The survey, which includes more than 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 80, found that fiber sits in the top spot when it comes to the "perceived healthfulness" of certain aspects of food (think: probiotics, dairy, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids).
The bad news is that despite ranking first, the number of people who consider it healthy and actually try to eat more fiber is down from the previous year.
Eating enough fiber on a daily basis is a big problem for Americans. Only five percent of us are meeting the recommended amount, according to a January 2017 study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
We should be eating 25 to 38 grams per day, yet we're falling way short by consuming around 16 grams a day on average, as outlined in a December 2014 brief from the USDA.
Are You Getting Enough Fiber?
To help solve this problem, we're sharing some dietitian-approved snacks with more fiber than an apple — FYI, a medium apple typically has 4.4 grams of fiber, per the USDA.
We always advocate for whole foods first (and there are tons of fiber-filled options), but sometimes, other factors like convenience and taste win out.
So think of it as keeping these high-fiber snacks in your back pocket for when you're in a pinch.
Per serving: 160 calories, 10 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 130 milligrams sodium, 20 grams carbohydrates (13 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 2 grams added sugar, 8 grams protein
Cream-filled, low-carb cookies with 13 grams of fiber, probiotics and prebiotics? It may sound too good to be true but registered dietitian and prebiotic expert, Kara Landau, created these delicious bites, making them a reality.
The cookies are high in fiber (meeting about 50 percent of your daily needs) and provide four different sources of prebiotics, along with one billion CFUs of probiotics.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $38.99 per 12-pack
2. The Ugly Dried and Sliced Kiwis
Per serving: 119 calories, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 3 milligrams sodium, 29 grams carbohydrates (6 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 2 grams protein
This snack is just about 120 calories per serving and provides 6 grams of protein, which is compelling in and of itself, but what we also love the fact it's upcycled fruit. What does that mean, exactly?
As the name suggests, the dried fruit actually comes from "ugly fruit," which is typically thrown out because we're less apt to buy fresh fruit that isn't aesthetically pleasing.
What's more, kiwis are a prebiotic, aka fuel for probiotics, according to a December 2017 study in the Institute of Food Science + Technology. The study found that the common green kiwi along with the golden kiwi (Zespri) both increased the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Buy it: The Ugly; Price: $4.99 per pack
3. Bare Veggie Chips
Per serving (Beets): 140 calories, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 260 milligrams sodium, 29 grams carbohydrates (8 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 4 grams protein
Bare's beet and carrot chips are your best picks when it comes to packing in fiber. Each has 8 and 7 grams per serving, respectively.
Aside from being high in fiber, they're also very simply made, i.e. include minimal ingredients — only sea salt is added.
These snacks are also high in potassium. In fact, the beet chips provide 25 percent of your needs. This is crucial because like fiber, we're running on a potassium deficit, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $4.29 per pack
4. Health Warrior 100-Calorie Chia Bars
Per serving (Dark Chocolate Cherry): 100 calories, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 45 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates (5 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 2 grams added sugar), 3 grams protein
Delicious? Check. Variety of flavors? Check. Fiber-filled and nutritious? Check and check. These chia bars check all of the boxes. There are more than 11 flavors including, Acai Berry, Apple Cinnamon and Dark Chocolate Cherry.
They also provide 1,000 milligrams of omega-3s, which is about 60 percent of the daily value of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3s have a variety of health benefits from boosting our mood to keeping our mind sharp.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $15.51 per 15-pack
5. Brami Lupini Beans
Per serving (Sea Salt & Vinegar): 60 calories, 1 gram fat (0 grams saturated fat), 403 milligrams sodium, 5 grams carbohydrates (5 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 7 grams protein
Lupini beans: Where have you been all our lives? This once overlooked legume is now a fan favorite, and for good reason.
The amount of protein and fiber packed into each serving beats out most other beans and legumes (see below). They also have zero net carbs and a simple ingredient list.
Per 100 calories:
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $19.99 per 4-pack
6. Bada Bean Bada Boom Bean Snacks
Per serving (Sea Salt): 100 calories, 3 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 130 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbohydrates (5 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 7 grams protein
Beans really seem to be having a moment. And the good news is, you don't have to just eat them canned or cooked. Like the Brami Lupini Bean snacks, these snack packs are made of broad beans, also known as fava beans.
They come in a ton of flavors, both savory and sweet. Sea Salt, Garlic & Onion, Zesty Ranch and more make these an easy swap for potato chips. You'll save about 60 calories and 7 grams of fat, while getting a boost of fiber (4 grams) and protein (5 grams).
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $19.50 per 24-pack
- International Food Information Council: "2020 Food and Health Survey"
- American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: "Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap"
- United States Department of Agriculture: "Fiber Intake of the U.S. Population"
- Institute of Food Science + Technology: "Evaluation of the Prebiotic Potential of Five Kiwifruit Cultivars After Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion and Fermentation with Human Faecal Bacteria"
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: "Shifts Needed To Align With Healthy Eating Patterns"
- MyFoodData: "Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans, Cooked"
- MyFoodData: "Edamame"
- MyFoodData: "Black Beans"
- USDA: "Apple"