May, 2015

Sugar Alcohols: Good or Bad?

For many decades, sugar alcohols have been popular alternatives to sugar. They look and taste like sugar, but have fewer calories and fewer negative health effects. In fact, many studies show that sugar alcohols can actually lead to health improvements. This article takes a detailed look at sugar alcohols and their health effects.

What Are Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols (or “polyols”) are types of sweet carbohydrates. As the name implies, they are like hybrids of sugar molecules and alcohol molecules. Despite the “alcohol” part of the name, they do not contain any ethanol, the compound that gets you drunk. Sugar alcohols are safe for alcoholics. Several sugar alcohols are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. However, most are produced industrially, where they are processed from other sugars, such as the glucose in corn starch.

This is what sugar alcohols look like (white crystals, just like sugar):

Because sugar alcohols have a similar chemical structure as sugar, they are able to activate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue. Unlike artificial and low-calorie sweeteners, sugar alcohols do contain calories, just fewer than plain sugar.

Bottom Line: Sugar alcohols are types of sweet carbohydrates that are found naturally or processed from other sugars. They are widely used as sweeteners.

Common Sugar Alcohols in The Modern Diet

There are many different sugar alcohols that are commonly used as sweeteners. There are several differences between them, including their taste, calorie content and health effects.

Xylitol

Xylitol is the most common and well-researched sugar alcohol. It has a distinct mint flavor, and is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, mints and oral care products like toothpaste. It is about as sweet as regular sugar, but has 40% fewer calories. Aside from some digestive symptoms when consumed in large amounts, xylitol is well tolerated.

Erythritol

Erythritol is another sugar alcohol that is considered to have an excellent taste. It is processed by fermenting the glucose in corn starch. It has 70% of the sweetness of sugar, but only 5% of the calories. Along with the low-calorie sweetener stevia, erythritol is the main ingredient in the popular sweetener blend known as Truvia. Erythritol does not have the same digestive side effects as most other sugar alcohols, because it doesn’t reach the large intestine in significant amounts. Instead, most of it gets absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted unchanged in the urine.

Sorbitol

Sorbitol is claimed to have a smooth mouth feel and cool taste. It is 60% as sweet as sugar, with about 60% of the calories. It is a common ingredient in sugar-free foods and drinks, including jelly spreads and soft candy. It has very little effect on blood sugar and insulin, but may cause significant digestive distress.

Maltitol

Maltitol is processed from the sugar maltose, and has a very similar taste and mouth feel as regular sugar. It is 90% as sweet as sugar, with almost half the calories. While products that contain maltitol can claim to be “sugar-free,” it is well absorbed by the body and does cause spikes in blood sugar. If you have diabetes, then be skeptical of “low carb” products that are sweetened with maltitol, and make sure to monitor your blood sugars carefully.

Other Sugar Alcohols

Other sugar alcohols that are commonly found in some food products include mannitol, isomalt, lactitol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.

Bottom Line: Many different sugar alcohols are common in the modern diet. This includes xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, maltitol and numerous others.

Sugar Alcohols Have a Low Glycemic Index and do not Spike Blood Sugar or Insulin

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. Consuming foods that are high on the glycemic index is associated with obesity and numerous metabolic health problems. The graph below shows the glycemic index for several sugar alcohols, compared with sugar and pure glucose:

As you can see, most sugar alcohols have a negligible effect on blood sugar levels. In the case of erythritol and mannitol, the glycemic index is zero. The only exception here is maltitol, which has a glycemic index of 36. This is still very low compared to sugar and refined carbohydrates. For people with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabetes, sugar alcohols (except perhaps maltitol) can be considered as excellent alternatives to sugar.

Bottom Line: Most sugar alcohols have little to no effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, with the exception of maltitol.

Sugar Alcohols Can Improve Dental Health

Tooth decay is a well documented side effect of excess sugar consumption. The sugar feeds certain bacteria in the mouth, which multiply and secrete acids that erode the protective enamel on the teeth. In contrast, sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol and sorbitol actually protect against tooth decay. That’s one of the main reasons they are so popular in many chewing gums and toothpastes. Xylitol is well known for its beneficial effects on dental health, and has been studied quite thoroughly. The “bad” bacteria in the mouth actually feed on xylitol, but they are unable to metabolize it, so it ends up clogging the metabolic machinery and killing them. Erythritol has not been studied as extensively as xylitol, but one 3-year study in 485 school children found that it was more protective against dental caries than xylitol and sorbitol.

