The United States National Academy of Medicine recommends 25-38 grams of dietary fiber per day for adults. However, the average American only eats about 15 grams of fiber each day[*].
Scientific evidence suggests that consuming adequate fiber supports heart health, healthy blood sugar levels, and a healthy digestive system[*][*][*]. And plenty of research demonstrates a significant weight loss benefit to eating a high-fiber diet[*].
However, when it comes to weight loss, one issue with many fiber-rich foods is that they’re also very high in carbohydrates.
Whether or not you follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet, eating too many carbs is a poor choice if you want to lose weight. The insulin release from frequent carbohydrate consumption slows down weight loss, and may even result in weight gain[*].
As a result, many foods considered good sources of fiber — such as whole-grain bread, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, dried fruit, and even sweet potatoes — are not ideal choices as staples if your goal is weight loss.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 best high-fiber foods for weight loss.
Regardless of your overall weight loss strategy, you can rely on these healthy staple foods to boost your fiber intake and support your fat loss goals!
Dietary fiber is technically a carbohydrate, but unlike other types of carbs, it’s not digestible. (That’s why fiber doesn’t count towards net carbs on the keto diet.)
There are two different types of fiber, and each of them helps you lose weight in a different way:
- Insoluble fiber is bulk-forming, meaning it literally expands and fills you up, which may help reduce appetite and decrease food intake, leading to weight loss[*].
- Soluble fiber also helps you feel full, but more importantly, supports gut health by feeding your microbiome, which appears to help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight[*].
All fiber comes from plants, and most plant foods contain a combination of both types of fiber (insoluble and soluble)[*].
Both types of fiber are excellent for your health, and it’s not necessary to count them or worry how much of each type you’re getting.
As long as you include several healthy sources of dietary fiber on your menu each day to get plenty of fiber overall, you’ll quickly notice better results for weight loss and overall health.
A cup (150 g) of raspberries has only 80 calories, yet provides an amazing 10 grams of healthy dietary fiber[*]. They also provide calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
2. Chia Seeds
One ounce of chia seeds provides 7.5 grams of dietary fiber and 150 calories[*]. They’re also an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Try soaking chia seeds overnight and then adding them to smoothies, salads, or yogurt.
3. Flax Seeds
With a similar nutritional profile to chia seeds, an ounce of flax seeds offers 7.5 grams of fiber and 150 calories[*]. Flax seeds contain magnesium and phosphorus and are high in alpha-linoleic acid, a type of healthy omega-3 fat.
Grind them into flax meal and add them directly to smoothies or other dishes, or bake and enjoy low-carb flax seed crackers.
A medium (300-gram) artichoke has 160 calories and 17 grams of dietary fiber[*]. Artichokes are also an excellent source of potassium.
After cooking, pluck the leaves one-by-one, dip them in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, and scrape the flesh off using your teeth. Discard the fluffy, inedible “choke” that’s beneath the leaves, then enjoy the heart last.
A medium-sized avocado weighing 150 grams has 240 calories and 10 grams of dietary fiber[*]. They’re also an excellent source of potassium and healthy fats.
A 100-gram serving of raw broccoli contains 40 calories and 2.4 grams of fiber. It’s also high in beneficial antioxidants and other compounds that may help reduce the risk of cancer[*].
Munching on raw broccoli is a good way to fill up quickly, but if you want to seriously boost your fiber intake, cooking broccoli will allow you to eat more of it.
7. Brussels Sprouts
A 100-gram serving of cooked Brussels sprouts has 45 calories and 4 grams of fiber[*]. And because they’re also a cruciferous vegetable, they contain many of the same healthy plant compounds as broccoli[*].
If you don’t enjoy Brussels sprouts, perhaps you’ve never found your favorite way to prepare them. Try sheet pan Brussels sprouts with bacon, a cheesy bacon Brussels sprout casserole, or creamy Brussels sprouts au gratin.
8. Coconut Meat
Coconut meat is the interior portion of coconuts without the coconut milk. A 45-gram serving of dried coconut meat has 160 calories and 4 grams of dietary fiber.
Edamame or edamames are immature soybeans in the pod, most often associated with East Asian cuisine.
Forty grams of edamame, or about 20 pods’ worth of beans, contains 55 calories and 2 grams of fiber.
Never consume raw soy in any form. Cook edamame pods in salted water, boiling for 6-8 minutes or until tender. You can also try steaming them until tender.
Hummus is a beloved traditional Middle Eastern food made from chickpeas.
A large 100-gram serving of homemade hummus provides 180 calories and 4 grams of dietary fiber[*].
For a satisfying, fiber-rich snack, try dipping broccoli, celery, or other raw veggies in hummus.
The United States national dietary guidelines specify 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams for men[*].
While those intake recommendations are based on overall health rather than weight loss, research confirms that they’re also effective for weight loss purposes.
A 2019 study found that eating 25 grams per day of fiber on average resulted in significantly greater weight loss after 6 months compared to eating less fiber[*].
And according to an older review published in 2001, increasing your daily fiber intake by 14 grams can result in a 10% decrease in caloric intake after only two days[*].
Based on those insights, here’s the best approach to fine-tuning your fiber intake:
- If you’re not already eating the recommended amount of fiber, start by following the guidelines every day (again, 25 grams for adult women and 38 grams for adult men).
- After several days or longer, you can optionally experiment with adding an additional 5-15 grams of fiber to your daily intake to gauge what happens to your appetite and weight loss results.
That said, studies also show that some people may experience digestive symptoms like constipation or discomfort after increasing fiber intake, so be sure to listen to your body and adjust accordingly[*][*].
Dietary fiber is one of the most overlooked yet important nutrients for weight loss and general health.If you’re interested in a deeper dive into the science of fiber and its implications for the keto diet in particular, you can read more about those topics here.
But keep in mind that not all high-fiber foods are suitable for losing weight, and besides, there’s a lot more to a successful weight loss regimen than eating enough fiber — like understanding calories and macronutrients and using healthy practices like walking and intermittent fasting.