When it comes to weight loss, is simple the way to go? Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School think so. Their study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that participants told to eat a high-fiber diet lost weight just as effectively as participants told to eat the complex “heart-healthy”American Heart Association (AHA) diet.
To test this, the researchers recruited 240 participants at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. In a randomized controlled trial, they assigned participants to either the high-fiber diet or AHA diet.
- The high-fiber diet group was simply told to up fiber intake to 30 grams per day through a variety of food sources (namely fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains).
- The AHA diet group was given more complex instructions based on the AHA guidelines, which includes limiting calories, saturated fat, sugar, alcohol and sodium while balancing protein, carbs and fat.
After 12 months, the high-fiber diet group lost 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg) while the AHA diet group lost 6 pounds (2.7 kg)—not a significant difference. Researchers then concluded that emphasizing just fiber intake may be a reasonable alternative for those of us struggling with strict diet regimens. While fiber helps us feel fuller and more satisfied, it’s still no magic weight-loss bullet. The study mainly focused on weight loss, but weight is just one component of being healthy. It’s helpful to know that focusing on fiber is a good (and easy) place to start when launching our weight-loss journey.
The daily recommended intake for fiber is 25 grams for women and 30 grams for men, which is challenging for many of us. It’s best to get fiber from whole food sources like fruits, vegetables, legumes (a.k.a. beans) and whole grains. Guess what those sound like? Ingredients for your next cooking adventure! To help you up your fiber intake, we’ve compiled 15 of our high-fiber recipes, containing at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
1. BANANA BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES | THE WHEATLESS KITCHEN
Baking with buckwheat flour is a great (and gluten-free) way to get fiber into your pancakes. These fluffy banana buckwheat pancakes are delicious topped with a berry compote sauce that adds sweetness and, you guessed it, more fiber! Recipe makes 5 servings at 2 pancakes each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 220; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 85mg; Sodium: 297mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 11g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 9g
2. SWEET POTATO BREAKFAST BURRITOS | CLEAN EATING
If you’re in the habit of grabbing a hot egg sandwich on your way to work, this breakfast burrito is for you. It’s full of fiber from the 100% whole-wheat wrap, sweet potato, bell peppers and spinach. Make them in advance, then wrap them up and freeze. When you wake up in the morning, simply pop one in the toaster oven to heat while you’re getting ready, then take it with you on the go—it’s genius! Recipe makes 4 serving at 1 burrito each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 226; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 113mg; Sodium: 500mg; Carbohydrate: 32g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 13g
3. REFRESHING KALE & PEAR SMOOTHIE |EATING BIRD FOOD
Get a serious boost of vitamins A and C along with your dose of fiber! We all know kale is a superfood; it’s bursting with antioxidants, iron and vitamin K. Don’t have a pear on hand? No worries! Just use an apple instead. Recipe makes 1 smoothie.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 228; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 67mg; Total Carbohydrate: 568; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugars: 26g; Protein: 6g
4. CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST BREAKFAST WRAP | HEALTHY HUNGRY GIRL
Just roll and go! The cinnamon french toast wrap transforms thin, whole-wheat tortillas with traditional french-toast-style prep . This convenient, high-fiber breakfast is ready for a drizzle of nut butter, bananas and your favorite berries. Recipe makes 1 french toast wrap.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 413; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 159mg; Sodium: 434mg; Total Carbohydrate: 49g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 15g
5. ROASTED CRANBERRY QUINOA OATMEAL | LOVE & ZEST
Here’s a new take on cranberries–roast them! This recipe features cinnamonny and mapley (yes, those are adjectives!) oatmeal topped with roasted cranberries. A bowl of this is great for a high-fiber breakfast so grab a spoon and dig in, preferably in your coziest pajamas. If you don’t have fresh cranberries, substitute 1/2 cup of dried cranberries instead. Recipe makes 3 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 302; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium: 48mg; Carbohydrate: 53g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 12g; Protein 10g
LUNCH & DINNER
6. SPICY BLACK BEAN BURGER WITH CHIPOTLE MAYO | SKINNYTASTE
Take one bite of these spicy black bean burgers with chipotle mayo and you’ll understand why we love this recipe so much. Packed with fiber, protein and iron, black beans are not only nutritious but also budget-friendly too. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 burger and 1 tablespoon of mayo each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 343; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 51mg; Sodium: 587mg; Total Carbohydrate: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 11g