Bottom Line: Xylitol, erythritol and sorbitol lead to improvements in dental health. Xylitol has been studied the most, but there is some evidence that erythritol is the most effective.

Other Health Benefits of Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols may have a number of other beneficial effects that are worthy of highlighting:

Prebiotic: Sugar alcohols may feed the friendly bacteria in the gut, having a prebiotic effect like dietary fiber.

Bone health: Many rat studies have shown that xylitol can increase bone volume and bone mineral content, which should help protect against osteoporosis.

Skin health: Collagen is the main structural protein in skin and connective tissues. Studies in rats have shown that xylitol can increase collagen production.

Bottom Line: Sugar alcohols may feed the friendly bacteria in the gut, and have been shown to be beneficial for bones and skin in animal studies.

Sugar Alcohols May Cause Digestive Problems

The main problem with sugar alcohols, is that they can cause digestive problems, especially when consumed in large amounts.

The body cannot digest most of them, so they travel to the large intestine where they are metabolized by the gut bacteria. If you eat a lot of sugar alcohols in a short period of time, this can lead to symptoms like gas, bloating and diarrhea. If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or a sensitivity to FODMAPs, then you may want to consider avoiding sugar alcohols completely. Sorbitol and maltitol appear to be the biggest offenders, while erythritol causes the least symptoms.

Bottom Line: When consumed in large amounts, most sugar alcohols can cause significant digestive distress. This depends on the individual, as well as the type of sugar alcohol.

Xylitol is Toxic to Dogs

Xylitol is well tolerated by humans, but is highly toxic to dogs. When dogs eat xylitol, their bodies think that it is sugar and start producing large amounts of insulin. When insulin goes up, the dog’s cells starts pulling sugar from the bloodstream. This can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and can be downright fatal. If you own a dog, keep xylitol out of reach, or out of your house altogether. This probably does not apply to other pets, and probably only applies to xylitol, not other sugar alcohols.

Which Sugar Alcohol is The Healthiest?

Out of all the sugar alcohols, erythritol seems to be the clear winner. It has almost no calories, no effect on blood sugar and causes significantly less digestive problems than the others. It is also good for your teeth, and won’t end up harming your dog. Plus, it tastes pretty awesome. It’s basically just like sugar without the calories.

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20 Foods That Are Bad For Your Health (Avoid Them!)

There is a lot of confusion out there about which foods are healthy, and which are not. Here is a list of 20 foods that are generally very unhealthy. If you want to lose weight and avoid chronic disease, then you shouldn’t eat much of these foods. In many cases, the best choice is to avoid them completely. In this article, healthy alternatives are mentioned whenever possible.

1. Sugary Drinks

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. However, some sources of sugar are worse than others, and sugary drinks are the absolute worst.

When people drink sugar calories, the brain doesn’t “register” them as food. For this reason, people don’t automatically compensate by eating less of other foods instead, and end up drastically increasing their total calorie intake. Sugar, when consumed in large amounts, can drive insulin resistance in the body and is strongly linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also associated with various serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugary drinks are also THE most fattening aspect of the modern diet, and drinking them in large amounts can drive fat gain and obesity.

Alternatives: Drink water, soda water, coffee or tea instead. Adding a slice of lemon to water or soda water can add some taste if you don’t like it plain.

2. Most Pizzas

Pizza is one of the world’s most popular junk foods. This is not surprising, given that it tastes awesome and is incredibly convenient to eat. The problem is that most commercially prepared pizzas are made with seriously unhealthy ingredients. The dough is made from highly refined wheat flour, and the meats on them are usually processed. Pizza is also extremely high in calories.

Alternatives: Some pizza places use healthier ingredients. Homemade pizzas can also be very healthy, as long as you choose wholesome ingredients.

