High-fiber foods on a road trip?
July 30, 2022 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Because Reasons, I need to do a long drive tomorrow, won't be able to pre-shop, and need to eat high-fiber foods on the way. What are some things I can find at super typical gas stations, generic fast food places and the like? I'm not gonna be able to deviate my route so "find a supermarket on the way" isn't going to work. I need the stuff I can find at generic off-ramps on a US highway.
posted by BlahLaLa to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Most gas stations have bags of roasted nuts and sometimes dried fruit, often together in trail mix.
posted by congen at 1:06 PM on July 30, 2022 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Trail mix or any nuts/dried fruit combo, popcorn, bananas if they have them.
posted by essexjan at 1:07 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Popcorn is high in fiber. You may luck out and find sesame oat bran sticks - they are sold in the yellow bags by Good Sense, I usually see other good sense snacks at gas stations but not always these.
posted by soelo at 1:07 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds are very high in fiber and are excellent road snacks.
posted by Acari at 1:11 PM on July 30, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Some gas stations have those little refrigerated packets of carrots and celery with ranch or hummus!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:13 PM on July 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In a larger convenience store you might be able to find wheat bran (not wheat germ- you want “bran”) in a box in the cereal aisle. Bran Flakes or All Bran cereal are also good for this. Stir it into anything wet, like yogurt or oatmeal or applesauce. Note that it will absorb some moisture and give a very brannish texture. It’s pure fibre. Chase it with water.

Large convenience stores, and all drug stores, will also have some kind of fibre powder in a jar - Metamucil (psyllium seed husk) is the classic. Stir with water and drink immediately (don’t try to sip it as you drive- it will turn into gel). It’s very high in fibre and it’s not “medicine”, just physical fibre.

I’m sure you know this but chase all this fibre with lots of extra water or you’ll get constipated!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:17 PM on July 30, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: They often have apples, and apples will make a nice change from all the trail mix-type stuff
posted by chocotaco at 1:37 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I found Beyond Meat jerky at our local convenience store. It's mostly bean protein, but also has oat bran fiber.
posted by credulous at 2:20 PM on July 30, 2022

Best answer: Since you said fast food places, you can get a veggie sub at Subway. Unfortunately, their nutrition information doesn't list their bread separately, but, as you probably know, browner bread tends to be higher in fiber (though sometimes it's brown mostly because of food coloring to make it look more "healthy," which is why I was hoping for nutrition information to check).

Wendy's has baked potatoes as well as chili, which tends to be pretty high in fiber.
posted by FencingGal at 2:26 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you haven't tried Starbucks protein plates you might want to, they have fruit, veggies, whole wheat grains, and they taste good. I usually always see a Starbucks before too long on a road trip.
posted by bleep at 2:37 PM on July 30, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Forgot about Panera. They have steel-cut oatmeal, fruit cups, and a lot of salads. They also have a Mediterranean veggie sandwich that is quite good.

Any fast food Mexican place should have bean burritos.
posted by FencingGal at 3:11 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Fig Newtons or a generic. Buy something to wash 'em down. Also bananas. Have a nice drive.
posted by Glomar response at 3:13 PM on July 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Taco Bell has some items featuring black beans or refried beans.
posted by indexy at 3:14 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Can you bring / get a can opener?

Canned corn kernels can be eaten “raw” straight from the can. They are super high in fibre and actually taste pretty good eaten plain, right out of the can.

You can also eat beans or chickpeas straight out of the can. Dump out the liquid and rinse the beans a few times if you have the means - the liquid gives you a bit more gas - but it won’t kill you to eat the liquid.

