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If you want to lose weight, consuming high-fiber and low-calorie foods can help you achieve your goal. Since your body cannot digest fiber, it provides a sense of fullness, preventing you from getting hungry throughout the day while trying to consume lower calories.
As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve selected the best high-fiber and low-calorie foods, and put together a list of 17 examples for you.
Before exploring this list further, it’s essential to define what is a high-fiber and low-calorie food.
What Defines Food High In Fiber And Low In Calories?
Defining High Fiber
Fiber is a type of carb your body cannot digest. This means whenever you consume fiber, it passes through your body intact.
There are several benefits of fiber. It reduces your cholesterol levels, helps fight constipation, and increases your satiety levels (feelings of fullness).
The standard recommendation for fiber is 20 to 30 grams per day.
For this reason, food with more than 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams is considered a good source of fiber since it represents at least 10% of the recommended intake.
Defining Low Calories
Low-calorie food is said to be low-energy dense. This means it has few calories in a large volume of food.
For example, 100 g of celery has 14 kcal. Since you get a small number of calories in a large serving size, celery is considered a low-calorie food.
Low-calorie food should have less than 100 kcal per 100 grams. This would represent having less than one calorie per gram.
- A food that is low in calories and high in fiber has less than 100 kcal and more than 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
17 Best Foods High In Fiber Low In Calories
The 17 best high fiber, low calories foods are:
Strawberries are very high in fiber and low in calories. In 100 g of strawberries, you only get 32 kcal and 2 grams of fiber.
They are also a good source of vitamin C since they give you 98% of the daily recommended value. Vitamin C is crucial in preventing you from getting sick since it boosts your immune system.
It works by increasing the production of cells that help fight foreign objects in your body. Additionally, it works by making your cells stronger.
- Related Article: 20 Best Fruits For Muscle Gain (Ultimate Guide)
Cauliflower is a very versatile food that provides many nutrients and fiber. In 100 g of cauliflower, you get 25 kcal and 2 g of fiber.
Thanks to its versatility, it is one of the vegetables used on a keto diet to serve as a carb replacement. For example, instead of rice, you can switch to cauliflower rice, or you can have a cauliflower pizza crust instead of a flour-based pizza crust.
By replacing some of your favorite carb options above with this excellent vegetable, you can potentially create a caloric deficit without counting portions or calories.
Cauliflower is also an excellent source of vitamin C since it provides 77% of the daily recommended value.
- We have a great low-carb cauliflower protein donut recipe for those of you who are fans of donuts but want to reduce your carb intake.
Asparagus is another great vegetable to add if you want to add a low-calorie and high-fiber food. In 100 g of asparagus, you get 20 kcal and 2.1 g of fiber.
Asparagus is very high in vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, and iron.
One of the benefits of asparagus is that it also contains potassium. While it only gives you 6% of the daily recommended value, it can be a great option for those suffering from muscle cramps since potassium can help ease cramps.
Additionally, studies have shown that a good potassium intake (4,700 mg) can help reduce your blood pressure.
- Related Article: 15 Best High Calorie Low Carb Foods
Cherries are an excellent source of fiber that won’t significantly increase your caloric intake. In 100 g of cherries, you get 63 kcal and 2.1 g of fiber.
Like other fruits, they are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to your body since they help decrease inflammation by reducing molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can damage your DNA structure and increase aging when found in large quantities.
Cherries also can increase your athletic performance by accelerating muscle recovery and preventing strength loss.
A study showed that 27 marathon runners who took 480 mL of cherry juice 10 days before a race saw an increase in speed of 13%. Also, there was a 34% reduction in muscle soreness and a 47% reduction in inflammation after the race.
Spinach is a great option to include to increase your fiber intake. In 100 g of spinach, you get 23 kcal and 2.2 g of fiber.
Spinach can also help decrease your blood pressure.
A study showed that people who consumed spinach once a day for 7 days saw a reduction of 3 points in their blood pressure.
On top of that, spinach is high in iron, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C. These are all essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Blueberries are an excellent choice when looking for a fruit that is low in calories but high in fiber. In 100 g of blueberries, you get 57 kcal and 2.4 grams of fiber.
