Another day, another flurry of media stories claiming the low-carb diet is unhealthy and may shorten your life.
This time, international headlines are saying a new “landmark study” is showing that in order to have a lower risk of disease and death you need to eat a high-fiber, high-carb diet that includes plenty of whole grain pasta, cereals and bread.
The headlines are a result of a recent publication in The Lancet of systematic reviews and meta-analyses around carbohydrate quality and human health. The research, funded in part by the World Health Organization (WHO), was conducted by a team from the University of Otago, in New Zealand, co-lead by Prof. Jim Mann.
The Lancet: Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Prof. Mann has spoken out in the past, about his belief that low-carb diets are “rubbish” and that countries’ dietary guidelines have had it right to focus on plenty of whole grains.
His new study examined 185 prospective studies and 58 clinical trials over 40 years and concluded there was a direct relationship between the highest intake of dietary fiber and a protective benefit against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The study concluded people should be eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day and that their analysis found that those who ate the most fiber had a 15 to 30 percent reduction in deaths from all causes.
In media interviews following the study’s release he stressed that carbohydrate quality is important and that sugar and refined grains are “bad carbs” but oats and whole-grain bread, cereal and pasta are “good,” high-fiber carbs.
We strongly agree with that first part — sugar and refined grains ARE bad carbs! And, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that cutting out processed foods like white bread, cookies, cakes and sugary beverages and replacing those foods with whole-grain, unsweetened cereal or wheat berry pilaf will lead to health improvements. That says nothing about swapping out whole-food, low-carb staples like vegetables, olive oil, and meat or fish with whole-grain products. We don’t believe that study has been done, especially in a population restricting carbohydrates.
And we obviously don’t share his firm belief that whole-grain bread, cereals and pasta are good carbs that are an essential need in our diet. For some of us, we already know these products send our blood glucose sky-high and make us sick with IBS and other conditions.
Some news outlets, like the UK newspaper The Guardian are claiming, however, the study is another “blow” to the low-carb diet, saying the findings are “incompatible with fashionable low-carb diets.”
Others like USA Today quoted Mann as saying: “Our findings provide convincing evidence for nutrition guidelines to focus on increasing dietary fiber and on replacing refined grains with whole grains. This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases.”
The Guardian: Blow to low-carb diet as landmark study finds high fiber cuts heart disease risk
USA Today: Eating more fiber and whole grains may mean a lower risk of death and disease, study finds
Do people doing the low-carb keto diet need to heed this advice and add whole grains back into their diets? Can these studies really make such dramatic conclusions?
We would say definitely not. Here’s why:
- Two key things to know
- Earlier with Anne Mullens
- Can You Get Enough Fiber on a Low Carb Diet?
- Why Is Low Carb Better for PCOS?
- Carbohydrates on a keto or low-carb diet
- What are carbs?
- How are carbs processed in the body?
- How are carbs used in our bodies?
- What are the benefits of restricting carbs?
- Do I need to eat a minimum amount of carbs?
- The best carbs to eat on a keto or low-carb diet
- What are “net carbs”?
- How many carbs should I eat per day?
- 7 High Fiber Keto Foods
- 1. Chia seeds
- 2. Blackberries and raspberries
- 3. Flaxseed
- 5. Pistachios
- 6. Cauliflower
- 7. Red cabbage
- 8. Mushrooms
- What is Dietary Fiber?
- Best Sources of Fiber for Low Carb and Keto Diet
- Can Fiber Kick You Out of Ketosis?
- Do You Need a Fiber Supplement for Keto?
- Our Conclusion
- What is Dietary Fiber?
- 7 Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber
- How Much Fiber Do You Need?
- Top 11 Sources of Fiber For a Keto Diet
- What About Fiber Supplements?
- The Takeaway: Fiber On Keto
- 1. Build Better Bones with Mustard Greens
- 2. Prevent Heart Disease with Chicory
- 3. Grow Luscious Locks with Endive
- 4. Detox your Body with Collard Greens
- 5. Support your Thyroid with Spinach
- 6. Protect your Skin with Broccoli
- 7. Fix your Leaky Gut with Brussel Sprouts
- 8. Control Blood Sugar Levels with Artichokes
- 9. Prevent UTI’s with Asparagus
- 10. Protect your Eyes with Bok Choy
- 11. Prevent Cancer with Cauliflower
- 12. Prevent Asthma with Zucchini
- 13. Beat Muscle Cramps with Swiss Chard
- 14. Treat Osteoarthritis with Radishes
- 15. Prevent Signs of Aging with Romaine Lettuce (Cos)
- 16. Give your Brain a Boost with Flax Seeds
- 17. Build Muscle with Chia Seeds
- 18. Reduce Blood Pressure with Sesame Seeds
- 19. Support your Immune System with Pumpkin Seeds
- 20. Reduce Inflammation with Pecans
- 21. Boost your Metabolism with Hazelnuts
- 22. Heal Faster with Almonds
- 23. Burn More Fat with Coconut
- 24. Get Beautiful Skin with Avocados
- 25. Have Pain-Free Menstrual Cycles with Blackberries
- 26. Improve Fertility with Raspberries
- 27. Improve Circulation with Mulberries
- The Bottom Line
- Why You Need Fiber on Keto
- Best High-Fiber Keto Foods
- Low Carb & Keto Fiber Supplements
Two key things to know
1. Low-carb diets are not low fiber
A myth that keeps getting repeated about low-carb or ketogenic eating is that it is all animal fat and protein, with very little fiber. This is simply not true.
As our pages and guides show, you can eat plenty of fiber-rich above ground vegetables, almost to your heart’s content. Low-carb, high-fiber berries like raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are allowed, too. So are many nuts. Check out our guide to low-carb vegetables, our guide to low-carb fruit and our guide to low-carb nuts below:
In fact, the insoluble (cellulose) fiber in low-carb-friendly vegetables and berries greatly exceeds the fiber in many whole-grain products. Check out these pictures that compare 30 grams of carbohydrates from low-carb vegetables and berries to a single whole-wheat hamburger bun. Low fiber? I think not!
Diet Doctor: Thirty grams of carbs, two ways
Diet Doctor: Twenty and 50 grams of carbs, two ways
In fact, a few days after The Guardian ran its piece saying high fiber was incompatible to low carb, a number of letters arrived rebutting that uninformed statement. Noted Dr. Nick Evans, from the faculty of medicine at the University of Southampton:
Your article fundamentally misunderstands the distinction between carbohydrate and fiber. Vegetables are stuffed full of fiber…. to state that low-carb diets are consequently going to be low in fiber is untrue and misleading.
Rebuttal in The Guardian: Carbohydrates, fiber and a healthy diet
2. Understanding the strength of evidence from observational, epidemiologic studies of nutrition
At Diet Doctor, we want to help people understand the various forms of research and the strength of evidence they can produce. This study largely relied on meta-analyses of observational studies. These sorts of studies can only suggest associations and do not prove causation.