3. White Bread

Bread is generally made from wheat, which contains the protein gluten. For this reason, all wheat-based breads are a bad idea for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, most commercial breads are unhealthy, even for people who do tolerate gluten. This is because the great majority of them are made from refined wheat, which is low in essential nutrients (empty calories) and leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Alternatives: For people who can tolerate gluten, ezekiel bread is an excellent choice. Whole grain bread is also definitely better (or “less bad”) than white bread. If you have problems with gluten or carbs, then here are 15 recipes for breads that are both gluten-free and low in carbs.

4. Most Fruit Juices

Fruit juice is often assumed to be healthy, but this is a mistake. Many fruit juices are actually little more than fruit-flavored sugar water. It is true that the juice contains some antioxidants and vitamin C, but this must be weighed against the large amount of liquid sugar. In fact, fruit juice contains just as much sugar as a sugary drink like Coke or Pepsi, and sometimes even more.

Alternatives: There are some fruit juices that have been shown to have health benefits despite the sugar content, such as pomegrenate juice and blueberry juice. However, these should be considered as supplements, not something you drink every day to quench thirst. Drink water instead.

5. Industrial Vegetable Oils

In the last 100 years or so, people have increased their consumption of added fats.

However, this is entirely explained by a drastic increase in the consumption of refined vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil. These oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which humans never consumed in such large amounts before. There are many serious concerns with these oils. They are highly sensitive to oxidation and cause increased oxidative stress in the body. They have also been linked to increased risk of cancer.

Alternatives: Use healthier fats like coconut oil, butter, extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead.

6. Margarine

Margarine used to be considered a healthy alternative to butter. Fortunately, most people have now realized that this is far from being true. Margarine is a highly processed pseudo-food that has been engineered to look and taste like butter. It is loaded with artificial ingredients, and is usually made with industrial vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid. This increases their trans fat content significantly. Keep in mind that manufacturers are allowed to label their products with “no trans fat” as long as it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is still a significant amount.

Alternatives: Use real butter instead, preferably from grass-fed cows.

7. Pastries, Cookies and Cakes

Most pastries, cookies and cakes are extremely unhealthy. They are generally made with refined sugar, refined wheat flour and added fats, which are often disturbingly unhealthy fats like shortening (high in trans fats). These tasty treats are literally some of the worst things that you can put into your body. Almost no essential nutrients, but tons of calories and unhealthy ingredients.

8. French Fries and Potato Chips

Whole, white potatoes are very healthy. However, the same can NOT be said of the products that are made from them, such as french fries and potato chips. These foods are very high in calories, and it is easy to eat excessive amounts. Several studies link consumption of french fries and potato chips with weight gain. These foods may also contain large amounts of acrylamides, carcinogenic substances that form when potatoes are fried, baked or roasted.

Alternatives: Potatoes are best consumed boiled, not fried. If you need something crunchy to replace potato chips, try baby carrots or nuts.

9. Gluten-Free Junk Foods

Gluten-free is all the rage these days.

About a third of people in the US are actively trying to avoid gluten, according to a 2013 survey. The problem with many gluten-free diets, is that people replace the gluten-containing foods with processed junk foods that happen to be gluten-free. These gluten-free replacement products are often high in sugar, unhealthy oils and refined grains like corn starch or tapioca starch. These refined starches lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, and are extremely low in essential nutrients.

Alternatives: Choose foods that are naturally gluten-free, like unprocessed plants and animal foods. Gluten-free junk food is still junk food.

10. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweetener that is often marketed as healthy. However, agave nectar is not as healthy as some people think. It is a highly refined sweetener that is extremely high in fructose. High amounts of fructose from added sweeteners (not whole fruit) can be absolutely disastrous for health. The truth is, agave is even higher in fructose than other sugars. Whereas table sugar contains 50% fructose, and high fructose corn syrup around 55%, agave nectar is 85% fructose.

Alternatives: Stevia and erythritol are healthy, natural and calorie free. There is a list of several several healthy and natural sweeteners in this article.

11. Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt can be incredibly healthy. Unfortunately, most yogurts found in the grocery store are extremely bad for you. They are frequently low in fat, but loaded with sugar to make up for the lack of taste that the fats provided. Put simply, the yogurt has had the healthy, natural dairy fats removed, only to be replaced with something much, much worse. Additionally, many yogurts don’t actually contain probiotic bacteria, as generally believed. They have often been pasteurized after fermentation, which kills all the bacteria.

