High Fiber Foods List - 50 Items for Your Grocery List

    
Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD
Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD

Are you looking to boost your intake of fiber-rich foods? Here is everything you need to know about fiber, along with a dietitian created high fiber foods list to use for your next grocery run.

What Are the Health Benefits of Fiber?

Fiber is a unique type of carb found in plants that cannot be easily digested and absorbed by the body - meaning it does not provide energy (calories). And because of its unique properties, higher fiber intakes have been linked to a number of positive health benefits, including:

How Much Fiber Do You Need Each Day?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a dietary fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed.

But according to dietary statistics, a majority of US adults don’t eat enough fiber in their diet. In fact, most only get about 15 grams per day, which is half of the average recommended daily amount of 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. 

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

Because fiber softens stool and helps combat constipation, a high fiber diet is often recommended to treat diverticulitis. 

In the past, it was recommended to avoid certain high fiber foods like nuts, seeds, and popcorn out of concern that the heartier, fibrous shells are hard to digest and may irritate the condition. However, recent research indicates that this is not necessary, and all high fiber foods can benefit those with diverticulitis and diverticulosis. 

Higher amounts of fiber are also suggested for those with certain health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, constipation, and colon cancer.

What Foods Are High in Fiber?

Fiber is the “roughage” portion of plants and is not naturally in meat, dairy, or seafood. In other words, your best source of fiber in the diet is plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. 

But not all plants are considered high in fiber. Additionally, the type and amount of fiber in each food can vary.

Based on the minimum daily requirement of 25 grams of fiber a day, any food that contains 2.5 g of fiber (10% of the daily value) is considered a good source, and those with 5g or more are an excellent source. 

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

There are also two main types of fiber found in food: soluble and insoluble. 

Soluble fiber can dissolve in water. Thus it has the ability to form a gel-like substance in your digestive tract and may help remove some unwanted nutrients like cholesterol and help reduce your risk of heart disease. This effect might also help you lose weight by helping you feel full. 

Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water and tends to be the type of fiber that helps keep things moving along - aka keeping your bowel movements regular by adding bulk to your stool. 

Both types of fiber provide potential health advantages, and more often than not, high fiber foods contain soluble and insoluble fiber in varying amounts. 

Fiber Supplements vs. Fiber Foods

It is also common for people to turn to supplements to overcome low fiber intakes. You can purchase fiber in a supplement form as a powder or find it added to various types of packaged food. 

The daily fiber guidelines do not include fiber supplements for a few different reasons:

  • Natural sources of fiber tend to come from healthy foods
  • Not all added fibers are associated with health benefits
  • Fiber supplements can cause digestive issues in some people. 

Naturally, fibrous foods also tend to be extremely nutrient-dense. Fruits and vegetables are filled with key vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Beans, lentils, and legumes contain a good amount of plant-based protein. And nuts and seeds are also a source of heart-healthy fat. 

Plus, increasing your intake of these foods can improve your nutrition, leading to many notable health benefits. 

Added fiber, on the other hand, can be put into just about anything - even a candy bar!

Some theorize that the advantages of fiber stem from the nutritious foods they are packaged in and not the fiber itself. But when researchers looked at fiber alone in supplement form, they discovered that not all types of added fiber provide the same health perks (9,10). 

In other words, naturally occurring fiber may have some unique properties that supplements cannot compete with. 

Additionally, added fiber could be associated with gastroenteritis distress, causing bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people. 

20 Foods High in Soluble Fiber

The top fiber foods that are rich in soluble fiber include the following: 

Fresh Fruit and Dried Fruit List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Apples 1 medium 4.2 1.5 5.7
Blackberries 1/2 cup 3.1 0.7 3.8
Dried Figs 3 medium 3.0 2.3 5.3
Grapefruits 1/2 fruit 2.4 0.7 3.1
Kiwis 1 large 2.4 0.8 3.2
Oranges 1 medium 2.1 1.3 3.4

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Nuts, Seeds, and Beans List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Chia Seeds 2 tablespoons 9 1.0 10
Black Beans 1/2 cup 3.8 3.1 6.9
Pinto Beans 1/2 cup 5.5 1.9 7.4
White Beans 1/2 cup 3.8 0.4 4.2

