best natural foods

High fiber foods

What are high fiber foods?

If you say "fruits and vegetables"... sorry, that's mostly the wrong answer. Most fruits and vegetables are actually low to medium fibre foods, not high fiber foods.

And if you say "bran"... sorry, that's also a wrong answer. Yes, bran is very high in fiber. But bran is not food! At most, it might be used in food preparation like how the Japanese use rice bran or nuka to make pickles. Or the Romanians prepare borscht, a soup, with fermented wheat bran.

It is not natural to eat bran on its own, the way some Americans eat bran cereals - just as it is equally unnatural to eat white rice, white bread and other cereal foods that have the bran removed.

And by the way, sawdust is also not food. Why do I mention sawdust here? Because I once read that in America, some high fiber breads were made with added sawdust. On the food label, sawdust was listed innocently as "cellulose", which is plant fiber.

There is just so much confusion about what are the high fiber foods that are good for health, so many crazy things that people eat.

The true and truly healthy high fiber foods are whole grains and beans. Yet these are the foods that are the least often mentioned when the subject of fiber is discussed by doctors and nutritionists.

Ignorance and misinformation

Sorry to say, the one group of people mainly responsible for public ignorance about fiber are the doctors, nutritionists and government health authorites, who repeatedly advise people to "eat high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables".

They don't know what they are talking about and are spreading misinformation. Fruits and vegetables are NOT high fiber foods. If you check the fiber content of high fiber foods you will discover that the majority of fruits and vegetables actually contain little fiber.

I found this out years ago when one supermarket chain took the initiative to list out the fiber content ot its fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables were listed as containing less than 1 gram of fiber per serving. And when it is "high" it might be at most 2 or 3 grams of fiber per serving.

It means we will have to eat incredible amounts of fruits and vegetables to meet our recommended intake of 30 to 40 grams of fiber per day.

In contrast, whole grains and beans typically contain 5 grams to more than 10 grams per serving. These are the true high fiber foods.

Bran as 'food'

The unnatural practice of eating bran is also popularised by doctors and nutritionists.

After more than 250 years of insisting that fiber has no nutritional value and offers no benefits to health, scientists finally began to study fiber serioously during the 1980s and 90s. And they found plenty benefits of fiber, particularly soluble fiber that is abundant in oat bran, which helps lower the level of blood cholesterol.

And suddenly, oat bran became a popular "food". It is even regarded as one of the healthy high fiber foods.

Actually bran is quite nutritious. Bran is the skin of grains like oats, rice, wheat, etc. Besides fiber, it contains protein, vitamins, minerals, oils, etc. It is all the good things in whole grains, minus the starch or complex carbohydrates just as refined grains is mainly starch minus the nurients.

But bran had never been a food for humans. It was eaten as part of whole grains. Then, when refining of grains became widespread, bran was either thrown away or fed to farm animals and horses. Even that is unnatural.

Any harm in eating bran?

Apart from being unnatural, one major potential problem is that bran turns rancid easily because it contains polyunsaturated oils. In fact, this is also a potential problem with whole grains, so it is important to eat whole grains that have not been kept too long. Grains with a rancid smell - even if it is slight - should especially be avoided.

With bran, this problem is "solved" by heating, through a process called bran stabilization. However, the process often detroys many of the nutrients in bran, turning it into a de-natured - and even more unnatural - product.

Some companies that sell bran products claim to have special stabilization processes that minimise the destruction of nutrients. To me, if these processes work, they are merely the lesser evil.

Avoid hard, dry breakfast cereals - either bran cereals or regular cereals with added bran. These are very unnatural "foods" manufactured through a process that involves extremely high heat. They are very harmful to health.

In fact, they could even be more harmful than the cardbox box that contain the cereals. I once came across an unpublished study in which researchers studied the effects of feeding rats with different types of cereals. For the fun of it, they fed one group of rats with the cardboard box and.... surprise, suprise... these rats lived longer than those fed with cerreals treated with high heat.

Do you eat bran?

Does this concern you if you don't eat bran?

Think carefully. If you eat high fiber foods like wholewheat bread and multi-grain bread, the fiber in there could have come from bran rather than from whole grains. Or, as I mentioned earlier, it could even have come from sawdust!

Read the ingredients list on the food label carefully. And if possible, buy your high fiber bread from small bakeries run by people who care about health, rather than from large commercial bakeries that are more likely to use (denatured) bran.

I remember when i first got interested in healthy eating in 1985, I would buy a heavy - and somewhat costly - high fiber commercial bread, thinking it was one of the healthier high fiber foods. The taste wasn't great and the texture was rough. But I made myself eat it, thinking it was healthy.

It took me some years to discover that it was made with white flour and bran - and lots of chemical additives. And also to discover that genuine wholemeal bread, if well-made, is a lot more delicious. Unfortunately they cost even more.

High fiber diets

Remember! Not all high fiber foods are healthy. The truly healthy high fiber foods are whole grains and beans, eaten with vegetables plus maybe fruits for desserts or as snacks.

Ultimately, what you need for health is a high fiber diet, with most of your foods containing at least some fiber. If you eat a natural, unprocessed and largely plant-based diet, this is what you will get anyway.

There is no need to seek out special high fiber foods - and no need to risk being fooled into eating sawdust!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Kindly leave a comment in the box below.


(5 articles)
Cooking oils
(23 articles)
Diet plans (13 articles)
Fiber (3 articles)
Fish (3 articles)
Grains (17 articles)
Pasta (10 articles)
Pasta recipes
(>40 recipes)
Salt (11 articles)
(11 articles)
Soy products
(14 articles)
Vegetables (1 article)
Water (6 articles)
More sections to come
Natural Cancer Cures
Flu treatments
Stop Trans fats

Benefits of fiber
Fiber content of foods
High fiber foods
Related sections