Alternatives: Choose regular, full-fat yogurt that contains live or active cultures (probiotics). If you can get your hands on it, choose yogurt from grass-fed cows.

12. Low-Carb Junk Foods

Low-carb diets are very popular these days, and have been for several decades. There are plenty of real foods that you can eat on a low-carb diet, most of which are very healthy. However, this is not true of processed low-carb replacement products, such as low-carb candy bars and meal replacements. These are generally highly processed foods that contain very little actual nutrition, just a bunch of artificial ingredients mixed together and then sold as food.

Alternatives: If you’re on a low-carb diet, eat foods that are naturally low in carbs. Low-carb junk food is still junk food.

13. Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of the most delicious foods on the planet.

Unfortunately, it is also one of the unhealthiest. Most commercial ice cream is loaded with sugar. Ice cream is also high in calories, and it is very easy to eat excessive amounts. Eating it for dessert is even worse, because then you’re adding it all on top of your total calorie intake.

Alternatives: It is possible to make your own ice cream using healthier ingredients and significantly less (or no) sugar.

14. Candy Bars

Candy bars are incredibly unhealthy. They are high in sugar, refined wheat flour and processed fats. They are also very low in essential nutrients. Processed foods like candy bars are generally engineered to be super tasty (so you eat more), and have been designed so that it’s very easy to eat them quickly. A candy bar may taste good and cause some short-term satiety, but you’ll be hungry again very quickly because of the way these high-sugar treats are metabolized.

Alternatives: Eat a piece of fruit instead, or a piece of real high-cocoa dark chocolate.

15. Processed Meat

Even though unprocessed meat can be healthy and nutritious, the same is NOT true for processed meats. Studies show that people who eat processed meats have a higher risk of many serious diseases, including colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Most of these studies are observational in nature, so they can not prove that the processed meat caused the diseases. However, the statistical link is strong and consistent among studies, so I do believe there is something to it.

Alternatives: If you want to eat bacon, sausages, pepperoni and other “processed” meats, then choose wisely and try to buy them locally from sellers who don’t add a lot of unhealthy ingredients. Quality counts.

16. Processed Cheese

Regular cheese is healthy. It is loaded with nutrients, and a single slice of cheese contains all the same nutrients as an entire glass of milk. However, processed cheese products are nothing like regular cheese. They are mostly made with filler ingredients that are combined and engineered to have a similar look and texture as cheese. Cheese is healthy, but processed cheese is not. Read labels, and make sure that the cheese you’re eating is actually cheese.

Alternatives: Eat real cheese instead.

17. Most Fast Food Meals

Generally speaking, “fast food” chain serve only junk foods.

The majority of the food they offer is mass-produced, highly engineered junk food with very little nutritional value. These places are often very cheap, but keep in mind that junk food costs you twice. For every penny you save there, chances are that it’s going to cost you many times more in the future. Poor health is expensive.

Alternatives: Fortunately, all sorts of healthy fast food places have started to appear. Chipotle is one great example.

18. High-Calorie “Coffee” Drinks

Coffee has been unfairly demonized. It is actually very healthy, and loaded with antioxidants. Studies also show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of serious diseases, like type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, stuff is sometimes added to coffee that turns this wonderful beverage into harmful sludge. If your “coffee” has a ton of artificial creamer and sugar, then it is NOT good for you. It is loaded with liquid, empty calories, and will be just as unhealthy as any other sugar-sweetened beverage.

Alternatives: Drink plain coffee instead. Black is best, but small amounts of heavy cream or full-fat milk are fine as well.

19. Anything That is High in Sugar, Refined Grains and Vegetable Oils

One of the most important things you can do to eat healthier, is to read labels. It is important to avoid (or at least minimize) foods that contain:

  • Added sugar (and high fructose corn syrup).

  • Refined grains like white flour.

  • Industrial vegetable oils.

  • Artificial trans fats.

These are some of the unhealthiest (and most common) ingredients in the modern diet. The importance of reading labels can not be overstated, and this applies to all foods, even so-called health foods.

20. Most Highly Processed Foods

By far the simplest way to eat healthy and lose weight, is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Put simply, if it looks like it was made in a factory, then it’s probably bad for you. A good rule to remember, is that real food doesn’t need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.

