These 64 Fiber-Filled Foods Are the Weight Loss Trick You’ve Been Looking For
What if there was one magic pill that could boost your metabolism, increase your lifespan, help you feel full, clear up your complexion, control your cholesterol, and reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease? OK, there’s not a pill, but there is a single ingredient: fiber. Yet, despite all of the health benefits, research shows that nine out of ten people fall short of the 25 or more grams we should squeeze in each day. Mix and match from this list of dietitian-approved foods to meet your daily quota while losing weight.
How much you should eat: 1 medium head, mashed (12 grams)
Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food — but, like most cozy dishes, they aren’t exactly healthy. An equally delicious alternative? Mashed cauliflower. “We all crave comfort food and my favorite go-to is homemade cauliflower mash,” says Michelle Cady, integrative nutrition health coach of FitVista.com. “It almost tastes like mashed potatoes and a serving packs in over 5 grams of fiber for minimal calories.”
How much you should eat: 1 squash, cooked (6 grams)
Roasting up one of these winter squashes is the perfect way to stay warm when temperatures drop — and you can devour the whole thing without an ounce of guilt. “At just 60 calories and 6 grams of fiber for an entire delicata squash, this seasonal vegetable helps you hit your daily fiber goal,” Cady says. It’s great to graze on, too: “If you cut up your squash into half moons and roast with olive oil and sea salt at 400 degrees, you get an instant snack.”
How much you should eat: 1 serving (8 grams)
Make some room in your pantry for this fiber-packed staple. “Throwing together Banza’s chickpea pasta with olive oil, garlic, and a ton of vegetables is one of the easiest dinners I make,” Cady says. “Plus, each serving packs 8 grams of dietary fiber and a whopping 14 grams of protein. And it tastes like real pasta, promise.”
How many you should eat: 1 cup, cooked (16 grams)
If you like Indian fare, you’re in luck — split peas are a go-to ingredient, given how great they taste in daals, stews, and soups. They serve up an equal amount of protein, so hurry up and grab a ladle for a healthy comfort-food dinner.
How many you should eat: 1/2 cup (6.5 grams)
These tiny veggies don’t get a lot of recognition in the produce aisle, but it’s time to start paying attention. You only need a half-cup of the stuff to get in a solid serving of fiber, and if you cook them with bacon, they’re downright delicious. (Okay, you could also purée them into a soup, but bacon sounds better.)
How many you should eat: 1 cup (5 grams)
For those who may not be the biggest broccoli fans, rest easy: you don’t have to eat much to get a hefty dose of your daily requirement. You’ll get about 1 gram of fiber for every 10 calories. Even if you prefer it boiled over raw (though simply cutting up florets and pairing with Ranch dressing is a great game-day snack), one cup still delivers over 5 grams.
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How much you should eat: 1 cup (8 grams)
Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D, author of The Flexitarian Diet, recommends getting your daily dose from plant foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans rather than supplements. (Plus, drinking a chalky water sounds about as appealing as getting a bikini wax.) Drizzle a 60-calorie cup of the most fiber-rich berries with a spoonful of melted dark chocolate for dessert.
How much you should eat: 1 cup, diced (9 grams)
Most Americans get only 9 to 11 grams of fiber per day, says Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., creator of the F-Factor Diet. Meet that mark with just one serving of this tropical fruit tossed in your smoothie, or sliced and poached in juice and served on top of pancakes, waffles or French toast.
How much you should eat: 1/2 cup (4 grams)
Blatner loves blending pumpkin puree — not it’s high-in-sugar cousin, pie filling — into smoothies and oatmeal. Prefer something on the savory side? Mix a half cup of pumpkin with a quarter cup of milk and a cup of pasta for a delish dinner.
How much you should eat: 1 cup (6 grams)
New in 2015 to the faux ice cream world, this minty dessert is bulked up with whey for protein and chicory root, also known as inulin, for fiber. These ingredients make it possible to #treatyoself to a full cup for just 150 calories.
How much you shout eat: 1/2 cup (8 grams)
For the ultimate hunger game victor, pair fiber with protein, since both take time to digest — meaning you’ll stay full longer, says Zuckerbrot. Our favorite use for dried figs? Sliced and served atop a pizza with sliced pancetta and a bit of brie cheese.
How much you should eat: 1/2 cup (4 grams)
Rich in more than 100 phytonutrients, pomegranate seeds (also known as arils) are nature’s fruit snack. To save stress, buy them already removed from the shell and enjoy them solo (refrigerated or frozen) or sprinkled on top of yogurt, cereal or even in your iced H2O for a nice flavor boost. “It’s crucial to drink plenty of water as you increase your fiber intake to decrease your risk of bloating,” says Blatner.
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