Check out our Guide to observational vs. experimental studies
As famed Standford health research Dr. John Ioannidis noted last year, most nutritional research is seriously flawed and needs radical reform. He notes that meta-analyses of individual observational studies just compounds the flaws and creates results that are redundant, misleading, or serving conflicting interests.
A few months ago another study claimed lower carb diets were linked to shorter lives. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt did a good job of exposing the flaws in that observational study. What he said back then, applies just as much now:
Most importantly, when looking beyond these weak statistical studies to higher-quality intervention trials (you know, where people actually try a low-carb diet), low-carb diets regularly result in more weight loss and improved health markers compared to other diets (see this list of studies and findings).
Is a low-protein, high-carb diet the key for a better aging brain? Maybe in mice
Could a low-carb diet shorten your life?
Low-carb diets get a seat at the table
Earlier with Anne Mullens
All earlier posts by Anne Mullens
Can You Get Enough Fiber on a Low Carb Diet?
“I need your expertise! I am overweight and suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). For that, I’m told to follow a low-carb diet. But I also have mildly elevated cholesterol and a familial tendency toward fatty liver disease. For that, I’m told to eat lots of fiber and whole grains, which are loaded with carbs. So what should I do?”
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a dilemma similar to Christy’s, where dietary recommendations for one health concern directly conflict with dietary advice for another. For example, I remember getting an email a few years back from a woman who had both IBS and diverticulosis and was wondering about her doctor’s advice to eat a high-fiber diet. While that can certainly help with diverticulosis, it can make IBS worse!
See also: Should I Eat a High Fiber or Low Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis?
In some cases, your best bet may be to work with a nutrition professional, who can not only help you sort through and reconcile conflicting recommendations but can also help you translate them into practical solutions such as meal plans and shopping lists.
That was definitely the case for the woman with IBS and diverticulosis and it might also be a good idea for Christy. In the meantime, however, I think I can help resolve Christy’s dilemma—because the recommendations to increase fiber and decrease carbohydrates are not as contradictory as you might think.
Why Is Low Carb Better for PCOS?
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the idea that people with PCOS need a low carb diet. As I talked about in a previous episode on PCOS, people with this condition are likely to have some degree of insulin resistance, meaning that they have trouble managing their blood sugar. Going on a strict low carbohydrate diet is one way to deal with insulin resistance but it’s not the only way.
I prefer a less drastic approach, where we focus on reducing the carbs that are doing the most damage (and contributing the least nutrition) but avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
First, you’d want to eliminate sweetened beverages, fruit juice, candies, pastries, desserts and other things made with sugar and white flour. These are high glycemic carbohydrates, meaning that they are quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. Eating a lot of high glycemic carbs when you have insulin resistance or blood sugar issues is like pouring gasoline on a fire.
See also: What is High Glucose?
Other, more nutritious sources of carbohydrates, such as whole fruit, dairy products, legumes, and whole grains aren’t high glycemic foods–but they’re not low glycemic either. They can certainly be included in your diet. The trick is to consume them in moderation. So, for example, while whole grains are a better choice than refined grains, you still might limit your consumption of whole grain foods to just a couple of servings per day.
Non-starchy vegetables are almost 100% carbohydrate—but these are very low glycemic carbs (not to mention nutritional superstars) No need to limit them.
Just to review: You’re going to largely eliminate high glycemic carbohydrates like sweetened beverages, desserts, white bread and other things made with white flour. You’re going to moderate your intake of moderate glycemic carbohydrates like whole fruit, dairy, legumes, and whole grain foods. And you’re going to load up on low glycemic carbohydrates.like non-starchy vegetables. So far, so good.
- last “
Carbohydrates on a keto or low-carb diet
Carbohydrates, or “carbs”, are one of the macronutrients found in food. They supply one of the body’s potential energy sources. A low-carb or keto way of eating restricts carbs in order to promote weight loss and improve health. Here’s a guide to understanding what carbs are and the possible benefits of reducing them in your diet.
- What are carbs?
- How are carbs processed in the body?
- How are carbs used in our bodies?
- What are the benefits of restricting carbs?
- Do I need a minimum amount of carbs?
- The best carbs to eat on a keto or low-carb diet
- What are “net carbs”?
- How many carbs should I eat per day?
What are carbs?
“Carb” is short for “carbohydrate.” Like the other macros, protein and fat, carbs provide your body with energy (calories).
There are two basic types of carbs in food: starches and sugars.
Starches are made up of long chains of individual glucose (sugar) units that are linked together.
The diagram below is a simplified depiction of the structure of a starch.
Starchy foods generally don’t taste sweet. However, because a starch is just a long chain of sugar (glucose) molecules linked together, once it is digested in the gut, it is absorbed into the blood as pure glucose, raising blood sugar levels.
Examples of foods high in starch
Sugars are much shorter chains compared to starches. In fact, sometimes they are just a single glucose or fructose molecule. However, in food they’re usually two sugar molecules linked together, such as sucrose (glucose and fructose) or lactose (glucose and galactose).
Below are simplified depictions of a sucrose and a lactose molecule.
Sugars are found in whole foods such as many plants and dairy products, but aside from fruit and root vegetables like carrots and beets, these foods don’t taste very sweet. Vegetables, nuts and seeds often have only tiny amounts of sugar.
Examples of whole foods that contain sugar
- Fruit and fruit juice
- Nuts and seeds
- Milk, yogurt and kefir
Processed and packaged foods often contain added sugars. Food manufacturers typically add refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup to their products, although they sometimes use honey or other “natural” sugars that are considered healthier. But sugar is sugar, and your body processes all of it the same way.
Examples of added sugars
- Refined white sugar and all other sugars: brown sugar, raw sugar, beet sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, etc.
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Maple syrup
- Agave nectar
To learn more about sugars and other sweeteners on a low-carb diet, check out our full visual guide:
How are carbs processed in the body?
Starches and two-unit sugars are too big for your body to absorb. Therefore, after you eat carbs, your body produces enzymes that break them down into single sugar units that can be absorbed.
These single sugar units are handled by the body in different ways, and when understanding the effect of carbs on the body, it is especially useful to know the difference between the way that glucose and fructose are absorbed.
Once glucose enters your bloodstream, it causes your blood sugar to rise immediately. This prompts your pancreas to produce insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to move out of your blood and into your cells. How much your blood sugar goes up – and how long it stays elevated – depends on a number of factors, including how many carbs you eat, how much insulin you produce, and how sensitive your cells are to insulin.
On the other hand, fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar the way glucose does. Instead, it goes straight to the liver, where it is converted to glycogen for storage. Your liver can handle small amounts of fructose found in whole foods without difficulty. However, consuming processed foods and beverages high in fructose can overwhelm your liver’s ability to adequately process it. High fructose intake on a regular basis may potentially lead to insulin resistance, fatty liver, and obesity.1 Agave nectar and other “healthy” alternative sweeteners that are high in fructose are often marketed as being “low GI” because they don’t affect blood sugar in the same way. But they may be an even worse choice than plain sugar when it comes to your weight and health.