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8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years. Here are 8 health benefits of Aloe vera that are supported by science. It is best known for treating skin injuries, such as burns and sores, but may also have several other therapeutic properties.

1. Aloe Vera Contains Bioactive Compounds That Can Improve Health

Aloe vera is a thick, short-stemmed plant that stores water in its leaves. It is widely used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries, and has an estimated annual market value of $13 billion globally. Aloe vera is well recognized by its thick, pointed and fleshy green leaves, which can grow to about 12-19 inches (30-50 cm) in length. This is what the Aloe vera plant looks like:

Each leaf is full of a slimy tissue that stores water, which makes the leaves thick. This slimy, water-filled tissue is the “gel” we associate with Aloe vera products. The gel contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.

Bottom Line: Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that is used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. Its leaves are full of a “gel” that contains numerous beneficial compounds.

2. Aloe Vera Has Potent Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties

Antioxidants are important for health. Aloe vera gel contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols. These polyphenols, along with several other compounds in Aloe vera, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

Bottom Line: Aloe vera contains various powerful antioxidant compounds. Some of these compounds can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

3. Aloe Vera Accelerates The Healing of Burns

Aloe vera is most commonly used as a topical medication, rubbed onto the skin rather than eaten. It has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns. In fact, the FDA first approved Aloe vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns back in 1959. Studies suggest that it is an effective topical treatment for first- and second-degree burns. A review of 4 experimental studies found that Aloe vera could reduce the healing time of burns by around 9 days compared to conventional medication. The evidence for Aloe vera helping to heal other types of wounds is inconclusive.

Bottom Line: Applying Aloe vera to burn wounds appears to accelerate the healing process. The evidence is inconclusive for other wound types.

4. Pure Aloe Vera Juice Reduces Dental Plaque as Effectively as Mouthwash

Tooth decay and diseases of the gum are very common health problems. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to reduce the buildup of plaque (bacterial biofilms) on the teeth. In a mouth rinse study of 300 healthy people, 100% pure Aloe vera juice was compared to the standard mouthwash ingredient chlorhexidine. After 4 days of use, the Aloe vera mouth rinse was found to be just as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing dental plaque. Another study found similar benefits of Aloe vera mouth rinse when used over a 15- to 30-day period. Aloe vera does this by killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans.

Bottom Line: When used as a mouth rinse, pure Aloe vera juice is just as effective at reducing dental plaque buildup as regular mouthwash.

5. Aloe Vera Can be Used to Treat Mouth Ulcers (Canker Sores)

Many people have experienced mouth ulcers, or canker sores, at some point in their lives. They usually form underneath the lip, inside the mouth, and last for about 7-10 days. Studies have convincingly shown that Aloe vera treatment can accelerate the healing of mouth ulcers. In a 7-day study of 180 people with recurrent mouth ulcers, an Aloe vera patch applied to the area was effective in reducing the size of the ulcers. However, it did not outperform the conventional ulcer treatment, which is corticosteroids. In another study, Aloe vera gel not only accelerated the healing of mouth ulcers, it also reduced the pain associated with them.

Bottom Line: Application of Aloe vera, either as a patch or gel, has been shown to aid in the recovery of mouth ulcers (canker sores).

6. Aloe Vera Can Help Treat Constipation

Aloe vera has often be used to treat constipation. This time it is not the gel, but the latex, that provides the benefits. The latex is a sticky yellow residue found just under the skin of the leaf. The key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well-established laxative effects. However, some concerns have been raised about safety issues with frequent use. For this reason, Aloe latex has not been available in the US as an over-the-counter medication since 2002.

Contrary to popular belief, Aloe vera does not appear to be effective against other digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Bottom Line: Aloe vera latex has strong laxative effects, making it useful to treat constipation. It does not appear to be beneficial for other diseases of the digestive tract.

7. Aloe Vera May Improve Skin Elasticity and Help Prevent Wrinkles

There is some preliminary evidence that topical Aloe vera gel can slow aging of the skin.

In one study of 30 women over the age of 45, topical application of the gel was shown to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity over a 90-day period. Another study found that Aloe vera reduced erythema (redness of the skin), but was also found to dehydrate skin cells. There is very little evidence that Aloe vera can treat skin conditions like psoriasis and radiation dermatitis.