7. GRILLED ZUCCHINI HUMMUS WRAPS | MAEBELLS
This wrap is packed with grilled zucchini, veggies, cheese and hummus. Grilled zucchini is placed on a nice big tortilla topped with kale, red onion, tomatoes, cheese and a heaping dose of hummus—the abundance of veggies is where fiber comes into play. Recipe makes 2 servings at 1 wrap each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 332; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g ; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 643mg; Total Carbohydrates: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 17g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 13g
8. HEARTY VEGETABLE CURRY | COOKING LIGHT
Kick off your craving for spice with this hearty vegetable curry. This vegetarian meal takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish. Sweet potato, cauliflower, chickpeas and tomato will give you a healthy dose of protein and fiber. Top off with a creamy spoon of Greek yogurt and chances are you won’t miss the meat. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 cup of curry and 2 tablespoons of yogurt each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 280; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 299mg; Total Carbohydrate: 45g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 14g
9. BLACK BEAN SPINACH QUESADILLA | CALORIES IN, CALORIES OUT COOKBOOK
Family-friendly black bean spinach quesadillas make for a delicious and quick meatless meal. This recipe calls for black beans, fresh baby spinach and mushrooms–but feel free to switch them out for your family’s favorite high-fiber veggies. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 quesadilla each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 370; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 846mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 20g
10. BLACK BEAN & SPINACH BAKED TAQUITOS | UPROOT FROM OREGON
Crunch into baked taquitos! This dish features hearty black beans, cooked spinach, shredded cheese and tomatoes all rolled into a warm tortilla blanket. In addition to being high in fiber and vegetarian-friendly, taquitos are also super flexible. Top with avocado, cilantro, plain greek yogurt and hot sauce, and eat while hot. These are great stored in the freezer and reheated in the oven for a crispy exterior. Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 taquito each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 126; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 6mg; Sodium: 233mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 1g; Protein 7g
SOUPS & SALADS
11. TOMATO & LENTIL SOUP | LOVE & ZEST
Sip on this soulful tomato and lentil soup to warm you up on those cold winter mornings. Thickly pureed tomatoes and lentils lend a thicker body and more fiber to the soup. This recipe also freezes well, so make a batch to reheat on those really busy days. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 235; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 256mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 14g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 12g
12. LENTIL SWEET POTATO & SPINACH STEW | ELLE PENNER
Savor a meatless meal with this lentil, sweet potato and spinach stew. Lentils provide a great source of protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans, and add so much body to this stew. The orange veggies add the perfect amount of sweet to balance the spice without a pinch of added sugar. This stew can be made ahead of time and frozen for convenient reheating. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 310; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 602mg; Carbohydrate: 58g; Dietary Fiber: 13g; Sugar: 14g; Protein 20g
13. SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD | FOOD FANATIC
Try your hand at making shaved Brussels sprouts salad as another way to enjoy these tasty veggies. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber and delicious when made into a tangy salad with superfood peers like walnut, blueberries and avocado. Recipe makes 5 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 268; Total Fat: 21g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 207mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 8g; Protein 6g
14. WHITE BEAN TURKEY CHILI | COOKING LIGHT
Crowd-pleasing white bean chili calls for canned beans and chicken broth, making prep convenient. Pureeing the bean mixture makes the soup thicker. Cannelini beans will work in a pinch if you cannot find Great Northern beans. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 281; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 40mg; Sodium: 623mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 26g
15. COCONUT LIME RICE NOODLE SALAD| CLEAN EATING
On the lighter side of satisfaction, this tangy coconut lime noodle salad gets its fiber from fruits and vegetables, including naturally sweet mango and red bell pepper. We recommend making it ahead of time and adding a little lean protein for a fresh and healthy brown-bag lunch. Recipe makes 2 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 325; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 116mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 5g