MCGC Nutrition

7 high-fiber foods you should be eating

Marie-Claire Gahel-Calouche

Eating enough fiber is an important part of any healthy diet. Fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly, can promote the reduction of cholesterol, encourage you to maintain a healthy weight, promote gut/digestive tract health, reduce the risk of certain GI cancers, and aid blood sugar control. In this article, we will review what fiber is, how much one should get and what are some great sources.  


What is Fiber?

Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate found mainly in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. There are two types of fiber—soluble and insoluble fiber—and both are important for maintaining good digestive health and reducing the risk of certain diseases. Soluble fiber helps slow digestion by absorbing water, while insoluble fiber helps promote regularity by adding bulk to stools. Eating a variety of fiber-rich foods can help ensure that you get both types of fiber in your diet.  


Fiber isn’t only for poop

For instance, foods rich in prebiotic fiber, such as fructans and galactooligosaccharides can help the absorption of calcium by stimulating the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus bacteria in our gut. Other health benefits include limiting the growth of pathogens in the colon, improvement in diarrhea and even possibly regulating our immune system.  


How much fiber do you need?  

According to Health Canada, on average the amount of fiber needed by women is 25 grams of fiber per day, and for men, 38 grams of fiber per day. For those not getting enough, it’s simple to increase your fiber intake by adding easy-to-find sources.  


What are some high-fiber foods you should be eating?  

Here are just a few great foods that you can add to your meals and snack that are high in fiber or a good source:  


1. Strawberries – 3 grams of fiber per 1 cup of whole strawberries. Wonderful as a topping on yogurt, eaten fresh as a snack, or in a smoothie

2. Oats – 3 grams of fiber per 1/3 cup dry. A great source of soluble fiber suitable for people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and that has also been associated with a reduction of cholesterol. Enjoy warm oatmeal or overnight oats for breakfast or in a quick smoothie on the go.  

3. Popcorn – 2.5 grams of fiber per 2-cup serving air-popped – This is a great snack option for those looking for a savory and healthy snack, which when air-popped is light in calories but nutritionally rich in fiber. If you choose to add fat, do so in moderation.  

4. Chia seeds – 3.7 grams of fiber per 15 ml or 1 tbsp. I love adding chia seeds to overnight oats, smoothies, and as a topping in yogurt. Another bonus is a great source of omega-3 fat!  

5. Sweet potatoes – 3.8 grams of fiber for a medium potato, skin removed. Great as a side dish baked, cut in wedges, or mashed. I like to prepare with a light addition of oil and roasted in the oven on the BBQ next to grilled veggies or in a pureed soup with leeks and onions.  

6. Chickpeas and lentils – 4.2 grams per 100 grams drained and rinsed. I love to add chickpeas or lentils to my salad as a lovely protein source which is also a great source of fiber. You can also use them to make dips or add to soup or stews. If purchasing in the can, make sure the label specifies no salt added.  

7. Walnuts – 2 grams per 30 grams chopped. A nice addition to salad, as a snack, or as a topping on yogurt. Also rich in omega-3 fats and provides 4.6 grams of protein per 30-gram serving.  


Getting enough dietary fiber doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the time to plan and include plenty of nutrient-dense whole foods in your daily meals and snacks. Eating plenty of unprocessed fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds will help ensure that you are meeting your daily needs while also providing other key vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health. Making small changes like swapping out white bread for whole grain, adding legumes to salads and soups, or chia or oats to your smoothies can also help boost your dietary fiber intake without compromising flavor or taste! With just a few simple changes you can easily incorporate more dietary fiber into your diet today! 

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