Bottom Line: Early evidence suggests that Aloe vera may have anti-aging effects on the skin, but more research is needed.

8. Aloe Vera May Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

Aloe vera has sometimes been used as a traditional diabetes remedy. It is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and help improve blood sugar management. Several animal and human studies in type 2 diabetics have actually found promising results from consuming Aloe vera extract. However, the quality of these studies was fairly poor, so it is definitely premature to recommend Aloe vera for this purpose. Additionally, there have been some cases of liver damage reported with long-term ingestion of Aloe vera supplements.

9. Anything Else?

Aloe vera definitely has some unique therapeutic properties, especially when applied as an ointment for the skin and gums.

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Our new pool development is well underway.

Very exciting times at Ivory. Construction is well underway with our new adult and children’s swimming pool.

Again please bear with us while this development is taking place. It’s going to be well worth the trouble.

pool

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22 Delicious High-Fiber Foods (No. 2 and 19 Are My Favourites)

Fiber is incredibly important. It escapes digestion in the stomach and ends up reaching the gut. There, it feeds the friendly gut bacteria, leading to all sorts of health benefits.

Fiber also promotes weight loss, lowers blood sugar levels and fights constipation. Not surprisingly, studies show that people who eat the most fiber tend to be the healthiest. For example, they have a lower risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, and also tend to live longer. The recommended daily intake is 25 grams for women, and 38 grams for men. However, most people are only eating around half of that, or 15-17 grams of fiber per day. Fortunately, increasing your fiber intake is relatively simple, and some foods that are high in fiber are also incredibly delicious and easy to incorporate into the diet.

Here are 22 high-fiber foods that are both healthy and super satisfying.

1. Pears (3.1%)

The pear is a popular type of fruit that is both tasty and nutritious. It is one of the best fruit sources of fiber.

Fiber content: 5.5 grams in a medium-sized pear, or 3.1 grams per 100 grams.

2. Strawberries (2%)

Strawberries are incredibly delicious. They taste better than any junk food in my opinion. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutrient dense fruits you can eat. They are loaded with vitamin C, manganese and all sorts of powerful antioxidants.

Fiber content: 3 grams in a cup, or 2 grams per 100 grams. This is very high given the low calorie content of strawberries.

3. Avocado (6.7%)

The avocado is different from most fruits. Instead of being high in carbohydrates, it is loaded with healthy fats. Avocados are very high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and various different B-vitamins. They also have numerous health benefits.

Fiber content: 10 grams in a cup, or 6.7 grams per 100 grams.

4. Apples (2.4%)

Apples are among the tastiest and most satisfying fruits you can eat. They are also relatively high in fiber.

Fiber content: 4.4 grams in a medium-sized apple, or 2.4 grams per 100 grams.

5. Raspberries (6.5%)

Raspberries are highly nutritious berries with a very strong flavor. They are loaded with vitamin C and manganese.

Fiber content: A cup contains 8 grams of fiber, with 6.5 grams per 100 grams.

6. Bananas (2.6%)

Bananas are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium.

Fiber content: 3.1 grams in a medium-sized banana, or 2.6 grams per 100 grams.

A green or unripe banana also contains a significant amount of resistant starch, a type of indigestible carbohydrate that functions like fiber.

Other High-Fiber Fruits

Blueberries (3.6 grams per cup) and blackberries (7.6 grams per cup).

7. Carrots (2.8%)

The carrot is a root vegetable that is tasty, crunchy and highly nutritious.

It is high in vitamin K, vitamin B6, magnesium and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets turned into vitamin A in the body.

Fiber content: 3.4 grams in a cup, or 2.8 grams per 100 grams. This is very high given the low calorie content of of carrots.

8. Beets (2.8%)

The beet, or beetroot, is a root vegetable that is high in various important nutrients, such as folate, iron, copper, manganese and potassium. Beets are also loaded with inorganic nitrates, nutrients shown to have various benefits related to blood pressure regulation and exercise performance.

Fiber content: 3.8 grams per cup, or 2.8 grams per 100 grams.

9. Broccoli (2.6%)

Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable, and is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins, potassium, iron and manganese, and contains antioxidants and potent cancer-fighting nutrients. Broccoli is also relatively high in protein compared to most vegetables.

