Fiber it up!
You’ve probably heard that fiber is good for you, and maybe you’ve even heard that you can consume fiber for weight loss. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet with many benefits, and can also greatly help you slim down.
Dietary fiber, the kind we get from plants and other foods, is a kind of carbohydrate that the human digestive system can’t fully break down. This means it doesn’t turn into sugar in your blood stream. Fiber passes mostly intact through your digestive tract.
Because fiber can’t be broken down, it slows digestion when it reaches your stomach. This helps prevent insulin spikes linked to weight gain. Additionally, fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, warding off cravings and hunger pangs. The bulk fiber then moves on to your small intestines where it helps relieve constipation and keeps you regular.
It’s important to consume the right amount of fiber for weight loss. It’s recommended that adults consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Eating enough fiber will make you feel full, prevent insulin spikes, and help you expel excess waste.
To find the best sources of fiber for weight loss, we’ve carefully studied the nutrition data for popular high-fiber foods. A good source of fiber is one that delivers both soluble and insoluble fiber, without too many extra calories or processed ingredients. We’ve looked for low-sugar foods with healthy fats. Below, we’ve listed some of the best sources of fiber for weight loss, so you can find what fits your lifestyle best!
1. Artichoke Hearts
It’s surprising how much fiber artichokes pack for a low amount of calories. A cup of artichoke hearts has 14 grams of fiber ( about 50% of your recommended daily intake) for only 90 calories. Additionally, a cup of artichoke hearts has 4 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar. It’s not only high in fiber; it’s also a diet-friendly food.
2. Raspberries and Blackberries
It may be surprising, but berries pack a ton of fiber. Between the skin and the seeds, they are a fiber heaven for dieters everywhere. The best berries for fiber are raspberries and blackberries, with 12 to 13 grams of fiber in a 100-calorie serving.
With under 1 gram of fiber per cup, spinach might not seem like a great fiber source, but this is only because it’s so light. A salad or smoothie made with enough spinach can pack a healthy dose of fiber. One hundred calories worth of spinach delivers 10 grams of fiber! Because spinach can be sneaked into almost every meal, it’s an ideal way to add fiber to your diet.
4. Broccoli and Cauliflower
These veggie florets are full of fiber. Broccoli and cauliflower mixes are often sold in microwavable bags. A bag with 4 cups contains about 8 grams of fiber! Have one as a side or use it as a base for stir fries or salads.
That’s right, pumpkin is a great way to get your daily dose of fiber. One can of this bright and sweet squash has about 7 grams of fiber and only 90 calories! It’s a diet-friendly fiber-full food that can be used for breakfast, dinner, or dessert!
Although they didn’t make it into our top five, legumes are another great way to get your recommended amount of fiber. Split peas and lentils are the best, delivering the most fiber for the least amount of calories. Seeds and grain have a good amount of fiber, especially pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and oat bran. Other veggies such as zucchini and brussels sprouts are also loaded with fiber. If you make sure to have a serving of fresh fruit or vegetables in every meal, you’ll reach your fiber goals in no time!
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