Importantly, it is generally accepted that there is one component of carbs that isn’t digested and absorbed: fiber. This is because, unlike starch and sugar, your body lacks the enzymes needed to break down fiber2. However, bacteria that live in your gut can digest it. After fiber passes into your colon, these gut bacteria ferment it into short-chain fatty acids, which don’t raise blood sugar and may provide health benefits.3
Importantly, all non-fiber carbs are absorbed and (with the exception of fructose) can raise blood sugar, whether they come from whole or refined grains, fruits, vegetables, or sugar itself.
How are carbs used in our bodies?
Once the carbs you’ve eaten are digested and absorbed, glucose can be used as an energy source by all the cells in your body, including those in your muscles, heart, and brain.
Glucose that isn’t immediately needed by these cells can be stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen (long chains of glucose, similar to starch in food). However, there is a limit to the amount that can be stored. Once your glycogen storage sites are full, any additional glucose from the breakdown of excess carbohydrate will be converted to fat and stored in your body.4
What are the benefits of restricting carbs?
A low-carb diet provides several benefits, especially for people who want to get their blood sugar under control and/or lose weight:
- Lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Elimination of carb cravings.
- Powerful appetite control.
- Ability to go for many hours without eating due to feeling full and satisfied.
More about the benefits of a low-carb diet
Do I need to eat a minimum amount of carbs?
The short answer is no. In fact, you technically do not need to eat any carbs at all. When carbs are restricted, your body switches to using fat and ketones rather than sugar as its main energy source. Aside from your red blood cells and a small portion of your brain and kidneys, which require glucose, your cells can use fatty acids or ketones as fuel.5
Your body is actually capable of making glucose for any cells that need it, even if you don’t eat any carbs. This is because your liver can convert amino acids (found in protein) and glycerol (found in fatty acids) into glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.
In fact, in their 2005 textbook “Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids,” the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine states:
“The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed.”6
Interestingly there are nine essential amino acids found in protein and two essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an “essential” carbohydrate.
However, there are valuable nutrients in many low-carb foods, such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These foods also provide fiber, flavor and texture, which can enhance your eating experience.
Best of all, including them in your diet will still allow you to experience the benefits of a low-carb or keto lifestyle.
The best carbs to eat on a keto or low-carb diet
By choosing your carbs wisely you should still be able to keep your blood sugar within healthy limits, while nourishing your body with important vitamins and minerals. Adding some carbs to your diet may also make your low-carb lifestyle more sustainable, fun, colorful and varied.
Here are some of the best sources of carbs on a keto or low-carb diet:
- Leafy greens
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
What are “net carbs”?
Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates a food contains after subtracting the fiber.
Although it’s generally accepted that the fiber in whole foods isn’t digested and absorbed, not all experts on carb-restricted diets agree on this point. Additionally, in people with type 1 diabetes, fiber may distend the stomach and trigger the release of hormones that raise blood sugar. Therefore, you can either subtract the fiber carbs in whole food to get the ‘net carbs’ or count total carbs, depending on your personal preference and tolerance.
Here is an example of how to calculate net carbs: 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cauliflower contains 5 grams of total carbs, 2 of which come from fiber.
5 grams of total carbs minus 2 grams of fiber = 3 grams of net carbs.
On the other hand, many processed low-carb foods display labels indicating their “net carbs,” which reflect their total carbs minus added fiber and sweeteners known as sugar alcohols. Studies have shown that some of these additives can be partially absorbed and raise your blood sugar.7 Therefore, the term “net carbs” on packaged foods may be very misleading.
When calculating net carbs, only subtract fiber from whole foods. In any case, we recommend sticking to whole foods and avoiding processed and packaged “low-carb” products.
How many carbs should I eat per day?
Not everyone needs the same carb restriction for optimal health. Healthy, physically active and normal weight individuals may not necessarily have to restrict carbs at all, as long as they choose higher-quality, non-processed carbohydrates.
However, for people with a range of health issues or weight problems it’s often beneficial to keep the carb consumption relatively low. The lower, the more effective, for weight loss and for metabolic health problems like type 2 diabetes.
At Diet Doctor, we define three different levels of carb restriction as follows:
- Ketogenic: less than 20 grams of net carbs per day
- Moderate low carb: 20-50 grams of net carbs per day
- Liberal low carb: 50-100 grams of net carbs per day
To learn more about these levels and how to choose the one that’s best for you, be sure to check out our helpful guide.
/ Franziska Spritzler, RD
7 High Fiber Keto Foods
If you’re limiting carbohydrates because you’re on a keto diet, consider this: including fiber-rich carbs in your diet can be very beneficial.
“Fiber is a carbohydrate that humans can’t digest,” Naomi Whittel, Gainesville, Florida-based author of High Fiber Keto, tells Health. “However, it’s still very important for health and can improve digestion, the microbiome (the bacterial balance in and on the body), balance blood sugar and support metabolic health.
The original ketogenic diet—extremely low in all carbohydrates (even veggies), low in protein, and very high in fat—was developed for children with epilepsy who weren’t responding to medication, Summer Yule, RDN, based in Avon, Connecticut, tells Health.
“Many people are now adopting the diet for weight loss,” she says. “In these cases, the macronutrient profile may contain more protein and less fat than in the traditional ketogenic diet.”
RELATED: 10 Top Trending Diets of 2019, According to Google
Even so, keto followers may experience a rise in LDL cholesterol, sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because too much of it can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can increase the risk of heart disease. And that’s where fiber can help. However, many high-fiber foods, like beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are also high in carbs, so they’re limited on the keto diet.
“Including more keto-friendly high-fiber foods in the diet may help improve the person’s lipid profile without having to go off keto,” Yule explains.
Here are some high-fiber, low-carb foods that are allowed on the keto diet.
Low in carbs and high in fiber, lupini beans (aka lupin beans) are perfect for those on keto who are looking for a high-protein, high-fiber snack. Never heard of them? This yellow legume is hot on the heels of the edamame and fava bean as an on-trend nibble for the health-conscious consumer. One cup of cooked lupini beans contains 4.6 grams of fiber—about 19% of the recommended daily value. However, ready-to-eat branded lupini bean snacks often contain even more. “I’ve noticed that the amount of carbs/fiber can vary greatly between lupini bean brands,” says Yule. “To make sure that you are choosing a food that is keto-friendly, be sure to check the label.”
Psyllium husk is a type of fiber commonly used as a gentle, bulk-forming laxative. With no net carbs and a whopping 7 grams of fiber per two tablespoon serving, ground psyllium is an easy way to increase fiber intake on the keto diet. “It works great as a binding agent in recipes,” Yule says. “Just make sure to consume it with plenty of water, coconut water, or juice to avoid dehydration.” Add a tablespoon to your beverage, and you’re good to go.