Fiber content: 2.4 grams per cup, or 2.6 grams per 100 grams.

10. Artichoke (5.4%)

The artichoke is a type of vegetable that isn’t talked about very often. However, it is high in many nutrients, and is one of the world’s best sources of fiber.

Fiber content: 6.9 grams in an artichoke, or 5.4 grams per 100 grams.

11. Brussels Sprouts (3.8%)

The Brussels sprout is a type of cruciferous vegetable that is related to broccoli. Brussels sprouts are very high in vitamin K, potassium, folate and potent cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Fiber content: 3.3 grams per cup, or 3.8 grams per 100 grams.

Other High-Fiber Vegetables

Pretty much all vegetables contain significant amounts of fiber. Other notable examples include kale (3.6%), spinach (2.2%) and tomatoes (1.2%).

12. Lentils (7.9%)

Lentils are dirt cheap, and are among the most nutritious foods on earth. They are very high in protein and loaded with all sorts of important nutrients.

Fiber content: 15.6 grams per cup of cooked lentils, or 7.9 per 100 grams.

13. Kidney Beans (6.4%)

Kidney beans are a popular type of legume. Like other legumes, they are loaded with plant-based protein and various different nutrients.

Fiber content: 11.3 grams per cup of cooked beans, or 6.4 per 100 grams.

14. Split Peas (8.3%)

Split peas are made from the dried, split and peeled seeds of peas.

Fiber content: 16.3 grams per cup of cooked split peas, or 8.3 per 100 grams.

15. Chickpeas (7.6%)

The chickpea is another type of legume that is loaded with nutrients, including minerals and protein.

Fiber content: 12.5 grams per cup of cooked chickpeas, or 7.6 per 100 grams.

Other High-Fiber Legumes

Most legumes are high in protein, fiber and all sorts of nutrients. When properly prepared, they are among the world’s cheapest sources of quality nutrition.

Other high-fiber legumes include black beans (8.7%), edamame (5.2%), lima beans (5.3%) and baked beans (5.5%).

16. Quinoa (2.8%)

Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal that has become incredibly popular among health conscious people in the last few years. It is loaded with all sorts of nutrients, including protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and antioxidants, to name a few.

Fiber content: 1.6 grams per cup of cooked quinoa, or 2.8 per 100 grams.

17. Oats (10.6%)

Oats may be the healthiest grain food on the planet. They are very high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has major beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Fiber content: 16.5 grams per cup of raw oats, or 10.6 grams per 100 grams.

18. Popcorn (14.5%)

If your goal is to increase your fiber intake, then popcorn may be the best snack you can eat. Air-popped popcorn is very high in fiber, calorie for calorie. However, if you add a lot of fat, then the fiber/calorie ratio will be reduced significantly.

Fiber content: 14.5 grams per 100 grams.

Other High-Fiber Grains

Pretty much all whole grains are high in fiber.

19. Almonds (12.5%)

The almond is a popular type of tree nut. Almonds are very high in many nutrients, including healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.

Fiber content: 3.5 grams per ounce, or 12.5 grams per 100 grams.

20. Chia Seeds (34.4%)

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that are immensely popular in the natural health community. They are highly nutritious, with lots of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Chia seeds may also be the single best source of fiber on the planet.

Fiber content: 10 grams per ounce, or 34.4 grams per 100 grams.

Other High-Fiber Nuts and Seeds

Most nuts and seeds contain significant amounts of fiber. This includes coconuts (9%), pistachios (10%), walnuts (7%), sunflower seeds (8.6%) and pumpkin seeds (18.4%).

21. Sweet Potatoes (2.5%)

The sweet potato is a popular tuber that is very filling and has a delicious sweet flavor. It is very high in beta-carotene, B-vitamins and various minerals.

Fiber content: A medium-sized boiled sweet potato (without skin) contains 3.8 grams of fiber, or 2.5 grams per 100 grams.

22. Dark Chocolate (10.9%)

Dark chocolate is arguably one of the world’s most delicious foods. It is also surprisingly high in nutrients, and is actually among the most antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

Fiber content: 3.1 grams in a 1-ounce piece, or 10.9 grams per 100 grams.

Just make sure to choose dark chocolate that is high in cocoa (70-95% or higher), not the sugar-laden stuff.

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