High Protein, High Fiber Foods for Healthy Eating, Weight Loss Diets

Weight loss diets often call for food that are high in protein and low in carbohydrate. However many high protein foods such as meat and poultry have very little fiber and can cause constipation. They also lack the bulk required to suppress appetite and their fat levels can add calories.

While various meals can be prepared that contain separate items that are high in fiber and high in protein, such as meat and vegetables, this may increase portion sizes for the meals. It is therefore worthwhile to identify individual foods that have both high levels of fiber and protein.

Protein foods have low calorie densities and take a long time to digest and so help to delay hunger feelings for longer after a meal. Protein is important when dieting for maintaining muscle mass.

Fiber is very important for digestion and maintaining regular bowel motions. There are two categories of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber is helpful in regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fiber aids in digestion of foods and may decrease the risk of colon cancer and constipation.

Eating foods rich in both nutrients can provide all the benefits without fewer calories consumed.

The amount of recommended protein and fiber varies with age, gender, weight and activity level.

Lentils are one of the best food with a high combination of protein and fiber.
Lentils are one of the best food with a high combination of protein and fiber. | Source

Foods with the Highest Fiber per 100g

Food ( Serving 100 g)
Dietary Fiber (g)
Lentils, raw - Fiber
30
Soup, bean with bacon, dehydrated, dry mix - Fiber
30
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN Original - Fiber
29
Cocoa, dry powder, hi-fat or breakfast, plain - Fiber
29
Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened, processed with alkali - Fiber
29
Cereals ready-to-eat, bran, malted flour, single brand - Fiber
28
Cereals ready-to-eat, KRAFT, POST 100% BRAN Cereal - Fiber
28
Seeds, flaxseed - Fiber
27
Spices, pepper, red or cayenne - Fiber
27
Chives, freeze-dried - Fiber
26
Beans, french, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
25
Beans, yellow, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
25
Broadbeans (fava beans), mature seeds, raw - Fiber
25
Peas, split, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
25
Beans, black turtle soup, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Beans, cranberry (roman), mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Beans, kidney, california red, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Beans, kidney, royal red, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Beans, navy, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Beans, small white, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
24
Carrot, dehydrated - Fiber
23
Cereals ready-to-eat, KASHI Good Friends by Kellogg - Fiber
22
Crackers, rye, wafers, plain - Fiber
22
Rye flour, dark - Fiber
22
Rice bran, crude - Fiber
21
Beans, great northern, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
20
Cereals ready-to-eat, NATURE'S PATH, OPTIMUM SLIM - Fiber
20
Cereals ready-to-eat, UNCLE SAM CEREAL - Fiber
20
Crackers, rye, wafers, seasoned - Fiber
20
Lima beans, thin seeded (baby), mature seeds, raw - Fiber
20
Cereals ready-to-eat, KASHI GoLEAN by Kellogg - Fiber
19
Lima beans, large, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
19
Bulgur, dry - Fiber
18
Cereals ready-to-eat, NATURE'S PATH, OPTIMUM - Fiber
18
Mungo beans, mature seeds, raw - Fiber
18
Barley - Fiber
17

How Much Dietary Fiber is Recommended?

Most people in America only get about 15 grams of fiber per day in their diet, which is only about 20-50% of what is recommended.

Women under 50 years of age and teenage girls require about 25 grams of fiber every day.

Men under 50 years of age and teenage boys require about 30-38 grams of dietary fiber every day.

Types of Fiber

Soluble fiber - is found in many grains and vegetables:carrots, celery, cucumbers, psyllium, blueberries, dried peas, beans, flaxseeds, nuts, strawberries, oat bran, pears, oranges, apples, lentils, oat cereal and oatmeal.

Soluble fiber can be broken down by the body, but quite slowly and when present it slows down the digestion of other foods.

Soluble fiber also attracts water, swells and form a gel generating a sense of fullness in the stomach, which helps weight loss.

The gel binds various food items and break down products such as cholesterol, sugars and fats and carries them through the digestive tract.

Insoluble fibers do not to contribute to the formation of these gels. This slows down of the rate at which the stomach empties also affects blood sugar levels and stops the peaks that affect insulin levels and appetite.

Soluble fibers can also help block and delay the absorption of dietary cholesterol.

When the fiber reaches the colon the bacteria there breakdown (ferment) some of the soluble fibers for energy. Insoluble fibers are less fermentable than the soluble ones.

Insoluble fiber - is present in a wide range of whole grains and vegetables: root vegetable skins, fruit, grapes, raisins, dark leafy vegetables, green beans, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, broccoli, celery, zucchini, bulgur, brown rice, couscous, barley, nuts, seeds, corn bran, wheat bran, whole grains and whole wheat.