RELATED: Exactly How Much Fiber You Should Be Eating Every Day, According to Science
If you want to boost your fiber intake on a keto eating plan, make non-starchy veggies like Brussels sprouts a staple, says Yule. Cooked Brussels sprouts contain just 5.5 grams of carbs, including 2 grams of fiber, per one-half cup. Add bacon and mozzarella or Parmesan cheese to your sprouts for a keto-friendly side.
A great choice on any healthy eating plan, artichokes are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium. Plus, a single (large) globe artichoke contains up to 10 grams of fiber, including inulin. “This is a specific prebiotic fiber that feeds beneficial bacteria in the body,” Whittel explains.
You can have fruit on the keto diet, as long as you choose carefully and keep serving sizes small. Whittel suggests blueberries, which can be added to salads and smoothies or eaten as a snack with nuts. “Berries are among the fruits with the highest fiber content yet are relatively low in carbohydrates for a small serving,” she says. For the ultimate high-fiber keto smoothie, mix unsweetened coconut milk, avocado (“the perfect keto food,” according to Whittel), chia seeds, and up to one-half cup of blueberries.
RELATED: Your Ultimate Keto Diet Grocery List
Along with onions, leeks, and chives, garlic is a fiber-filled little package that can add flavor to any keto meal, says Whittel. Garlic butter (garlic cloves, butter, salt, and pepper) is a quick way to add flavor to your keto steaks and chicken fillets.
Raw cacao powder
Chocolate can be part of a keto diet, but choose dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa solids, and preferably more—the greater the cocoa percentage, the lower the carbs. Or even better, go for raw cacao powder. “Cacao powder can be used in smoothies and keto desserts for a boost of nutrition, fiber, and flavor,” says Whittel.
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ICYMI low-carb diets are kind of a big deal right now. Whether you’ve dabbled in the keto diet or you paired up with friends for a post-holiday Whole30, there’s a good chance you’ve heard a thing or two about high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets.
A big downside of the low carb life, however, is the lack of fiber. Fiber is important for managing blood sugar, cholesterol, and digestive health—but when an eating plan calls for cutting back on whole grains, starchy vegetables, and even fruit (all of which are rich in fiber) and you don’t find other sources of fiber…problems may ensue.
“Low-carb diets frequently cause constipation due to a lack of fiber and water-rich foods,” say Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, both registered dietitian nutritionists and creators of the Nutrition Twins. They’re also typically high in animal protein and low in plant-based foods, they say, meaning that people may miss out on antioxidants and other important nutrients commonly found in fruits and vegetables.
So you might be wondering: Is it possible to be low-carb and still include fiber in your diet? With these eight high-fiber, low-carb foods on your side, the answer is definitely yes.
1. Chia seeds
Fiber: 10 grams per ounce
Net carbs: 2 grams per ounce
Vandana Sheth, RDN, the author of My Indian Table – Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes, says it’s a no-brainer that this seed makes the list—just look at that fiber count! “They also provide omega-3 fats and are heart-healthy,” she says. “Enjoy them in a variety of ways including a simple chia pudding.”
2. Blackberries and raspberries
Fiber: 8 grams per cup (blackberries); 8 grams per cup (raspberries)
Net carbs: 6 grams per cup (blackberries); 7 grams per cup (raspberries).
Fresh berries with heavy whipped cream are a favorite treat on a low-carb diet and now there’s even more of a reason to snack on them—the average cup of blackberries or raspberries packs eight grams of fiber, Sheth says.
Fiber: 6 grams per two tablespoons
Net carbs: 0 grams per two tablespoons
Want a simple way to add fiber to your arugula salad? Sprinkle on two tablespoons of ground flaxseed, says Sheth. “It provides little to no carb impact,” she says. “And comes with a lot of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”
Fiber: 5 grams per ounce (shredded, unsweetened)
Net carbs: 2 grams per ounce
Coconut deserves more love outside of coconut oil. Not only is it “a great way to add some sweet flavor into your low-carb diet,” says Nora Minno, RDN, a dietitian and certified personal trainer in New York City, it’s also impressively high in fiber. “Blend into sauces or eat plain as a post-meal treat,” Minno says.
Fiber: 3 grams per ounce
Net carbs: 5 grams per ounce
Is it even a low-carb diet if you haven’t thrown together a DIY trail mix to stash in your bag for hunger emergencies? According to the Nutrition Twins, you might want to make sure you also mix in a healthy dose of pistachios while you’re at it.
“Low-carbohydrate diets tend to be high in animal protein, and pistachios offer a plant-based alternative by providing protein and fiber for staying power,” Shames and Lakatos say. “Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free food and 90 percent of the fat in pistachios is the healthy, unsaturated type.”
Fiber: 2 grams per cup (chopped)
Net carbs: 3 grams per cup (chopped)
Yet another reason behind our enduring cauliflower mania: its inherent low-carb, high-fiber nature. “If you walk the aisles of a grocery store today, you’ll be sure to find all sorts of different cauliflower products popping up — cauliflower pizza crusts, rices, chips, the list goes on,” says Minno. “That’s because cauliflower makes a great low-carb substitute for traditional wheat-based foods.” Minno adds that cauliflower contains about 70 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and is rich in antioxidants. Win-win.
7. Red cabbage
Fiber: 2 grams per cup (chopped)
Net carbs: 5 grams per cup (chopped)
Want to get a dose of fiber and heart-healthy nutrients? Look no further than red cabbage, say Shames and Lakatos. “Red cabbage—which is 92 percent water—is a great way to get both fluid and fiber to promote a healthy digestive tract and regularity, as well as the elimination of waste and toxins through stool,” they say. Red cabbage is also rich in anthocyanins, which are known to help suppress inflammation and fight against cancer and heart disease.
Fiber: 1 gram per cup
Net carbs: 2 grams
No matter the mushroom you favor—portobello, shiitake or crimini—they are a solid choice when you want a boost of fiber without a lot of carbs, says Scott Keatley, RDN, owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. They also boast a “whole host of vitamins and minerals that you may miss out on when you go low-carb,” he says. Bonus? “They don’t taste like they are high in fiber and go on everything,” he adds.
Looking for more nutrient-rich foods? Check out these low-sugar fruits and iron-rich foods.
Some people experience constipation on low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets and worry that it is due to a lack of fiber. If you are one of them, take heart! Fiber is not the answer! What is? Read on…
The authors of Keto Clarity, Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman, acknowledge that some people develop constipation on ketogenic diets, and offer some recommendations about how to address the problem, including drinking enough water, increasing non-starchy, fibrous vegetable intake, and using sugar-free candy containing sugar alcohols as a mild laxative. I do agree that these approaches may certainly be helpful for some. However, if you have tried these ideas and they haven’t worked for you, or if you have trouble with constipation no matter what kind of diet you eat, I would like to offer some insights that I hope you will find useful. Most people believe that constipation is caused by a lack of fiber in the diet, but this is actually not so. My opinion, based on clinical and personal experience, common sense, and lots of reading of the scientific literature, is this:
Constipation is usually caused by something you ARE eating,
not by something you’re NOT eating.