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Vegetable List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Artichokes 1 medium 4.7 1.8 6.5
Green Peas 1/2 cup 3.2 1.2 4.4
Okra 1/2 cup 3.1 1.0 4.1

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Whole Grain List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Barley 1/2 cup 3.3 0.9 4.2
Millet 1/2 cup 2.7 0.6 3.3
Oat Bran 3/4 cup 2.2 1.8 4.0
Oatmeal, cooked 1 cup 2.4 1.6 4.0
Popcorn, popped 3 cups 3.2 0.4 3.6
Wholegrain Bread 1 slice 2.8 0.1 2.9
Wholegrain Pasta 1 cup 4.1 2.2 6.3

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

12 Foods High in Insoluble Fiber

Foods highest in insoluble fiber include:

Fresh Fruit and Dried Fruit List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Blueberries 1 cup 1.7 2.5 3.9
Pear 1 medium 0.8 3.2 4.0
Raspberries 1/2 cup 0.9 2.3 3.2
Strawberries 1 cup 1.8 2.6 4.4

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Nuts, Seeds, and Beans List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Almonds, raw 1 ounce 0.7 3.5 4.2
Chickpeas 1/2 cup 1.2 2.8 4.0
Lentils, cooked 1/2 cup 2.8 3.8 6.6
Sesame Seeds 1/4 cup 0.7 2.6 3.3
Split Peas 1/2 cup 1.1 2.4 3.5
Walnuts 1 ounce 0.6 2.5 3.1

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Vegetable List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Kale, cooked 1 cup 2.1 5.1 7.2

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Whole Grain List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Quinoa, cooked 1/2 cup 1.7 2.5 4.2

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

18 Other High Fiber Foods

Foods packed with roughly equal amounts of the two types of fiber are: 

Fresh Fruit and Dried Fruit List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Apricots, dried 4 medium 1.8 1.7 3.5
Prunes, dried 4 medium 1.3 1.8 3.1

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Nuts, Seeds, and Beans List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Back Eyed Peas 1/2 cup 2.2 1.9 4.1
Flax Seeds 2 tablespoons 2.7 2.1 4.8
Kidney Beans 1/2 cup 2.9 2.9 5.8
Sunflower Seeds 1/4 cup 1.1 1.9 3.0

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Vegetable List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Asparagus 1/2 cup 1.7 1.1 2.8
Broccoli, raw 1/2 cup 1.3 1.4 2.7
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 1.7 1.9 3.6
Carrots, raw 1 medium 1.1 1.5 2.6
Edamame 1/2 cup 2.7 2.2 4.9
Lima Beans 1/2 cup 2.1 2.2 4.3
Summer Squash 1/2 cup 1.3 1.2 2.5
Sweet Potatoes 1 medium 2.7 2.2 4.9
White Potatoes 1 medium 2.4 2.4 4.8
Winter Squash 1/2 cup 1.7 1.4 3.1
Zucchini 1/2 cup 1.4 1.2 2.6

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Whole Grain List

Food Serving Size Soluble Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g) Total Fiber (g)
Pumpernickel 1 slice 1.5 1.2 2.7

*Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release

Tips to Add Fiber to Your Diet

Getting enough fiber can feel challenging at first, but it’s actually easier than you think. Just by increasing the amount of plant-based foods you consume, you can naturally boost your intake as well as add many essential nutrients to your plate. 

To help you learn how to balance your nutrition and increase the fiber content of your meals, try the following:

  • Make half your dinner plate veggies
  • Choose more whole-grain bread, rice, and cereals and less refined carbohydrates when possible
  • Snack on fiber-filled nuts 
  • Grab fresh fruit for a simple and delicious dessert option
  • Eat plant-based proteins like edamame, beans, and lentils
  • Top off salads and stir-fry with seeds and nuts
  • Add berries and chia seeds to your yogurt parfait

Need more help getting enough fiber? Talk with your health care provider or work with an RD to see how you can get put on a high fiber meal plan. 

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