Fiber is great for a lot of things -- heart health, digestion, and weight loss. And, when you want to lower cholesterol, fiber should be your new best friend. It actually lowers levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol.
The next time you go shopping, stock up on healthy fiber options in every aisle.
Did You Know?
- Fill up with fruits. A medium-size apple, banana, or orange, and 1 cup of strawberries all have around 3 to 4 grams of fiber. (Eat the apple peels -- that’s where the most fiber is!). Raspberries win the fiber race at 8 grams per 1 cup.
- Try something new. Many exotic fruits have terrific amounts of fiber: A mango has 5 grams, a persimmon has 6, and 1 cup of guava has about 9.
- Add color. In general, the darker the color of the vegetable, the higher the fiber content. Carrots, beets, and broccoli are fiber-rich. Collard greens and Swiss chard have 4 grams of fiber per cup. Spinach also packs a punch at 7 grams of fiber per half cup. Artichokes are among the highest-fiber veggies, at 10 grams for a medium-sized one.
- Dig a potato. Russet, red, and sweet potatoes all have at least 3 grams of fiber for a medium-sized spud, if you eat the skin and all.
Dry and Canned Goods
- Stock up on beans. Navy and white beans are the most fiber-rich, but all beans are fiber-packed. Any of these is a good choice for your shopping cart: garbanzo, kidney, Lima, or pinto beans. They make great soups and chilis, and are a flavorful addition to salads. Beans are also high in protein, so if you’re cutting back on red meat, they’re a healthy, filling substitute.
- Let in more legumes. Don’t stop with beans -- other legumes are also high in fiber, including: peas, soybeans (edamame), and lentils.
Bread and Grains
- Look for 5. Most cereals have at least some fiber content, but they’re not all created equal. Any cereal with 5 or more grams of fiber per serving is a good source.
- Select whole-grain breads. Seven-grain, dark rye, cracked wheat, and pumpernickel breads are good choices.
- Try grains. Bulgur wheat, brown rice, wild rice, and barley are all tasty substitutions for white rice.
The Snack Aisle
- Go nuts. A handful of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or almonds gives you at least 3 grams of fiber. They are also high in calories, though, so make a little go a long way.
- Pop some corn . Three cups of air-popped popcorn have about 4 grams of fiber.
The Cold Case
- Buy foods with fiber added. Milk and other dairy products, and most juices, have either no fiber or are fairly low in fiber. New products, however, are changing that picture: Look for labels on orange juice, milk, and yogurt that say fiber is added or “fiber fortified.”