Lack of fiber does not cause constipation. In fact, fiber can actually CAUSE constipation! Take a look at this 2012 study that proves it:
Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms. Ho KS et al. World J Gastroenterol 2012;18(33): 4593-4596.
“This study has confirmed that the previous strongly-held belief that the application of dietary fiber to help constipation is but a myth. Our study shows a very strong correlation between improving constipation and its associated symptoms after stopping dietary fiber intake.”
Plenty of people and animals have eaten mostly-meat/all-meat diets and do not suffer from constipation, and plenty of people eat high-fiber diets and even vegan diets and suffer from constipation.
If you are lucky enough not to have constipation on a regular diet and then develop constipation on a ketogenic diet, it is almost certainly not because you are eating more meat and less fiber. Ask any gastroenterologist or physiologist and they will tell you this: Meat and fat are easily and completely digestible!! Fiber, on the other hand, is partially or wholly INdigestible by definition (for more information about the nature of fiber see my article entitled Pulp Fiction). Unless you have certain uncommon digestive diseases such as pancreatic insufficiency or have had certain surgical procedures that interfere with normal digestion, such as gastric bypass surgery, you simply will not find undigested meat or fat exiting your body, whereas everyone is guaranteed to find plenty of undigested vegetable matter, right?
If you experience constipation on a ketogenic diet, it is not because you are eating less fiber; it is most likely because you have started eating something that you were not eating before (or a larger amount of something you didn’t eat much of before) that is hard for you to digest. In order to eat a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, limited protein, ultra-low-carb diet, most people find themselves turning to high amounts of foods that are notoriously difficult to digest, including nuts, low-starch vegetables such as crucifers, and full-fat dairy products .These foods just so happen to be 3 of the top 5 causes of chronic constipation, regardless of what kind of diet you choose to eat.
One more consideration—sometimes food sensitivities can cause constipation in certain individuals, so if you have eliminated the 5 most common constipation culprits and still have difficulty, consider that you may be uniquely sensitive to something that most people have no trouble digesting. Examples that come to mind are eggs and beef. Eggs are among the top 9 common food sensitivity culprits, and beef can cause trouble for some people who don’t do well with dairy products because of a cross-reactivity related to cow proteins. These are unusual experiences, but worth mentioning.
Many plant foods—especially stems, seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes—are challenging to digest (which is why herbivores—animals who eat an all-plant diet—have special digestive strategies such as chewing all day long and carrying around extra stomachs). Fruit, however, is easy to digest—so easy, in fact, that eating too much of it can cause the opposite of constipation! Ketogenic diets tend to contain little if any fruit, because most fruit is too high in carbohydrate. However, there are some low-carbohydrate fruits that we think of as vegetables—foods like cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, avocado, okra, and olives—that you can enjoy on your low-carbohydrate diet (so long as you count their carbohydrate content and don’t overdo it) that will aid speedy digestion. Just remember: any “vegetable” that contains seeds is actually a fruit in disguise and should be easy to digest if ripe.
So if you experience constipation on your ketogenic diet, don’t blame the meat, fat, or lack of fiber. Take a look at what you’re eating and see if you can identify your culprit. With a little tweaking, you should be happily on your way!
Tagged with: Constipation • ketogenic diet • ketosis • low-carbohydrate diet
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Are you eating enough fiber from your low carb and ketogenic diet? Some people are afraid that they won’t get enough fiber on keto because keto diet restricts a lot of sweet fruits and starchy vegetables.
The truth is you can get more than enough fiber on keto if you know how and where to get them.
In this article, we will show you a list of best low carb foods that also have high amount of fiber.
What is Dietary Fiber?
Dietary fiber is a type of carb that we don’t digest, and which passes through our intestines. In addition to that, some types of fiber feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut, which makes them prebiotics (not to be confused with probiotics, which is the bacteria itself) (1).
Because of the fact that we don’t actually digest most fiber, it helps us with digestion and gut health; soluble fiber (the type of fiber that dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance) is especially beneficial for preventing constipation.
Fiber will help you feel fuller for longer periods of time and will also keep blood sugar levels in check; keto is already very beneficial for both of these things, so making sure your fiber intake stays adequate can help even further.
Additionally, fiber can lower blood pressure and LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol levels, thus helping keep cardiovascular disease at bay (2).
When you start doing keto, however, you’ll notice that many fiber sources are now off-limits, such as legumes, oats, and fruits.
So how do you keep your fiber intake stable while doing keto?
There are a few things to consider when discussing fiber, though.
First of all, not everyone seems to need the same amount of fiber to be in peace with their intestines – some people can experience bloating and gas if they consume more fiber than what they’re used to, and if you’re not struggling with constipation, you might not really need to consume more fiber.
Additionally, once you start doing keto, you might notice that you’re going to the toilet less often. If this is not accompanied with constipation and discomfort, it might not really be a problem – the keto diet is a low-waste type of diet, and changing what you eat will inevitably have an impact on your bowel movements. This isn’t a bad thing and your body will soon adapt to it.
Whenever you’re increasing your fiber consumption, you also need to make sure you’re drinking enough water, as otherwise, you might end up dehydrated.
And lastly, you should avoid high-fiber bars and the like. Most of them will not be keto-friendly anyway, and your best bet when improving your diet (and therefore, health) is to stick to whole foods – they will help you stay full for longer and will provide you with important micronutrients.
So, what are the best keto-friendly sources of fiber that you can add into your keto plan?
Below you can find some of the best sources of fiber that are also low-carb.
Best Sources of Fiber for Low Carb and Keto Diet
#1. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are an amazing addition to your diet, and a great source of fiber, while being very low in net carbs – one tablespoon (7 g / 0.24 oz) of ground flax seeds contains 37 calories, 1.9 g of fiber and only 0.1 g net carbs. Pretty neat, huh?
Flax seeds help you stay fuller for longer, and help lower blood pressure, in addition to improving your cholesterol profile (3).
When buying flax seeds, remember to look for ground seeds, as the whole ones are very difficult to absorb. You can add flax seeds to salads, soups, or keto bread & desserts.
If you add just a little (say, a ½ tablespoon per serving of soup) it will pass almost unnoticed, but it can also be used to add thickness and flavor.
We’ve previously covered flax seeds in detail, so make sure to read our article here!
#2. Chia Seeds
Chia is an excellent source of fiber – a single serving of 1 oz (28 g) will give you 10 g of fiber and only 2 g net carbs. Additionally, it is a rather good source of protein and fat, containing 4.4 g protein, and 8.6 g fat.
