High Fiber Foods

High Fiber Foods You Should Include in Your Diet

Adding fiber to your diet can help with digestion, weight management, blood sugar, heart health and more. These are the best high fiber foods to boost your health and well-being.

U.S. News & World Report

High Fiber Foods


Healthy food selection on white wooden background . Fresh fruits , superfoods an vegatables . High in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber. Top view .
 (Healthy food selection on white wooden background . Fresh fruits , superfoods an vegatables . H



Found only in plant foods, dietary fiber is technically a non-nutrient because it is not digested or absorbed by the body, but do not let that lead you to underestimate its value.

Why Is Fiber Important?

Even though dietary fiber is not technically a nutrient, it offers many benefits far beyond simply preventing constipation.

Fiber comes in two major forms: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water and forms a gel, can help lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. You’ll find this type of fiber in oats, beans, lentils, nuts, apples and blueberries.

Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract relatively intact and helps promote regularity. This type of fiber is found in wheat bran, brown rice, quinoa and most vegetables.

Other dietary fibers act as a prebiotic, which helps fuel good bacteria in the gut. Foods high in prebiotic fibers include chicory root, onions, garlic, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes.

High fiber diets have been linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, in addition to better gut health and weight management.


How Much Fiber Should You Eat?

Most Americans fail to get enough fiber, averaging only about half the amount that’s recommended daily, which is: 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men.

The fiber guidelines established by the Institute of Medicine recommend 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume daily.

In general, it’s better to get your fiber from whole foods rather than fiber supplements or isolated fibers. Supplements and powders lack the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in whole food sources of fiber.

Here is a list of high fiber foods to include in your diet. A good source of fiber provides at least 2.5 grams per serving, and an excellent source of fiber contains 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.


High Fiber Foods



Rather than being hyperfocused on specific types of fiber in foods, work on eating a variety of plant foods to mix up the dietary fibers you consume. Filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables and switching from refined grains to whole grains will help you get the fiber you need.

The major sources of dietary fiber include:

You may not realize that dry beans and legumes are powerhouse sources of fiber. But these plant-based morsels pack in more fiber than most other foods. Swap lentils for meat in recipes, add beans to soups and stews, top salads and grain bowls with chickpeas.

  • Navy beans, 1 cup cooked (19.1 grams).
  • Black beans, 1 cup canned (16.6 grams).
  • Lentils, 1 cup cooked (15.6 grams).
  • Pinto beans, 1 cup cooked (15.4 grams).
  • Red kidney beans, 1 cup cooked (13.6 grams).
  • Chickpeas, 1 cup cooked (12.5 grams).
  • Edamame, 1 cup cooked and shelled (8 grams).



Perhaps best known as a source of healthy fats, nuts and seeds also contribute fiber. Snack on nuts instead of pretzels and chips, add nuts to salads and grain bowls or sprinkle seeds on overnight oats.

  • Chia seeds, 1 ounce (9.8 grams).
  • Almonds, 1 ounce (3.5 grams).
  • Pine nuts, 1 ounce (3.0 grams).
  • Pistachios, 1 ounce (2.9 grams).
  • Pecans, 1 ounce (2.7 grams).
  • Sunflower kernels, 1 ounce (2.6 grams).

Choose more whole fruits instead of juice to get more fiber. Eating the peels will boost your fiber intake even more. Start your day with at least one serving of fruit by using it to top oatmeal, stirring it into yogurt or adding it to a smoothie.

  • Raspberries, 1 cup (8.0 grams).
  • Avocado, 1/2 of the fruit (6.8 grams).
  • Pear, 1 medium (5.5 grams)
  • Red delicious apple with the skin, 1 medium (4.8 grams).
  • Mejdool dates, 3 pitted (4.8 grams).
  • Blueberries, 1 cup (3.5 grams).
  • Banana, 1 medium (3.1 grams).
  • Orange, 1 medium (3.0 grams).
  • Strawberries, 1 cup (3.0 grams).



Keep eating your salads, but keep in mind that leafy greens lack the same level of fiber found in other vegetables. Be sure to add more fiber-rich vegetables to your salads, add a side of roasted vegetables to your meals and snack on crunchy raw veggies.

  • Green peas, 1 cup cooked (8.8 grams).
  • Broccoli, 1 cup cooked (5.1 grams).
  • Brussels sprouts, 1 cup cooked (4.1 grams).
  • Baked potato with skin, 1 medium (3.8 grams).
  • Baked sweet potato without skin, 1 medium (3.8 grams).
  • Yellow sweet corn, 1 cup cooked (3.6 grams).
  • Beets, 1 cup cooked and sliced (3.4 grams).
  • Cauliflower, 1 cup cooked and chopped (2.9 grams).