One of the biggest benefits of blueberries is their high antioxidant power. Research shows that they have the highest antioxidant content of all fruits.
Also, a study was done to determine the benefits blueberries have on cholesterol levels. Forty-eight participants were divided into two groups, with one being supplemented with 50 grams of freeze-dried blueberries (the equivalent of 350 grams of fresh blueberries) and the other being a control group who was given an equivalent amount of water each day.
The study showed that those who had the blueberries daily saw a reduction in their bad cholesterol levels (LDL) by 28% compared to 17% in the control group.
Apples are another excellent option that can help you add more fiber to your diet without adding too many calories. In 100 g of apples, you get 57 kcal and 2.4 g of fiber.
There is a positive link between the consumption of apples and the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes. After all, you know the saying – an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Research shows that consuming apples daily can reduce the risk of diabetes by 18%. If you don’t eat them daily, you can still get their benefits by having only one portion per week. Adding them once a week can reduce the risk of diabetes by 3%.
Oranges are very low in calories and high in fiber. In 100 g of oranges, you get 46 kcal and 2.4 g of fiber.
Keep in mind that we are talking about eating a whole orange, not drinking orange juice. Turning oranges into juice increases the calories and reduces the fiber content.
Oranges provide 75% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin C.
One of the benefits of vitamin C is that it helps absorb iron, which keeps your blood healthy. Research shows that consuming 100 mg of vitamin C (150 g of oranges) can increase your iron absorption by 67%.
Broccoli is another excellent vegetable that’s low in calories and high in fiber. In 100 g of broccoli, you find 34 kcal and 2.6 g of fiber.
Broccoli has many antioxidants, one of which is quercetin. Quercetin is a compound found in plants that gives them their color. It has many medical benefits, like helping reduce inflammation.
Research shows that people who were supplemented with quercetin were able to reduce their blood pressure by 3 points.
However, you would have to consume a ridiculous amount of broccoli to obtain the same levels of quercetin the participants in the study consumed (500 mg). This would mean consuming half a kilogram of broccoli.
To obtain the benefits of quercetin without having to eat so much broccoli, you can take a daily quercetin supplement to ensure you get enough throughout the day.
While most people think beets are very high in calories, they are an excellent choice to include if you want to reduce your calories and increase your fiber. In 100 g of beets, you get 43 kcal and 2.8 g of fiber.
One of the biggest uses of beets is to increase performance in aerobic sports like running or cycling.
In a study, nine cyclists were given 70 mL of beetroot juice before an exercise trial. The cyclists saw a 20% increase in their oxygen levels, which led to a 2.9% improvement in their time trials.
Carrots have 41 kcal and 2.8 g of fiber per 100 g, making them another great option to include if you are looking for low-calorie and high-fiber food.
They are an excellent source of vitamin A since they have 334% of the daily recommended intake.
Besides being a potent antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in your body and boost your immune function, carrots can also affect bone health.
Research shows that those with higher levels of vitamin A in their blood can reduce their risk of bone fractures by 6%.
Eggplants are very rich in nutrients, low in calories, and very high in fiber. In 100 g of eggplant, you get 25 kcal and 3 g of fiber.
Besides being very high in antioxidants, they are also good for heart health.
In an animal study, researchers discovered that consuming 10 mL of eggplant juice daily for 4 weeks can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
While more research needs to be done on humans, this study shows promising outcomes of adding eggplant into your diet.
If you are searching for another fruit that is low in calories and high in fiber, pears are a great option. In 100 g of pears, you get 57 kcal and 3.1 g of fiber.
Besides being high in fiber and low in calories, they can protect your heart.
A study was done on 40 adults who consumed two pears daily for 12 weeks. After those 12 weeks, people saw a reduction of 3 points in their blood pressure and a reduction of 6% in the risk of heart disease.
14. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are another low-calorie and high-fiber option. In 100 g of Brussel sprouts, you get 43 kcal and 3.8 g of fiber.