Chia seeds are also renowned for their high calcium content (a single serving already gives you around 1/5 of your daily dose), which might be especially beneficial for those of you who don’t consume dairy.
#3. Raw Coconut
Ah, coconut! One of our all-time favorites. You can eat it raw, or use coconut flour to make keto desserts, or use its oil or milk for cooking.
Raw coconut is a good source of MCTs, manganese, copper, selenium, and potassium. Additionally, some of the types of fat that coconut contains, such as the capric, lauric and caprylic fatty acids, are thought to be beneficial for your immune system, helping it fight pathogens.
These healthy fats are extracted from coconut to make MCT Oil.
Spinach is an excellent addition to any diet, due to its numerous health benefits (lowering blood pressure, improving bone health, improved diabetes management, among others), and it’s one of the staples for many people who are doing the keto diet (4).
A 100 g serving (3.5 oz) of raw spinach contains only 1.4 g net carbs and 2.2 g fiber, plus 0.4 g fat and 2.9 g protein, and a total of 23 calories. Additionally, spinach is a good source of magnesium and potassium, which are both very important on keto.
Spinach is super versatile and you can eat it raw, sautéed, in soups, in smoothies, as a side dish, in an omelet, and many more.
Avocado is very different from most fruits out there – instead of being carb-heavy, like fruits usually are, it is rich in healthy fats and has an excellent nutritional profile.
It is a good source of potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B5 and B6, and more, making it great for the prevention of osteoporosis and certain types of cancer (5, 6, 7).
Half an avocado (approx. 100 g or 3.4 oz) contains 161 calories, 14.7 g fats, 2 g protein and only 1.9 g net carbs while giving you 6.7 g fiber.
And did you know that avocados contain more potassium than bananas, which are the most-often quoted potassium-rich food?
A cup of chopped broccoli (91 g / 3.2 oz) contains 30.9 calories, 0.3 g fat, 2.6 g protein, 3.6 g net carbs, and 2.4 g fiber.
Broccoli is anti-inflammatory due to its high content of sulfur compounds and is an excellent source of Vitamin K, folate, manganese and potassium.
Quickly steaming broccoli for about 3 t0 5 minutes (instead of boiling it or frying it, for example) guarantees better retention of Vitamin C and other micronutrients, and leaves it slightly crunchy and more flavourful.
Cauliflower is one of the favorite foods of many ketoers, due to its neutral taste and versatility.
You can use it to make purees, steam it, or even use it as an excellent low-carb rice substitute.
A cup of raw cauliflower (100 g / 3.5 oz) contains 25 calories, 0.1 g fat, 2 g protein, 2.8 net carbs and 2 g fiber.
As with broccoli, the best way to cook it is to steam it instead of boil it or to sautée it quickly.
Like this, it will preserve most of its beneficial micronutrients (Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, choline, and Vitamin B6 among others).
Eggplants are high in antioxidants and are very nutrient-rich. Additionally, they may help prevent heart disease, improve blood sugar control, and fight certain types of cancer (8, 9).
One cup of eggplant cubes (82 g / 2.9 oz) contains 20 calories, 0.2 g fat, 0.8 g protein, 1.9 g net carbs and 2.8 g fiber.
They are a good source of potassium, copper, manganese, and Vitamins B1, B6, and B3. Their creamy texture makes them an excellent addition to many keto dishes.
Asparagus is a good source of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as of potassium, phosphorus, and folate.
It contains antioxidants that help reduce the effects of aging and chronic inflammation; additionally, it will help stabilize blood pressure and will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (10).
A cup of raw asparagus (134 g / 4.7 oz) contains 27 calories, 0.2 g fat, 2.9 protein, 2.2 g net carbs and 2.8 g fiber.
You can sautée it, boil it, grill it, steam it, or cook it in the oven. In most grocery stores you can find canned asparagus, which is precooked and can be consumed straight away.
Mushrooms are beneficial for blood sugar control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. They are high in potassium, Vitamin C and B Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9), and also contribute to lowering cholesterol levels and improving immunity.
A 100 g (3.5 oz) serving of white mushrooms contains 22 calories, 0.3 g fat, 3.1 g protein, 2.3 g net carbs and 1 g fiber. There are many, many types of mushrooms out there, so you might want to check out the local varieties that you could find at farmers’ markets, for example.
#11. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have different varieties – green, yellow, red, orange, purple – and each one of them will have a slightly different nutritional profile.
They’re all incredibly healthy, though, and a very good addition to anyone’s diet.
All of them are rich in fiber and also in Vitamin C and E, and yellow, orange and red peppers are also a very good source of carotenoids.
One medium green bell pepper (119 g / 4.2 oz) of contains 24 calories, 0.2 g fat, 1 g protein, 3.5 g net carbs and 2 g fiber. You can enjoy bell peppers raw, stir-fried, as a part of an omelet, and many more.
Radishes can be an excellent addition to many different salads, or you can just use them as a quick and easy snack.
Because of their high isothiocyanate content, they are protective against certain types of cancer and are rich in Vitamin C. They have antifungal properties, too (11, 12, 13).
Half a cup of sliced radishes (58 g / 2 oz) contains only 9.3 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.4 g protein, 1.1 g net carbs and 0.9 g fiber.
Zucchini can be used to make zoodles, a low-carb pasta alternative that many people love, or added to plenty of different dishes or soups, or even eaten raw.
They are rich in carotenoids, manganese and Vitamin C. Additionally, they contribute to bone health due to their high Vitamin K content.
A cup of chopped zucchini (124 g / 4.4 oz) contains 20 calories, 0.2 g fat, 1.5 g protein, 2.8 g net carbs and 1.4 g fiber.
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, biotin and Vitamin K among others. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, which is excellent news for anyone following the keto diet – replenishing your electrolytes is a must.
Tomatoes can help protect against certain types of cancer and are an effective tool in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
Carotenoids contained in tomatoes are best absorbed when combined with a type of healthy fat, such as avocado or olive oil, and you can combine all three in lots of different salads.
Can Fiber Kick You Out of Ketosis?
To get in ketosis, most people need to maintain around 20-25g of net carb per day. Fiber will not kick you out of ketosis because your body doesn’t really digest fiber.
Do You Need a Fiber Supplement for Keto?
Not necessarily, but some people decide to use one and find it helpful. The best way to get enough fiber is through diet, i.e. by eating plenty of low-carb high-fiber vegetables, as the ones above. There are many awesome ways to cook them.
That’s one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get your daily carbs from vegetables, and not just from anything because many of them are so rich in dietary fiber and essential micronutrients.
Tracking apps will let you see how much fiber you’re having daily, but if you weren’t tracking your food intake before starting keto, you won’t know what your starting point was. Sometimes it’s not only the amount of fiber we’re getting and whether it’s sufficient, but also the change in fiber intake, if it’s a drastic one.
If you were getting much less fiber prior to starting keto (which is also possible), you’ll also experience some GI-upset; if you were getting much more than your current fiber intake, it’ll take some time to adapt.