Fiber gets stripped away when grains are refined. To increase fiber, replace white bread, rice and pasta with 100% whole-wheat bread, brown rice and other whole grains like bulgur and farro.

  • Bulgur, 1 cup cooked (8.2 grams).
  • Farro, 1 cup cooked (6.3 grams).
  • Quinoa, 1 cup cooked (5.2 grams).
  • Oatmeal, 1 cup cooked (4.0 grams).
  • Whole-wheat penne pasta, 1 cup cooked (3.8 grams).
  • Wild rice, 1 cup cooked (3.0 grams).
  • Brown rice, 1 cup cooked (2.6 grams).
  • Whole wheat bread, 1 slice (2.0 grams).

What Are Good High Fiber, Low Carb Foods?

Many people who are following a keto diet or restricting carbohydrates often fail to meet daily fiber needs. But it is possible to curb carbs and still get enough fiber.

If you are reducing bread and grains in an attempt to eat fewer carbs, you do not need to come up short on fiber. Look for ways to incorporate more nuts and seeds. Seek out fruits and vegetables that are highest in fiber and lowest in carbs. Examples include:

Looking to curtail calories? Eat more high-fiber vegetables that contain fewer calories, such as zucchini, radishes, cabbage, bell pepper and hearts of palm.

Sample Menu to Get 45 Grams of Fiber a Day

Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains at every meal will help you meet daily fiber recommendations.


  • 1 avocado (13.5 grams).
  • 2 slices whole-wheat toast (4 grams).


  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla (2.8 grams).
  • 1/2 cup navy beans (9.6 grams).


  • 1 cup broccoli (5.1 grams).
  • 1 medium sweet potato (3.8 grams).


  • 3 cups popcorn (5.8 grams).

Total: 45 grams of fiber.


Healthy Carbs to Eat on a Diet

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Some weight loss diets curtail carbohydrates, but some carbs can be healthy.

Carbohydrates get a bad rap. Some popular weight loss diets – like the keto diet and the South Beach diet – call for severely limiting your carb consumption.

But it would be inaccurate to label all carbs as disadvantageous to your health.

“Not all carbs are created equal,” says Amy Kimberlain, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics based in Miami. “Some are better for you.”

In fact, carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel and is one of three macronutrients – including fat and protein – your body needs in large amounts.

The three main types of carbohydrates are starches, sugars and dietary fiber. They are categorized as either simple or complex carbs based on their chemical makeup and how your body utilizes them.

  • Simple carbs. These carbs contain shorter chains of sugar molecules, making them quick and easy to digest. Simple carbs can be found in refined sugars and in products with added sugar, like sodas, syrup and candy. However, simple carbs are also naturally occurring in fruitmilk and dairy products, which provide vitamins and minerals. Because simple carbs break down quickly, they are a fast source of fuel for your body but can also cause your blood sugar to spike.
  • Complex carbs. Because these contain longer sugar molecule chains, complex carbs digest more slowly and enter your bloodstream at a slower pace than simple carbs. They provide a steady stream of energy – in the form of glucose – that can keep you fueled and feeling full for a longer period of time. Examples of healthy, highly nutritious sources of complex carbs include whole grains, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Refined grains, which have been processed and milled to remove the bran and germ from the grain, are technically considered complex carbs; however, it’s important to remember that they are less nutritious than whole grains.

For a healthy eating regimen, incorporate plenty of nutritious complex carbohydrates and limit your intake of processed grains and foods with added sugar.

NEXT:Many foods with healthy carbs are packed with nutrients.
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Many foods with healthy carbs are packed with nutrients.

An array of unprocessed, whole foods that have carbs contain healthy amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many also have antioxidants, a substance that neutralizes free radicals, prevents cell damage from oxidative stress and may help shield against cancer and other chronic diseases.

Carbs play important roles in our body. By providing immediate energy and supporting muscle function, carbs provide us with the fuel we need to accomplish and perform our regular daily tasks.

But we also need carbs for brain health. Because of the intricate network of 86 billion neurons, the human brain requires a large amount of glucose in order to function. In fact, our brains utilize approximately 20% to 25% of the glucose in the body.

“If we omit carbs and/or don’t provide ourselves with enough, this can result in brain fog, fatigue and irritability,” Kimberlain says. “At times, this can lead to grabbing for food in the moment that may not be the best fuel source and/or even possibly over-consuming at meals.”

Types of foods that include healthy carbs that provide vitamins, minerals and fiber include:

Here are 12 healthy carbs you should eat:

Fresh red apples in wooden box.




Eating apples is associated with a lower risk for such chronic diseases as cancer and diabetes.

A medium apple of 6.4 ounces has about 25 grams of carbs, as well as 4 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber and 14% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.