Insoluble fibers will not dissolve in water and are only partially digested by the body and so they pass through the gut relatively intact.

They do however provide bulk and help speed up the movement of food and waste through your intestine and keep your gut healthy and prevent toxins building up with the slow passage of food.

Insoluble fiber also provides a laxative effect helping prevent constipation.

Which Type of Fiber is Best

The answer is that you don't have to worry about this as most foods contain both types. An average diet contains 25:75 ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber.

Foods such as oat, psyllium husk, various brans and flax seed are rich in both insoluble and soluble fibe. Most people who eat at least 4-5 servings of vegetables and fresh fruits, as well as 5-7 servings of whole grain products per day will meet the fiber recommendations.

The table opposite shows the foods that have the most dietary fiber for a 100 g serving.

The amount of protein needed various with sex, age and body mass. People who exercise regularly and those on diets should eat extra protein.
The amount of protein needed various with sex, age and body mass. People who exercise regularly and those on diets should eat extra protein. | Source

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The amount of protein recommended as a daily allowance varies with sex, age, body mass and amount of exercise. People on diets should eat extra protein to help prevent loss of muscle mass.

Foods that are Rich in Both Protein and Fiber

The Table below lists the foods that are highest in both fiber and protein in various groups:

Fiber and Protein in Ready to Eat Cereals

Some processed breakfast cereals have relatively high levels of fiber and protein, but some are also rich in carbohydrates and added sugar and salt. Kellogs Allbran for example has 11 g of protein and 50 g of fiber in 100g. Ready to eat bran flakes has 9 g of protein and 18 g of fiber per 100g. Most of the other cereals have moderate levels of protein and little fiber.

Fiber and Protein in Seeds, Beans, Peas, Nuts and Lentils

The natural foods with the highest combination of fiber and protein are red lentils (10 g fiber, 30g of protein per 100g) and flaxseed (18 g protein and 27 g of fiber)

Beans are also rich in both fiber and protein with a typical one cup serving of beans conatining about 16 g of protein 7 g of dietary fiber. Beans are ideal in that they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber in lentils is mostly insoluble.

Peas are another fabulous source of fiber and protein, but they also have relatively high calories. A standard one cup of peas provides about 9 g of both fiber and protein. Like lentils and beans, peas are not a complete protein source by themselves alone and require other protein sources to get all the essential amino acids. Peas are a rich source of both insoluble and soluble fiber.

Fiber and Protein in Quinoa

Quinoa is the seed of a leafy, spinach-like plant that has been promoted as a super food because of its many health benefits. Quinoa is one of the rare plant sources that has most of the essential amino acids and is a complete protein source . A 1/2 cup of dried quinoa, which expands to 1 1/2 cups when cooked provides 5g of dietary fiber and 11g of protein.

Fiber and Protein in Bread and Snacks

These foods have moderate levels of fiber and protein. Rye crackers have 9 g of protein and 23 g of fiber per 100g. Air-popped corn has 13 g of protein and 14 g of fiber. Commercial wholemeal bread has 16 g of protein and 9 g of fiber.

Fiber and Protein in Grains, Pastas and Flours

Crude wheat bran has 15 g or protein and 42 g of fiber and Dark Rye flour is also very rich in both with 16 g of protein and 24 g of fiber per 100g. Wholegrain wheat flour has moderate levels with 14 g of protein and 12 g of fiber. Dry couscous has 12 gm of protein and 5 gm of fiber and wholemeal macaroni has 15 g of protein and 8 g or fiber.

Foods with High Protein and High Fiber

Food
Protein (g/100g)
Fiber (g/100g)
<<< Ready to Eat Cereals >>>
 
 
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN WITH EXTRA FIBER
11.3
50
Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, KRETSCHMER Toasted Wheat Bran
17.56
41.3
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN Original
13.14
29.3
Cereals ready-to-eat, POST, 100% Bran Cereal
12.7
28.6
Cereals, ROMAN MEAL, plain, dry
14.4
17.9
Cereals ready-to-eat, bran flakes, single brand
9.4
17.6
Cereals ready-to-eat, KASHI GOLEAN CRUNCH!
17.5
15.2
Cereals ready-to-eat, wheat germ, toasted, plain
29.1
15.1
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S Puffed Wheat
15
15
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S Complete Oat Bran Flakes
11
13
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S Shredded Wheat Miniatures
11
13
<<< Seeds, Beans, Peas and Nuts >>>
 
