Before we talk of a high-fiber diet and viscous fiber foods, it is important that we understand why it is important that we consume enough fiber. Also, we need to acknowledge that we are not eating the recommended daily intake of fiber.
How much fiber per day?
Dietary fiber is a vital part of our diet. But this is mostly ignored because of our liking for processed foods. Fiber is one of the first things that goes missing in processed foods.
However, there is a wide gap between recommended daily intake of fiber and the actual intake. According to an estimate, only 5 percent of people are getting enough fiber in their diet. (3)
The solution lies in eating foods rich in fiber, especially viscous fiber foods.
Types of dietary fiber
There are two types of dietary fiber. Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber (viscous fiber).
Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber is not digested throughout the digestion process and only adds as roughage which helps with better digestion and bowel movements. Examples of insoluble fiber foods are bran, nuts, seeds, vegetables and high fiber fruits etc.
What is considered viscous fiber?
Soluble fiber: Also called viscous fiber, this is the type that is most beneficial because it dissolves in water during digestion process and forms a gel like substance that goes undigested to the intestines where it helps good type of gut bacteria.
Is fiber good for losing belly fat?
Both insoluble and viscous fibers give you a feeling of fullness for longer and slow down digestion process which means you will eat less and this aids belly fat loss. (4)
Research has shown that foods rich in dietary fiber help prevent obesity. (5)
Apart from that, a high fiber diet is also shown to have positive effects for diabetes control because soluble fiber foods have low glycemic index. (6)
Foods rich in fiber are also known to reduce blood cholesterol. (7)
Viscous fiber foods for weight loss
It is, therefore, an excellent weight loss strategy to increase viscous fiber foods in your diet. So, what are the best viscous fiber foods? Here is our list:
Both black and lima beans are excellent sources of soluble fiber. Apart from fiber, they have a high percentage of protein which is also great for your weight loss results. 100 grams of cooked black beans have 8.7 g of dietary fiber. Lima beans can provide you with 5.3 g of fiber per 100 grams. Kidney beans also have 2.25 percent viscous fiber.
This is a vegetable that is known to be full of nutrients and dietary fiber is one of these. You can get 2.6 g of fiber in 100 g serving.
World loves avocado because it arguably is the healthiest fruit on earth. It comes rich in healthy fats. But at the same time it can provide you 6.7 g of dietary fiber per 100 g.
Apart from being rich in vitamin A and other healthy nutrients, it comes loaded with 3 g or dietary fiber in 100 g.
This is a vegetable that makes its way to any list of high fiber low-carb foods. It is loaded with nutrient goodness. At the same time, broccoli is an excellent addition to viscous fiber diet. 100 g of broccoli has 2.6 g dietary fiber.
Figs are one of the most nutritious foods and have been known to humans for thousands of years. Because of their high fiber, they have been used as a treatment for constipation for centuries. Dried figs carry 9.8 g of fiber which also includes soluble fiber.
Oats are regarded as one of the healthiest grains. The soluble fiber found in oats, called beta-blucan, has been known to improve blood sugar control and reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.
Oats are one of the rich sources of viscous fiber because 100 grams of uncooked oats have 10 grams of fiber, and about 4.2 grams is soluble fiber.
Apricots are among the high fiber and low calorie foods. You can eat three apricots which will provide you 2.1 g of fiber. Good thing is that most of this is viscous fiber.
Nuts and Seeds
Almost all nuts and seeds have high fiber content. You can try almonds, hazelnuts, flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
Guava is another high fiber fruit with proven benefits for decreasing triglycerides, and bad cholesterol. It is also packed with viscous fiber. One guava comes with 3 g of dietary fiber. Out of this an estimated 30 percent is soluble fiber.
Apples are one of the most common fruits in the entire world. Good thing is that it also is a source of soluble dietary fiber. A middle-sized apple has about 1 g of soluble fiber.
Carrots are known to be good for your eyes because these are rich in vitamin A. Turns out, they are also a good source of soluble fiber because 100 grams of raw carrots have 2.8 g of fiber.
Another high fiber fruit is pear. One medium-sized pear has 5.5 g of fiber. And about 27 percent of this is soluble fiber.
This is used as a home remedy for constipation for centuries. One tablespoon is packed with 3.5 g of soluble fiber.
This is an exotic fruit mostly found in south-east Asia. But it has the highest soluble fiber content compared with any other food. Therefore, it will be topping any high fiber foods chart. Half cup of passion fruit comes with an amazing 6.5 g of viscous fiber.
Orange is also of the most widely consumed fruits. And luckily a medium orange is packed with a high soluble fiber content of 1.8 g.
We have also prepared for you a simple high fiber foods chart in case you want to quickly look at which foods are high in viscous fiber?
|Food||Serving size||Soluble fiber in grams|
|Passion fruit||1/2 cup||6.5|
|Brussels Sprouts||1/2 cup||2.0|
|Figs, Dried||1/4 cup||1.9|
|Sweet Potato||1/2 cup||1.8|
|Black beans||3/4 cup||5.4|
|Lima beans||3/4 cup||5.3|
|Psyllium husks||1 tablespoon||3.5|
|Bread, rye||1 slice||1.0|
|Based on data from Dietitians of Canada found at Carleton.ca|
The bottom line
Fiber is essential for a healthy diet. It helps avoid diseases like heart disease, obesity, increased cholesterol and diabetes.
We are generally taking less than recommended daily intake value of dietary fiber. By increasing our intake of viscous fiber foods, we not only can get many health benefits, but also expect weight loss. To make satisfy your sweet tooth, we have also listed the best high fiber fruits.
However, you should increase your fiber in diet only gradually because a sudden increase may have unpleasant results. For example, increased flatulence and abdominal cramps may be noticed. Very high fiber in diet is also known to cause problem with minerals absorption in the body. It is also recommended that natural sources of fiber should be tapped rather than relying on fiber supplements.