Fiber Versus Carbs: Choosing Fiber-Rich Foods

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Fear No Carb

“Don’t dig your grave with a fork and knife.”

–Old English Proverb

Diets have been known to cause four-letter words. And the worst one out there doesn’t mean putting a quarter in the swear jar: carbs.

You’ve heard it a thousand times, eating carbs is the fastest way to derail your diet. Even looking at a slice of bread will repack the pounds and you’d be better off eating the grocery bag than the potato inside. While you should be mindful of what you eat, not all carbohydrates are going to submarine your diet.

To offset those pesky carbs, look for foods that also contain a high level of fiber. You can find this with a lot of fruits and vegetables—and even in bread! The American Heart Association suggests you consume 25 grams of dietary fiber daily.

Check out the following foods that not only pack a punch of rich, natural fiber, they’re also “relatively” low in carbohydrates.

Artichokes

Size: 1 medium artichoke

Calories: 60

Carbohydrates: 13 grams

Dietary fiber: 10 grams

This thistle-looking vegetable is not only delicious when steamed or broiled, but it’s rich in fiber. Great as a side dish or main course.

Apples

Size: 1 large apple

Calories: 95

Carbohydrates: 25 grams

Dietary fiber: 4.4 grams

It’s said one of these a day keeps the doctor away, but apples are so much more. Perfect for any meal, they contain nearly zero fat, are high in potassium, and the skins are a great source of fiber.

Beets

Size: 1 cup

Calories: 59

Carbohydrates: 13 grams

Dietary fiber: 3.8 grams

Roasted beets can spruce up any salad or soup. They have a rich, earthy flavor, and contain low carbs and tons of taste. They’re also high in folate and are a good source of manganese.

Collard Greens

Size: 1 cup

Calories: 11

Carbohydrates: 2 grams

Dietary fiber: 2 grams

Simple, easy, and completely satisfying, collard greens aren’t just for Southern cooking. This relative of the cabbage is rich in vitamins A and C. Try steaming collard greens for your next side dish.

Raspberries

Size: 1 cup

Calories: 65

Carbohydrates: 15 grams

Dietary fiber: 8 grams

Sweet, delicious, and a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Fresh raspberries are the perfect snack or dessert. Try blending them with your next meal-replacement shake for a yummy breakfast treat.

Whole-Grain Bread

Size: 1 slice

Calories: 69

Carbohydrates: 12 grams

Dietary fiber: 2 grams

Bread? You read that right. Whole-grain breads, like seven-grain, dark rye, and pumpernickel, are lower in carbs while still having a good amount of fiber. If you’re going to make a sandwich, make sure you select a fiber-rich bread.

Brown Rice

Size: 1 cup

Calories: 216

Carbohydrates: 45 grams

Dietary fiber: 4 grams

There’s no two ways about it—all rice has a lot of carbs. If you’re going to eat rice, make sure to pick brown rice over white rice. Brown rice contains vitamin B6, a good level of magnesium, plus 4 grams of fiber.

Air-Popped Popcorn

Size: 1 cup

Calories: 30

Carbohydrates: 6 grams

Dietary fiber: 1 gram

Just because you’re dieting doesn’t mean you’re going to stop watching movies. Instead of heavy butter/salted popcorn, try air popping your next movie treat.

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Most dieting is common sense—that’s what makes it so frustrating. You already know what you should be doing, it’s just tough to follow through.

The best diet is one you can follow. Just because you’ve broken your diet doesn’t mean you can’t hit the reset button to get back on track. Make small changes you can maintain. Try adding a new vegetable at dinner, or, substitute a processed snack with air-popped popcorn.

There isn’t a perfect diet out there—only a perfect diet for you. As long as you’re making healthy choices and eating mindfully, your new life choices will slowly become a part of your daily routine. Try motivating yourself by writing down the reason you want to eat healthier. Set new goals for yourself and do your best to follow them.

Your end goal shouldn’t simply be weight loss. Dieting is just as much as about substituting bad decisions with good ones. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recruit friends in your journey and trust yourself to make the right decisions. Plus, there’s tons of online resources to check out. Start by checking out this story on the best diet to suit your life.

Dieting might be hard, but it isn’t impossible. Take the first steps today and try a low-carb food, rich in dietary fiber.

Ben Raskin is a triple threat: bluesman, cyclist, and nutritional supplement specialist. When he isn’t deep in thought, Ben can be found in the mountains of Utah looking for the best fishing spot.

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