cup||4.6|
|Brussels sprouts, cooked||1 cup||4.0|
|Potato with skin, baked||1 medium||4.0|
|Carrots, raw||1 cup||3.6|
|Sweet corn, boiled||1 cup||3.5|
|Red bell pepper, raw||1 cup||3.2|
|Beets, cooked||1 cup||2.8|
|Tomato, raw||1 medium||1.0|
|Spinach, raw||1 cup||0.7|
|Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked||1 cup||6.0|
|Barley, pearled, cooked||1 cup||6.0|
|Bran flakes||¾ cup||5.5|
|Quinoa, cooked||1 cup||5.0|
|Oat bran muffin||1 medium||5.0|
|Oatmeal, instant, cooked||1 cup||5.0|
|Popcorn, air-popped||3 cups||3.5|
|Brown rice, cooked||1 cup||3.5|
|Bread, whole-wheat||1 slice||2.0|
|Bread, rye||1 slice||2.0|
|White rice, cooked||1 cup||1.0|
|Navy beans, cooked||½ cup||9.6|
|Small white beans, cooked||½ cup||9.3|
|Split peas, cooked||½ cup||8.0|
|Lentils, cooked||½ cup||7.8|
|Black beans, cooked||½ cup||7.5|
|Chickpeas, cooked||½ cup||6.3|
|Grean northern beans, cooked||½ cup||6.2|
|White beans, cooked||½ cup||5.7|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 ounce||5.2|
|Chia seeds||1 tbsp||4.1|
|Sunflower seeds||1 ounce||3.1|
|Hemp hearts, hulled||1 ounce||3.0|
|Pine nuts||1 ounce||3.0|
|Flax seeds||1 tbsp||2.8|
|Peanut butter||1 ounce||2.1|
|Cocoa powder||1 tbsp||2.0|
Dietary fiber is something that can be highly beneficial to many aspects of your health, impacting the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems, and affecting weight management, too.
Try incorporating a variety of these fiber-rich foods into your daily eats (like in high fiber smoothies!)
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