Apples contain soluble fiber, which dissolves in water to create a gel that boosts digestion, in the form of pectin. Pectin can help prevent constipation and may also help lower LDL cholesterol, the so-called “bad” kind, without affecting HDL cholesterol, the “good” kind, research suggests. Another health benefit is that pectin is fermented by beneficial bacteria in the colon. This creates short chain fatty acids that could help shield your body from bowel diseases and certain cancers.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, draws water into your stool and adds bulk to help food pass through the bowel. This helps keep you regularpromotes weight control and boosts insulin sensitivity, which also helps lower your risk for diabetes.

As with most fruits and vegetables, the skin is where most of the fiber and nutrients are found, so don’t skip on eating apple peels.

In addition to fiber, you’ll also get a good amount of quercetin, a flavonoid, which is a naturally-occurring chemical found in plants that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Beans of Different Colors, in Bowls Each Group, on a Black Background




There are various types of beans, including black beans, edamame, pinto beans, red beans and soybeans – all of which are good sources of complex carbs high in fiber.

A 1-cup serving of boiled, unsalted beans contains:

  • Black beans: 41 grams of carbs, including 15 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Fava beans: 33 grams of carbs, including 9 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Pinto beans: 45 grams of carbs, including 15 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Red beans: 40 grams of carbs, including 13 grams of dietary fiber.

Beans are also a good source of iron.

“Iron carries blood throughout the body, helping you feel energized,” explains Kaylee Jacks, a registered dietitian with Texas Health Sports Medicine in Dallas.

Not only are beans high in fiber and iron, but they’re also a protein powerhouse, with most types of beans containing about 15 grams of protein per cup.

“This meatless protein source is a good option for vegetarians to meet their protein needs,” Jacks says.

You can enjoy beans as a side dish or in soups, stews, tacos, burrito bowls and salad.

Multi-colored beets on gray background




A cup of raw beets contains 13 grams of carbohydrates. Beets are also packed with phytonutrients, which are chemical compounds that are naturally found in plant foods and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This root vegetable contains folate, magnesium and vitamin C, but they are also rich in nitrates, a naturally occurring chemical that your body converts to nitric oxide, which helps dilate your blood vessels. This process, called vasodilation, increases blood flow and helps lower blood pressure.

For this reason, beetroot juice and powder supplements are popular among athletes to enhance endurance and performance.

An analysis of 23 scientific articles, published in 2017 in the journal Nutrients, suggests that consuming beetjuice can improve cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes by increasing efficiency. In clinical studies, including a 2017 study of 40 male soccer players and a 2018 study of 15 male gym-goers, researchers have shown that beetroot juice enhanced peak output and improved performance during high-intensity intermittent exercise.

You can boil, steam or roast beets, which can be served as a side dish or as part of a salad.





Berries are small but mighty fruits. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure, fight cancer and promote digestive health. Plus, they’re high in fiber, which supports your gut health.

For example, a cup of blueberries contains 21 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein and about 24% of the amount of vitamin C you’ll need on a daily basis.

Berries also contain an array of other nutrients, including copper, folate, potassium and vitamin K. By providing so many vitamins, minerals and nutrients, as well as antioxidants, berries are widely considered “superfoods.”

“Berries are nutritional powerhouses,” Kimberlain says. “Research shows that increased berry consumption is linked to lowering risks for heart diseaseAlzheimer’s disease and diabetes.”

NEXT:Brown rice
Bowl of Brown Rice



Brown rice

White and brown rice both are good sources of carbs. But when it comes to nutrition, brown rice has the clear advantage over its white counterpart, says Vanessa Spiller, a certified nutritionist based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The difference between the two is that white rice is a refined grain, which undergoes a process that removes much of the grain’s nutritional value, while brown rice is a whole grain, which consists of the entire grain, including the bran, germ and the endosperm. Because brown rice is minimally processed, it retains the most nutritional value.

“Brown rice packs more fiber and antioxidants, as well as more important vitamins and minerals,” Spiller says.

A cup of brown rice contains 4 grams of fiber, nearly 2 grams of manganese and 5 grams of protein.

You can use brown rice as a tasty side dish or as part of a rice bowl with proteins and veggies.

Cauliflower heads and chopped cauliflower on wooden cutting board viewed from above with copy space




A cup of cauliflower has 5 grams of carbohydrates, which means the cruciferous vegetable is a great choice if you want something starchy but not too high in carbs, says Katie Fitzgerald, a clinical nutritionist based in Dallas.

In a variety of dishes, you can exchange nutrient-packed cauliflower for ingredients that are higher in carbs.

“Cauliflower is a carb chameleon,” Fitzgerald says. “For example, mashed white potatoes can be swapped with cauliflower puree, and white rice can be replaced with finely chopped and steamed cauliflower rice. These changes can cut calories in half while increasing the vitamin and mineral content of a meal.”

