The 6 Best Fiber-Rich Foods for Weight Loss

Berries and chia seeds are fiber MVPs.
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While a quick-fix fad diet may help you lose weight in the short term, cutting out entire food groups, sticking to strict meal plans and feeling guilty for eating pizza or ice cream is almost guaranteed to leave you putting pounds back on faster than you lost them.

One strategy that can help you lose weight and keep it off is focusing on fiber. Fiber might not seem like the most exciting topic, as its claim to fame is helping to move things along in the bathroom, but the nutrient is essential for overall health and wellness, including maintaining a healthy weight.

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What Is Fiber, Exactly?

Fiber is the part of plant-based food that your body can't digest or absorb, per the Mayo Clinic, and it comes in two categories: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble Fiber

This type of fiber combines with water in the intestine to form a gel-like material. Soluble fiber is found in beans, oats, apples, carrots, barley, citrus fruits, psyllium and peas. This type of fiber has been found to reduce cholesterol and aid in blood sugar control.

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Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber helps with digestion by increasing stool bulk. It's found in nuts, beans, vegetables, potatoes, cauliflower, wheat bran and whole wheat flour.

The Mayo Clinic notes that, in order to see the most benefit, you should be getting both types of fiber by consuming a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

The average American is not eating enough fiber, though, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Most of us consume just 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men (for women and men over 50, that falls to 21 and 30 grams, respectively).

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Tip

If your fiber intake is lacking, gradually increase your consumption by just a few grams each day. This will help you avoid any gastrointestinal symptoms like gas and bloating, which commonly occur when too much fiber is added too fast.

6 High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss

If you're trying to lose weight or just want to up your fiber intake for health reasons, it's important to increase your fiber with whole foods rather than supplements. Whole foods provide a wide array of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are not available in supplement form. Better yet, foods high in fiber are more satiating than a supplement alone.

Here are six of the best high-fiber foods for weight loss.

1. Raspberries

One cup of these bright berries packs in 9 grams of fiber and just 80 calories, per the USDA. Nutrient-dense but low-calorie foods are great for weight loss, so consider these a go-to. You can eat raspberries frozen or fresh, blended into smoothies or sprinkled on Greek yogurt.

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2. Blackberries

Like their red berry cousins, blackberries are low in calories and high in fiber; they can also be eaten fresh or frozen. Blackberries provide 7 grams of fiber per cup, per the USDA.

Add them to your morning oatmeal, pair them with cheese for a snack or eat them by the handful.

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3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a versatile legume. You can go savory by adding them to salads or go sweet by whipping them together for a dessert hummus.

One cup of canned chickpeas contains a whopping 13.1 grams of fiber, per the USDA, plus an impressive 14.7 grams of plant-based protein for only 263 calories.

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4. Black Beans

Beans can be a great addition to a weight-loss plan, especially when you sub them in for meat to cut back on calories and fat.

At 240 calories per cup, black beans provide about 12 grams of fiber and pack 16 grams of protein.

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5. Chia Seeds

Tiny chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber. They pack in 60 calories and 4 grams of fiber per tablespoon, per the USDA.

Chia seeds can be added to salads or ground up into baked goods or smoothies. When left to sit in liquid, these little seeds create a gel-like texture that makes for delicious puddings or jams.

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6. Lentils

One-quarter cup of lentils contains 11 grams of fiber and just 80 calories, per the USDA.

Lentils are a member of the legume family and can be used in a variety of ways, including salads, soups, stews, tacos, veggie burgers and so much more.

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