These canned foods are fine plain, or can easily be jazzed up with easy-to-find condiments from any fast food place, like salt, mayo, hot sauce, ketchup, salad dressing, a little vinegar, random dipping sauces intended for nuggets or pizza, butter, garlic butter, cheese, nacho cheese sauce, a chopped tomato, a chopped pickle, or any combination of those.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 3:36 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are so great! Keep 'em coming!
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:58 PM on July 30, 2022

Best answer: McDonalds breakfast has oatmeal with fruit in it. Nutrition facts say it has 4 grams of fiber.
posted by Mizu at 4:12 PM on July 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: At a big convenience store, you should be able to find one fiber cereal, be it All Bran or Fiber One, but I agree with the suggestion that you find Metamucil - I guarantee you a good-sized truck stop will probably have regular-size containers, but you should be able to find single-serves if you don't happen to catch a Walgreens or similar at an exit.

Actual hardcore high-fiber foods are actually hard to come by, besides cereal (and even the "fiber" forward cereals generally don't have that much, barring All Bran (Buds, specifically) and Fiber One which are the nuclear options), even shopping at leisure and cooking at home. Like, if this is "keep hemorrhoids at bay"-grade fiber requirements, or trying to circumvent diarrhea/cause constipation (in which case immodium would work more reliably and is less likely to result in possibly the worst digestive condition ever: constipation AND explosive diarrhea at the same time), you should go straight to psyllium husk/metamucil.

Vegetables will work fine if you are just needing more fiber than none. Anywhere you can get a salad is going to be best - 7-11 always has some little ones, the big gas stations like QuikTrip and CircleK usually do as well. Nuts and trail mix are available everywhere. Most gas stations will have those one-serving cereal cups now, but cornflakes is probably the fiber-est option they've got. Gas stations usually have at least one type of dried fruit, if you're really lucky will even have prunes. Most stores will have various protein bars, and you should just compare labels to find the one with the most fiber - note, these are often the keto bars because the fiber can be subtracted from the carbs, but if you are sensitive to artificial sweeteners watch out.

Subway is maybe tops for exit-ramp salads, if you score a gas station that has one attached. All the other fast foods have something like a salad, Taco Bell and similar would be your best bet since you can get beans - but you can also often find beans of some kind at any gas station that's got a little grocery section, and add them to a BK or McD salad. Starbucks has oatmeal and overnight grains.

If you really lucked out and found a smoothie place, they've probably got a higher-fiber protein powder you can choose. Also check gas/convenience shelves for a bottled smoothie type drink, you might luck out with something that's got a good bit of added fiber.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you have time, you can purchase Fiber Capsules - take 2 or 3 with each meal. I use these when backpacking, they are effective and convenient.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 4:29 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Sunflower or pumpkin seeds where you eat the shells
(Bananas do the opposite for me but ymmv)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:52 PM on July 30, 2022

Best answer: For the truly desperate, gas stations usually have tiny little tins of bean dip, somewhere near the chips. Definitely high fiber.
posted by Temeraria at 5:08 PM on July 30, 2022

Best answer: If you want to go hard core and can handle the salt, eat roasted peanuts in the shell. With the shell.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:30 PM on July 30, 2022

Best answer: Frosted (or not) Mini Wheats cereal.
posted by stormyteal at 6:00 PM on July 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My choice is Metamucil 3-in-1 multihealth fiber capsules, or a similar generic brand. Remember to stock up on bottled water or a refillable container.
posted by TrishaU at 6:24 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you see a Buc-ees, stop in. They are huge and have an enormous selection of stuff to eat. The last one I was in was literally the size of a Walmart. Basically, half the store is food and the other half is touristy stuff.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:52 PM on July 30, 2022

Best answer: I really like fruit for road trips -- apples and peaches are my go-to depending on the time of year. I find that they give me a lot of energy, are easy to digest, and have some water content so I don't get dehydrated from eating them (and I also don't drink too much water, leading to more frequent stops).
posted by kdar at 8:40 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you! I drove 450 miles today and ate: a Starbucks egg white sous vide bite (no fiber, but it was 6am and it was what was available); later on a Starbucks spinach feta wrap (3 grams of fiber); and a Kind bar with 7 grams of fiber that I found at a gas station. This was enough because I left early and got to my destination in time for a more fiber-filled rest of the day.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:20 PM on July 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

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