Besides being high in antioxidants, they are very high in vitamin C since they offer 140% of the daily recommended value.
In addition to having immune-boosting properties, vitamin C can help decrease the risk of heart disease.
A meta-analysis showed that people who took 700 mg of vitamin C daily reduced their risk of heart disease by 25%. However, this would mean consuming almost 800 grams of Brussels sprouts.
You can also get enough vitamin C by consuming other high vitamin C foods like strawberries, guava, and grapefruit or by taking a vitamin C supplement.
Kale is an excellent addition to increasing your fiber intake with very few calories. In 100 g of kale, you get 35 kcal and 4.1 g of fiber.
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese.
Like broccoli, it is high in an antioxidant called quercetin. Additionally, it can help protect your heart by reducing your bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol).
A study showed that people who consumed 150 mL of kale juice for 12 weeks saw a reduction of 10% in their LDL cholesterol levels.
Artichokes are an excellent addition to increasing your fiber intake. In 100 g of artichokes, you get 47 kcal and 5.4 g of fiber.
Artichokes can help decrease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A study was done on over 200 participants who consumed artichoke leaf extract for two months. There was a reduction in the incidence of IBS by 26%, and there was a 20% improvement in their symptoms.
The hypothesis for this happening is that artichokes can reduce muscle spasms and inflammation in the body.
Raspberries are also very high in fiber and low in calories. In 100 g of raspberries, you find 52 kcal and 6.5 grams of fiber.
This means they offer more than 30% of the daily recommended value of fiber, making them a very high-fiber food.
On top of that, they are also high in antioxidants. Some of the most common antioxidants found in raspberries are vitamin C, ellagic acid, and quercetin.
Like quercetin, ellagic acid is naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It has several health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and improving brain function.
Tips on How To Increase Your Fiber Intake Without Increasing Calories
1. Choose Non-Starchy Vegetables
As you can see, most foods high in fiber and low in calories are non-starchy vegetables.
When you want to increase your fiber intake, non-starchy vegetables should take up half of your plate at each meal to ensure you get enough fiber for the day.
Other vegetables like celery, mushrooms, and zucchini are also good options, but they weren’t included on the list above since they have less than 2 grams of fiber per 100 g.
If you are adding these, make sure to include them along with 2-3 from the previous list. That way, you can enjoy the vegetables you like and still get a good fiber intake.
2. Add a Fiber Supplement
You can take a fiber supplement if you are still not getting enough fiber after consuming some of the foods on this list. It can help you add more fiber to your diet if you need it (for example, if you still have constipation).
There are different types of fiber you can add. One of my favorites is the psyllium husk. It can effectively treat any signs of constipation.
3. Replace Low-Fiber Carb Sources With High-Fiber Carb Sources
Finally, a way to increase your fiber intake is to replace carbs that are low in fiber with those that are high in fiber.
For example, if you like adding rice to your meals, replace it with black or brown rice the next time you eat it since they have a higher fiber content.
Reasons To Include High-Fiber Foods Low In Calories In Your Diet
One of the reasons to add more fiber to your diet is to fight constipation.
Fiber helps speed up the time the food travels through your body, and it adds bulk to your feces, allowing you to go to the bathroom more easily.
Remember that you also need proper hydration to fight constipation. If you add more fiber without adding more water, you will get the opposite effect. You are more likely to get more constipated.
Decrease Cholesterol Levels
For those suffering from high cholesterol levels, increasing your fiber intake can help bring them back to normal, along with healthy eating habits and exercise.
Research shows that adding 10 g of psyllium (fiber) can help reduce your bad cholesterol levels by 0.33 mmol/L.
Aids In Weight Loss
Finally, increasing your fiber can aid in weight loss.
Fiber can add bulk to your stomach, meaning you feel fuller for longer. When you feel fuller, you are less likely to snack or have bigger meals. This results in a lower caloric intake, leading to weight loss.
- This is one of the reasons why we recommend eating a high-fiber diet if you plan to start intermittent fasting.
About The Author
Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist. In addition to being an author for FeastGood.com, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.