Fiber calories are calories derived from plant parts that cannot be broken down by intestinal enzymes. For weight loss, diets rich in fiber calories are recommended because these types of calories can sometimes have a net negative impact on weight gain because they require so much energy to digest. Some foods that are high in fiber include many types of fruits, berries, and vegetables, as well as the whole grains found in nuts, seeds, and bran. Other benefits of calories derived from fiber include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and promoting intestinal health.
Whole wheat or other whole grain breads can be a good source of fiber, however, when measured against the carbohydrate content, most nutritionists agree that breads should be consumed in moderation. Better choices of whole grains might include oatmeal, buckwheat, and brown rice. In most cases, the less refined the grain, the more positive impact it can have on health. Some of the poorer choices typically include white bread, pasta, and white rice.
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Most all vegetables offer calories from fiber, but some are considered much better sources than others. As with grains, the fiber content should generally be measured against the overall carbohydrate content. Vegetables high in carbohydrates, such as potatoes, should be consumed in moderation. Most green leafy vegetables are both high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
Beans are another good source of fiber calories, as are many types of peas and legumes. While some of these have higher carbohydrate content than others, most have a fairly good balance. Beans that are high in fiber include lima and black beans. Split peas and lentils are also high in fiber calories.
Most all types of nuts and seeds are high in fiber and protein and low in carbohydrates. Peanuts, almonds, and pecans are all good choices, as are shredded coconut, hazelnuts, and pistachios. Seeds considered high in fiber include pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds.
Fruits and berries can be excellent sources of fiber calories, but like grains and vegetables, some are very high in carbohydrate content. Fruits such as bananas, oranges, and pears are all high in carbohydrates. Better choices might include melons, peaches, and apples. With the exception of cherries, most all berries offer a good balance between fiber calories and carbohydrate content.
Studies seem to show that those who consume large amounts of fiber calories may lower their risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Fiber intake may also decrease the risk of diabetes and obesity. This is especially true for those who combine a diet high in fiber calories with an exercise program that includes low-impact aerobics.