Aim for getting 20-25 g of dietary fiber per day, but keep in mind that not everyone needs exactly the same amount. Some people do better with less (or more). You’ll need to try it out and see what works best for yourself.
If you are experiencing side effects from not having enough fiber (the most common one is constipation), and if you’re way below the recommended number on a daily basis, you could get a fiber supplement.
Keep in mind that constipation is a common side-effect from keto, and it will usually resolve with time, and it might not necessarily be a symptom of insufficient fiber. If you’re mindful of your fiber intake, but this still doesn’t help, you could consider adding a supplement.
If you want to add more fibers into your diet, there are certain types of keto-friendly fiber supplements you can have such as ground flaxseed, psyllium husk powder or acacia fiber.
For more information, check out our article on the topic.
There are plenty of ways to include fiber to your diet, even when doing keto – in fact, if you stick to whole foods and get a few servings of low-carb vegetables daily, you will certainly not experience a lack of fiber.
Whenever you’re changing the amount of fiber you’re eating (in either direction), your body will need a couple of days to adapt to it, but you’ll soon find out what feels best for you – which might not be exactly the same as what feels best for other people.
Vegetables, besides generally being a good source of fiber, contain a lot of different micronutrients that have numerous health benefits, and many of them are low in net carbs, so there’s no reason to avoid them on keto.
Up next: Top 12 Keto-friendly Collagen Rich Foods
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Some people criticize the keto diet for being low in dietary fiber. While it’s true that most low-carb ketogenic foods don’t have as much fiber as grains, fruits, or legumes, there are still plenty of keto-friendly foods that can supply your diet with fiber.
If you’ve ever experienced constipation, diarrhea, or other gut issues on keto, fiber intake is one factor to consider. On the other hand, depending on your individual microbiome, a high-fiber diet may not be the best solution to your gut problems.
Read on to learn how to cultivate healthy gut bacteria, how much fiber to eat, and how to get enough fiber on the ketogenic diet using healthy, keto-friendly fiber sources.
Birthday Cake Keto Bars are here!
The answer to your sweet tooth. 17g of fat, 3g of net carbs, incredibly delicious.
What is Dietary Fiber?
The term dietary fiber refers to the indigestible carbohydrates and lignins (plant fibers) found in plants. Most fiber comes from the cell walls of plants, where it functions similarly to a skeleton and helps plants maintain their shape and structural integrity.
There are two main types of dietary fiber, based on their solubility in water: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber is soluble in water. It forms a viscous, gel-like substance when it is mixed with water. Gut bacteria in your colon ferment soluble fiber into gases and other byproducts, including short-chain fatty acids. Soluble fiber is also called prebiotic fiber, because it feeds your gut bacteria.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are high in soluble fiber. Eating soluble fiber slows gastric emptying and increases your feeling of fullness.
In contrast insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, is inert to digestive enzymes in your upper gastrointestinal tract. While some forms of insoluble fiber (like resistant starch) can ferment in your colon, most insoluble fiber moves through your digestive system relatively unchanged, absorbing water as it goes, eventually adding bulk to your stool and easing your bowel movements.
Insoluble fiber occurs in nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, some vegetables, some fruits, and in the skin of fruits like kiwi, grapes, plums, and tomatoes.
7 Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber
#1: Improves Gut Health (Sometimes)
You have around 100 trillion bacteria living in your intestines, give or take a few trillion. Dietary fiber feeds the beneficial, probiotic gut bacteria that comprise your microbiome.
However, if your microbiome is out of balance, eating prebiotics can also feed gut bacteria that may be harmful to your health. That’s why not everyone benefits from upping their fiber intake.
Keeping your gut flora in balance decreases inflammation in your body, helps you maintain a healthy body weight, reduces your risk of many diseases, and even supports cognition and brain health.
#2: Appetite Reduction
Soluble fiber absorbs water that’s in your intestine, slowing the absorption of food in the process. This type of fiber also contributes to feelings of fullness.
When you feel full from eating fiber, you’re less likely to overeat because your appetite is reduced. The appetite lowering effects of fiber are not universal, but it’s worth a try if you have trouble with cravings or eating too much food.
#3: Lowers Blood Sugar
As followers of the keto diet followers already know, high blood sugar levels are toxic to your health. Excessive carb intake spikes your blood glucose, which can cause insulin resistance. And if you’re insulin resistant, your fasting blood glucose levels stay high. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to type 2 diabetes..
Because fiber can slow your digestion, it also smooths out the elevation of blood glucose after you finish the meal. In other words, when you consume carbohydrates, eating extra fiber lowers the glycemic index of the meal.
#4: Weight Loss
Eating more fiber can help you lose weight by reducing your appetite, lowering your blood sugar, and changing the composition of your microbiome.
#5: Decreases Risk of Some Cancers
Dietary fiber can decrease your risk of colon cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. In one study, eating about 18 grams of fiber per day reduced all-cause cancer mortality risk by 24%, and lowered the chances of dying from colorectal-anal cancers by 58%.
The anti-cancer benefits of eating enough fiber probably come from increased production of short-chain fatty acids like butyrate from your microbiome, and from lower blood sugar after meals.
#6: Relieves Constipation
Technically, the National Institute of Health (NIH) defines constipation as having fewer than three bowel movements per week, or dry, hard, stools that are difficult to pass. But if you aren’t having a bowel movement once or twice per day, you are at the very least mildly constipated.
If you’re constipated, fiber can be your friend. Soluble fiber can enhance your microbiome health, while insoluble fiber bulks up your stools and moves them along. However, not everyone benefits–some people experience worsening of symptoms, or other side-effects from increasing their fiber intake.
Along with increasing fiber in your diet, be sure to drink enough water and get regular physical activity. If upping your fiber intake, hydrating, and exercising don’t help, talk to your doctor.
#7: Reduces Cholesterol
According to a meta-analysis of 76 controlled trials, adding an extra two to ten grams of soluble fiber each day can reduce your LDL and total cholesterol. Other reviews of studies have found similar results.
Fiber may work to reduce cholesterol by altering the metabolites of gut bacteria, which can change the way your body processes cholesterol.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
It depends on who you ask. Fiber guidelines and studies don’t necessarily agree as to the precise amount of fiber you need for optimal health. And while some guidelines assume you’re eating whole grains that contribute to your dietary fiber intake, that isn’t true of people following a low-carb diet.
At the higher end, the USDA dietary guidelines for Americans recommend approximately 25-31 grams per day of fiber for teenage and adult men and women, while the National Academy of Science recommendation is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women.
But do you need that much fiber to stay healthy? Perhaps not. Several different large reviews of dozens of studies have found that eating more fiber than the average person can reduce your risk of dying from both heart disease and cancer by at least 10%. The benefits of eating fiber in these studies occurred with a total daily fiber intake between 18-26 grams, much lower than the USDA and NAS recommendations.
