If you are looking to lose weight through food, incorporate lots of high-fiber foods in your diet. Healthy fiber-rich foods are super-filling, support your digestive system, and make achieving your weight loss goals a lot easier. Naturally found in complex carb foods such as fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes, dietary fiber is a class of complex carbohydrates that comprise a long chain of sugar molecules.
There are two forms of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber which dissolves in water helps to slow digestion, keeps you full for a longer time, helps balance blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber moves through your digestive tract undigested. It’s important to include healthy, soluble and insoluble high-fiber foods in your diet consistently. Not doing so will result in dips in energy, difficulty in losing weight, and also increase your risk of diabetes and inflammation.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Americans should consume 28 grams of fiber per day if they’re following a 2,000 calorie diet. However, a report from the FDA notes that the average American woman eats only 15 grams of fiber a day, while the average American man eats just less than 19 grams of fiber per day. This should change. The recommended daily intake of fiber for women is at least 25 grams and at least 36 grams for men. You can achieve these goals by increasing your intake of high-fiber foods. Here are 7 top high-fiber foods to include in your diet.
- Leafy Greens: Loaded with fiber, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet. They are low in calories and carbohydrates and make you feel full without increasing the calories in your diet. Along with being fiber-rich, leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and high in many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables. They are high in fiber and protein and tend to be incredibly filling. Cruciferous vegetables combine protein, fiber and low energy density which make them an ideal option to include in your meals if you want to lose weight.
- Beans and Legumes: Some beans and legumes – such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others – can be beneficial for weight loss. These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber – two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.
- Avocados: A unique fruit – that is loaded with healthy fats, avocados contain a lot of water and fiber, making them less energy-dense. Make sure to keep your intake moderate.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains such as oats, brown rice and quinoa are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein. If you are trying to lose weight, avoid refined grains and eat whole grains as they are packed with fiber and other nutrients.
- Chia Seeds: One of the most nutritious foods on the planet, chia seeds are a great source of fiber. This food fills you up and reduces appetite.
- Berries: One of highest-fiber fruits, berries such as raspberries and blackberries can decrease calorie intake and make weight management easier.
Apart from keeping your appetite and your weight in check, fiber is heart-healthy, good for gut health, and can reduce risk of diabetes and certain cancers.