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Top 24 High Fiber Foods

One of my primary recommendations to weight loss clients is to increase protein and fiber in their diet. Short of a total diet makeover these two changes can have the most significant impact on body composition. There’s just something about adding more protein and fiber to your diet that sets conditions right for weight loss.

Unfortunately there’s often some misconceptions regarding the best way to increase fiber intake in the diet. Health experts for years have been telling us to eat more whole grains and high fiber cereal, and with a few exceptions these are last on my list.

I advise my weight loss clients to avoid wheat products, even those with whole grain wheat, so this omits a large portion of the foods we typically associate as being healthy high fiber choices.

In today’s post I’ll share with you my top 24 high fiber foods that you’ll want to consider adding more of to your diet.

More after the jump…

Personally I follow a Primal Blueprint type diet and recommend this approach to my clients who are not vegetarian or vegan. I’ve simply found this to be one of the most effective strategies, especially with middle age adults. While I’m not 100% Paleo or Primal with my eating, I tend to follow fairly close with a few exceptions.

I believe the idea of eating primarily whole natural foods is pretty sound and the decision to omit certain natural foods to be one of individual need, tolerances, and personal preferences. The fact is some people do better than others with consuming dairy, legumes, and other foods which aren’t considered Paleo.

Instead of being married to any diet philosophy, each person should be open to experimentation and simply find out what works best for him/her. The end objective should always simply be to obtain a level of health and function that serves you best. Don’t get bogged down in the “rules,” as there is no single diet that is best for everyone.

Having said all of that, you’ll find that my preferred high fiber foods come mostly from fruits and vegetables, with a few select grains and legumes which tend to be better tolerated in the GI tract.

Without further ado…and in no particular order

Top 24 high fiber foods

1. Raspberries (1 cup) 9 grams of fiber
2. Blackberries (1 cup) 7 grams of fiber
3. Avocado (1/2) 5 grams of fiber
4. Pear (1 whole) 4 grams of fiber
5. Banana (1 whole) 4 grams of fiber
6. Blueberries (1 cup) 3 grams of fiber
7. Cherries (1 cup) 3 grams of fiber
8. Strawberries (1 cup) 3 grams of fiber
9. Artichoke (1/2) 5 grams of fiber
10. Lima beans or peas (1/2 cup) 5 grams of fiber
11. Acorn squash (1/2 cup) 4 grams of fiber
12. Sweet potato w/ skin (1 medium) 4 grams of fiber
13. Broccoli (1/2 cup) 3 grams of fiber
14. Green beans (1/2 cup) 3 grams of fiber
15. Quinoa (3/4 cup) 4 grams of fiber
16. Raw Almonds (1/4 cup) 4 grams of fiber
17. Pecans (1/4 cup) 3 grams of fiber
18. Pistachios (1/4 cup) 3 grams of fiber
19. Black beans (1/2 cup) 8 grams of fiber
20. Pinto beans (1/2 cup) 8 grams of fiber
21. Split peas (1/2 cup) 8 grams of fiber
22. Chick peas (1/2 cup) 7 grams of fiber
23. Kidney beans (1/2 cup) 6 grams of fiber
24. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (1 cup cooked) 4 grams of fiber

Note: it’s best to soak beans and legumes overnight prior to cooking as a way to reduce anti-nutrients like phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors, which by the way are largely responsible for the gas and GI tract discomfort. Try soaking your beans and legumes, it makes a difference and it’s a lot healthier for your gut.

If popular restaurant dishes with beans and legumes tend to give you gastrointestinal distress, don’t be surprised as they probably don’t soak them! Anyone who has ever soaked beans or legumes will tell you there’s a pretty thick layer of scum that rises to the top. This is exactly what you don’t want to be eating.

Once again each person will be different so you’ll have to experiment on your own. If soaking them doesn’t help much and you still have issues, cut them out. I know some of my nutrition expert contemporaries advocate not eating beans or legumes at all, but personally I’ve found them to be a supportive nutrition food when soaked and cooked properly.

Never-the-less, taking the beans and legumes debate off the table for a second, I firmly believe that most individuals will fare better getting their fiber intake from the foods I’ve listed rather than relying on wheat based products.

I realize there will be someone who swears to the benefits of their All-Bran cereal or whatever, and I’m not here to contest that. Increasing fiber in your diet someway, somehow, is far better than not doing it at all. It’s just been my experience when dealing with individuals who are attempting to lose weight, the majority do better when wheat products are cut out.

Tis my two cents for what it’s worth. If you’ve got a favorite high fiber food not included on my list feel free to leave it in the comments section below. This is an open forum blog and all dialogue is welcome.

Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides fitness consulting in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. See our success stories from numerous Lowcountry residents then sign up for a no-obligations consultation today.

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Category: Nutrition.