Several persons are not getting enough fiber each day. Meanwhile, there’s a whole list of foods filled with fiber. Legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are some popular sources. A high fiber diet has many health benefits. Also, it’s satiating and can keep full longer. That makes it suitable for people trying to manage weight or prevent weight gain. How much fiber does the body need per day? We’ll answer that and mention different tips that can include more fiber in your meal. Likewise, the best high fiber foods you can get and a sample meal plan.
What Is a High Fiber Diet?
Dietary fiber, also called roughages, is one of the complex carbohydrates. It is present in most plant-based foods. Fiber, unlike other carbohydrates, is indigestible. Therefore, it passes through the digestive system without breaking down into simple sugars.
Fiber is either soluble or insoluble. It’s present in nutrient-rich foods such as legumes, nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Therefore, what is a high fiber diet? Incorporating more of these foods rich in fiber into your meal plan makes a high fiber diet. There are many health benefits to getting enough fiber. From preventing chronic diseases to promoting a healthy gut, dietary fibers help maintain good health. Soluble and insoluble fibers are equally important in a diet.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
Fiber requirements vary by age and gender. Men need more fiber than women, and older people need less than young people. The dietary guideline recommendation for fiber is 14g per 1000 kcal. However, people who are just starting a high fiber diet should increase slowly. That way, the body can adjust to a high intake of fiber.
Below is a guide for daily fiber requirement:
|Age||19 – 30||19 – 30||31 – 50||31 – 50||51 and above||51 and above|
|Dietary fiber||28 grams||34 grams||25 grams||31 grams||22 grams||28 grams|
What Are The Best High Fiber Foods?
Soluble fiber is present in the pulp of foods like apples, oranges, and potatoes. These foods contribute to a healthier heart by regulating cholesterol production. Fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, wheat are sources of insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber promotes a healthy gut, prevents constipation and hemorrhoids.
Also, legumes like black beans, lentils, split peas, kidney beans, and chickpeas contain fiber. Nuts and seeds rich in fiber include walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and pistachios.
Because fiber makes a person feel full, these foods are good sources of high fiber diet for weight loss.
Here are some of the best high fiber diet foods to consume:
High Fiber Fruits
Fruits are a great source of fiber, especially when you consume them with the pulp or peel. The skin or peel of fruits is high in insoluble fiber, while the softer parts are high in soluble fiber. Asides from fiber, fruits are rich in antioxidants, folate, vitamins, and minerals. Fruit juices contain fruits but without the pulp. For that reason, they are not high in fiber.
Some of the fruits high in fiber include:
- Apple peels
- Berries like raspberry, blueberries, and strawberries
Berries, pear, avocado are some of the fruits low in crabs. You can incorporate them into a low carb, high fiber diet.
High Fiber Vegetables
Vegetables, like fruits, contain a high amount of fiber. They are mostly low-calorie and are also rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s best to consume with the back when possible. Baked potatoes, for instance, will provide about two times more fiber than mashed potatoes.
Some of the best high fiber vegetables are:
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet corn
Other vegetables high in fiber are beets, parsnips, celery root, asparagus, and Swiss chard. These high fiber vegetables are easy to incorporate into a meal plan. Different recipes require one vegetable or the other.
High Fiber Grains
Almost all grains are high in fiber. They also contain zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium, and vitamins. It’s best to go with whole grains instead of refined, to get the most fiber. Also, refined grains have some parts of the grain kernels removed, so they are not nutritious.
Because most grains are high in calories, they can make a person feel full for longer. In other words, adding more whole grains to a platter can prevent binge eating.
Some of the grains high in fiber are:
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta
- Brown rice
- Wheat bran cereal
High Fiber Supplements
The use of supplements is another approach to meet daily fiber requirements. Although these supplements may provide the same digestive health benefits, they lack several minerals and vitamins present in whole foods. The best source of fiber would always be whole, unprocessed foods.
However, experts suggest not more than 10 grams of fiber per day from supplements. Consuming more than 10 grams may cause a laxative effect. That said, there are different fiber-fortified foods available. There are yogurts, cereals, white bread enriched with fiber. It’s best to read the nutrition label of the product before making a choice.
Tips on How to Add More Fiber into Your Diet
Getting enough fiber in your menu is beneficial. However, eating one type of food is unexciting and may not provide a balanced diet.
Here are simple ways you can add more fiber to your diet:
- For breakfast, choose a high-fiber cereal like porridge oats and whole wheat biscuit.
- Include more vegetables into meals. Add to soups, stews, sauces, and salads.
- Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, rye crackers, nuts, and seeds for snacks.
- When eating potatoes, go for unpeeled like baked potatoes.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined ones. Try whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, or bulgur wheat.
- Add legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans when cooking.
High Fiber Diet Plan to Help You Get Started
The idea is to have fiber-rich foods available so you can add to your dishes or snack on. This high fiber diet plan shows samples of various foods you can add to a meal. Some of these meals can pass for low fat, high fiber diet. They contain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Breakfast: Try different oatmeal recipes—for example, baked oats, overnight oats, oat bran flakes topped with banana slices. Additionally, wholemeal toast with avocado spread or almond butter can pass. Berries, nuts, and flaxseeds are also rich in fiber, with about 4grams per serving. Add them to your breakfast.
- Morning Snack: For a morning snack, fruits or nuts are great—for example, apple and peanut butter; almonds and prunes; fruit crisps.
- Lunch: Black bean or avocado quinoa salad. Fill the quinoa into lettuce wraps and top with hummus. Also, try whole-grain pasta or brown rice dishes. Add beans and chickpeas to favorite comfort foods for lunch.
- Afternoon Snack: Avocado hummus, hummus veggie wrap, or avocado smoothie. People on a low fat, high fiber diet can leave out the avocado. Cauliflower wing dip, fruit salads, roasted chickpeas, or vegetable sticks are also great.
- Dinner: Make pumpkin lentil chili with quinoa or lentil quinoa meatballs. Vegetable noodles, stir-fry with peas and vegetables, or pasta salad with vegetables are other alternatives. Prepare a bowl of bulgur and add nuts and berries.
- Evening Snack: Dessert could be Greek yogurt with berries and almond slices. Oat bran muffin; popcorn sprinkled with coconut, walnuts, dried apricots, and raisins. Otherwise, make it simple with whole-grain crackers.
Fiber is present in plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. For the recommended amount, these foods should be a part of a daily diet. Eating a high fiber diet decreases the risk of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Also, fiber promotes a healthy gut and prevents constipation.
Furthermore, it’s best to increase fiber intake gradually to help the body adjust. Start by adding more vegetables and fruits to meal plans and snacking on a handful of nuts. When getting fiber supplements, be sure to check the label for the nutritional value and ingredients.