 
Lentils, Red
10
30
Lentils, Green
8
15
Seeds, flaxseed
18.29
27.3
Peas, split, mature seeds, raw
24.55
25.5
Beans, french, mature seeds, raw
18.81
25.2
Beans, yellow, mature seeds, raw
22
25.1
Broadbeans (fava beans), mature seeds, raw
26.12
25
Beans, black turtle soup, mature seeds, raw
21.25
24.9
Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, raw
23.58
24.9
Beans, small white, mature seeds, raw
21.11
24.9
Beans, cranberry (roman), mature seeds, raw
23.03
24.7
Beans, navy, mature seeds, raw
22.33
24.4
Beans, great northern, mature seeds, raw
21.86
20.2
Lima beans, large, mature seeds, raw
21.46
19
Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt
18.55
18.4
Mungo beans, mature seeds, raw
25.21
18.3
Soybeans, mature seeds, roasted, salted
35.22
17.7
Mung beans, mature seeds, raw
23.86
16.3
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, raw
21.42
15.5
Beans, black, mature seeds, raw
21.6
15.2
Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, raw
22.53
15.2
Beans, white, mature seeds, raw
23.36
15.2
Pigeon peas (red gram), mature seeds, raw
21.7
15
Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, roasted and toasted
16.96
14
Beans, adzuki, mature seeds, raw
19.87
12.7
Beans, pink, mature seeds, raw
20.96
12.7
Nuts, almonds
21.22
12.2
Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried
17.73
11.8
Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added
22.09
11.8
Mushrooms, shiitake, dried
9.58
11.5
<<< Bread, Snacks >>>
 
 
Crackers, rye, wafers, plain
9.6
22.9
Snacks, popcorn, air-popped
12.94
14.5
Formulated bar, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SNICKERS MARATHON Protein Performance Bar, Caramel Nut Rush
25
12.5
Bread, reduced-calorie, rye
9.1
12
Bread, reduced-calorie, wheat
9.1
12
Snacks, granola bar, KASHI TLC Bar, chewy, mixed flavors
18.57
11.4
Crackers, whole-wheat
10.58
10.3
Snacks, granola bar, KASHI TLC Bar, crunchy, mixed flavors
15
10
Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared, toasted
16.27
9.2
Pancakes, buckwheat, dry mix, incomplete
10.9
8.5
Snacks, cornnuts, barbecue-flavor
9
8.4
Bread, Multi-Grain, toasted (includes whole-grain)
14.52
8.1
Crackers, melba toast, rye (includes pumpernickel)
11.6
8
Snacks, NUTRI-GRAIN FRUIT AND NUT BAR
9.38
7.5
Snacks, potato chips, fat free, salted
9.64
7.5
Bread, Multi-Grain (includes whole-grain)
13.36
7.4
Bread, pita, whole-wheat
9.8
7.4
Crackers, melba toast, wheat
12.9
7.4
English muffins, whole-wheat, toasted
9.6
7.3
Bread, pumpernickel, toasted
9.5
7.1
Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared
12.95
6.8
Snacks, granola bars, hard, plain
10.1
5.3
Tortilla chips, low fat, baked without fat
11
5.3
English muffins, wheat, toasted
9.4
5
Crackers, matzo, egg and onion
10
5
<<< Grains, Pasta, Flours >>>
 
 
Wheat bran, crude
15.55
42.8
Rye flour, dark
15.91
23.8
Rice bran, crude
13.35
21
Bulgur, dry
12.29
18.3
Barley, hulled
12.48
17.3
Barley, pearled, raw
9.91
15.6
Oat bran, raw
17.3
15.4
Rye
10.34
15.1
Triticale flour, whole-grain
13.18
14.6
Wheat germ, crude
23.15
13.2
Wheat, soft white
10.69
12.7
Wheat flour, whole-grain
13.7
12.2
Rye flour, medium
10.88
11.8
Oats
16.89
10.6
Spaghetti, spinach, dry
13.35
10.6
Buckwheat groats, roasted, dry
11.73
10.3
Barley flour or meal
10.5
10.1
Buckwheat
13.25
10
Corn flour, masa, enriched, white
9.34
9.6
Millet, raw
11.02
8.5
Macaroni, whole-wheat, dry
14.63
8.3
Rye flour, light
9.82
8
Corn, yellow
9.42
7.3
Quinoa, uncooked
14.12
7
Noodles, egg, spinach, dry, enriched
14.61
6.8
Amaranth, uncooked
13.56
6.7
Wild rice, raw
14.73
6.2
Couscous, dry
12.76
5

© 2012 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 3 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Excellent hub on fiber and one everyone should read. Fiber is so important for colon and all other health. You did a great job and a vote up. ..and I think this needs to be shared.


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I always try to keep a lot of fiber in my diet to help with digestion and this hub is extremely helpful in sorting out types of fiber and how beneficial the sources are. I learned a lot about soluble and insoluble fiber.


samnashy profile image

samnashy 4 years ago from Australia

Good hub with some excellent information. Thanks

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