One cup of cauliflower contains 2 grams of fiber, as well as folate and vitamin C and vitamin K.

Boiled chickpeas in bow. Vegetarian cuisine from legumes




While adherents of the keto regimen aren’t likely to put this legume on their menu, chickpeas are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium and potassium, Fitzgerald says.

One cup of drained chickpeas from a can contains 210 calories and 35 grams of carbs, including nearly 10 grams of fiber. For the same serving size, you’ll also get approximately 11 grams of protein, making chickpeas an excellent source of this macronutrient.

Organic Raw Farro Grain in a Bowl




Farro is an ancient wheat that can be a nutritious part of your diet, says Gillian Culbertson, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.

“It is a wheat grain that was one of the first domesticated crops in the Fertile Crescent thousands of years ago and was used in Egyptian bread making,” Culbertson says.

Rather than a single type of grain, farro generally refers to three types of grains: einkorn, spelt and emmer, which is the most commonly sold variety in the U.S.

A ¼-cup serving of uncooked farro contains 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving, as well as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including niacin, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Farro’s high fiber content can aid in maintaining a healthy weight and promoting digestive, cardiovascular and metabolic health.

With a nutty flavor and chewy texture, farro is a good base and protein source for plant-based dishes, bread and baked goods.

Lentils in a bowl on a blue wooden background




Are you stressed or feeling moody? You may need more magnesium in your diet – and lentils are a terrific source of the mineral, Fitzgerald says.

Magnesium is essential to healthy brain function. Consuming inadequate levels of magnesium is associated with depression and anxiety, Fitzgerald notes. But thankfully, 1 cup of lentils contains 17% of the amount the federal government recommends for daily consumption.

“Feature lentils as a side dish, add them to bulk up a soup or sprinkle them on a salad to make it more interesting,” Fitzgerald says.

Oats, rolled oats or oat flakes in wooden bowl and wooden spoon. Top view. Healthy grains, low carb diet food




Oats are a healthy, nutrient-rich carbohydrate food, Jacks says. In fact, ½ cup of dry rolled oats contains about 27 grams of complex carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, providing long-lasting, sustained energy throughout the day.

Because oats are an excellent source of fiber, consuming this food regularly can help improve your cholesterol and supports healthy digestion and weight.

There are several types of oats, including:

  • Oat groats.
  • Steel-cut oats.
  • Rolled oats (regular or quick-cooking).
Popcorn flavoured with cinnamon and birch sugar




For a fiber-rich, low-calorie snack that’s a treat not just at movie theaters but at home, consider popcorn, Jacks says. Popcorn can be a healthy snack – when it’s prepared the right way.

One cup of air-popped, unsalted popcorn contains only 30 calories and 6.2 grams of carbs, including 1.2 grams of dietary fiber. Instead of slathering your popcorn with salt and butter, try seasoning your popcorn with healthy herbs and spices.

NEXT:Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes on wooden background



Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and contain antioxidants and phytonutrients.

One medium sweet potato, cooked without skin, contains 26.7 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of dietary fiber and nearly four times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. It also contains calcium, vitamins C and B6, iron and magnesium.

“Sweet potatoes are also lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes, which means they’re less likely to cause a blood sugar spike,” Spiller says.

The glycemic index is a measure of a carb’s effect on blood sugar. Foods are ranked on a scale of zero to 100 based on how much and how quickly the foods raise blood sugar levels after consumption.

Low glycemic foods typically have a ranking of 55 or less, while high glycemic foods have a ranking of 70 or higher. Foods that are rapidly digested and cause substantial fluctuations in blood sugar have a high glycemic index. On the other hand, foods – like sweet potatoes – with a low glycemic index are digested more slowly and cause a more gradual increase in blood sugar levels.

NEXT:12 healthy carbs you should eat:
Organic fruit and vegetables. Farmers hands with freshly harvested apples.



12 healthy carbs you should eat:

  • Apples.
  • Beans.
  • Beets.
  • Berries.
  • Brown rice.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Chickpeas.
  • Farro.
  • Lentils.
  • Oats.
  • Popcorn.
  • Sweet potatoes.

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Updated on Feb. 7, 2023: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.


The U.S. News Health team delivers accurate information about health, nutrition and fitness, as well as in-depth medical condition guides. All of our stories rely on multiple, independent sources and experts in the field, such as medical doctors and licensed nutritionists. To learn more about how we keep our content accurate and trustworthy, read our editorial guidelines.

Gillian Culbertson, RD

Culbertson is a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic Center for Human Nutrition.

Katie Fitzgerald, MS
Kaylee Jacks, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

Jacks is a registered dietitian with Texas Health Sports Medicine in Dallas.

Amy Kimberlain, RDN, LDN, CDCES

Kimberlain is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist based in Miami. She is also a spokesperson fo