On the low side of the spectrum, a separate large study demonstrated a 23% reduction in cancer death risk and 13% reduction of all-cause mortality among healthy adults with a daily intake of about 9-15 grams of insoluble fiber plus 5-8 grams of soluble fiber per day, for a total of 14-23 grams of fiber per day
To figure out the correct amount of fiber for your body, try experimenting. If you’re on the keto diet, start with 15-20 grams of total dietary fiber per day from a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber for several weeks, then consider adding 3-5 grams at a time as needed to see how you feel. Remember that some people actually feel worse when they boost their fiber intake.
Fiber vs. Net Carbs
Because dietary fiber is not assimilated by the digestive enzymes in your small intestine, it does not raise your blood sugar. Although fiber is technically a carbohydrate, it doesn’t count towards your net carb intake for the day.
To calculate net carbohydrates, subtract dietary fiber from total carbs. To figure out how many net carbs to eat, try the Perfect Keto Macro Calculator.
Does Everyone Need Fiber?
If you follow the ketogenic diet, moderate fiber intake is probably sufficient. You may recall from an earlier section that many of the benefits of high fiber diets come from the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in your gut, which alter gene expression and reduce inflammation in your body.
If you eat a high-fat keto diet, your diet already includes plenty of butyrate and other SCFAs, and your body also makes anti-inflammatory ketones like beta-hydroxybutyrate.
Another significant benefit of the ketogenic diet is that you avoid the big spikes in blood glucose levels caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption. Because some of the benefits of eating dietary fiber come from improved glycemic control, your fiber needs may be further reduced on the keto diet since your glycemic control comes from eating very few carbs.
Top 11 Sources of Fiber For a Keto Diet
#1: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds provide calcium, phosphorus, and manganese, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
An ounce of chia seeds has a mighty 10.6 grams of dietary fiber and 1.7 grams of net carbs.
Flaxseeds provide alpha-linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. They also contain plenty of thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Just one ounce of flaxseeds has an incredible 7.6 grams of fiber and 0.5 grams of net carbs.
Avocados are one of the top sources of fiber on the keto diet, as well as a perfect source of healthy fats. This fruit is savory, creamy, and loaded with fresh flavor.
A large avocado weighing about 200 grams has a whopping 13.5 grams of dietary fiber and just 3.6 grams of net carbs.
#4: Raw coconut
Coconut is a delicious and versatile food item that offers manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, iron, folate, and phytosterols, plus medium-chain triglycerides and other healthy saturated fats.
One cup (83 grams) of raw, shredded coconut provides an impressive 7.2 grams of dietary fiber and 5 grams of net carbs.
#5: Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Whole roasted pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are an excellent snack item. They are high in protein and fat and also provide zinc, copper, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
An ounce of pepitas has 3 grams of dietary fiber and 1 grams of net carbs.
Pecans are among the lowest of low-carb nuts, and they also provide healthy fats, thiamin, manganese, and copper.
A one-ounce serving of pecans has 2.7 grams of fiber and 1.2 grams of net carbs.
#7: Collard Greens and Other Leafy Greens
Collards and other leafy greens are high in fiber and low in starchy carbs. They’re also packed with folate and vitamins K, A, and C. Most leafy greens like collards and spinach cook down dramatically, so if you want to up your fiber intake more easily, cook your greens.
A 100 gram serving of collard greens has 3.6 grams of dietary fiber and 2.1 grams of net carbs.
Along with plenty of fiber, almonds offer vitamin E, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
An ounce of almonds has 3.3 grams of fiber and 2.1 grams of net carbs.
#9: Broccoli and Other Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage contain sulforaphane, diindolylmethane, and other cancer-fighting compounds. They’re all high in fiber and relatively low in net carbs.
A small cooked broccoli stalk (140 grams) contains 4.6 grams of fiber and 5.5 grams of net carbs.
#10: Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in different color varieties like green, yellow, red, orange, and purple Each one varies slightly in its nutritional profile, but all of them are ultra-healthy and loaded with vitamins C and E.
A one-cup (149 gram) serving of chopped raw red bell peppers has 3.1 grams of fiber and 6.3 grams of net carbs.
Mushrooms are high in potassium and Vitamins C and B, and also help improve your immune function.
A cup of diced raw portobello mushrooms (83 grams) contains 1.3 grams of fiber and 3.1 grams of net carbs, while an equivalent amount of raw oyster mushrooms has 2 grams of fiber and 3.6 grams of net carbs.
What About Fiber Supplements?
Although fiber supplements are popular, you don’t need to supplement fiber if you eat a well-rounded diet with healthy whole foods. Most people who take fiber supplements are compensating for a diet that lacks healthy sources of fiber like vegetables.
When you supplement fiber instead of eating enough whole food fiber sources, you miss out on the beneficial micronutrients and phytonutrients found in plant foods.
Remember that prebiotics like soluble fiber feed all bacteria, beneficial and otherwise. Adding prebiotics to an unhealthy gut is like adding fuel to a fire.
If prebiotics or fiber supplements cause symptoms like major gas, bloating, cramping or pain, go see your functional medicine doctor. It could be a sign of dysbiosis or SIBO.
If you have gut dysbiosis or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), you may consider trying a low FODMAP diet (which is also low in fiber) for a few months before upping your fiber consumption again.
The Takeaway: Fiber On Keto
On a low-carb, high-fat keto diet, your fiber needs are significantly reduced because you aren’t as reliant on fiber for glycemic control or to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
If you are constipated or having other problems with your bowel movements, be sure to obtain regular physical activity and stay hydrated. Being outside in the sun can also help your gut health, in part by providing vitamin D. Adding some extra fiber may help too, but that’s not the case for everyone.
Some people experience diarrhea when starting the keto diet because of the increased production of bile, but it typically goes away within a few weeks. Diarrhea on keto is usually not due to a lack of dietary fiber.
To address gut bacteria problems, begin by eliminating processed foods and sugary drinks. Then you can try adding more fiber to your diet if necessary.
Remember that adding fiber to your diet provides energy for all bacteria, not just beneficial strains. If adding fiber doesn’t address your symptoms, speak to a functional medicine about how to balance your microbiome using a low FODMAP diet and other tools.
And if you do decide to add fiber, ensure it comes from real food, not supplements.
So far you couldn’t be more impressed with your results after starting a ketogenic diet. There’s one problem though; you may not be eating enough high fiber low carb foods.
If you’re feeling unsure whether eating such high levels of fat is optimal for long-term health. Continue reading to discover how the ketogenic diet can be done in a way that is very healthy. By adding these nutritious high fiber low carb foods into your keto diet plan for maximized health benefits.
1. Build Better Bones with Mustard Greens
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 3.2g : 4.7g
This peppery-tasting green is a literal powerhouse of nutrition.
Their high-fiber content will help keep you regular. They’re also very high in antioxidants, which your body uses to fight free radical damage (that can lead to premature aging and a host of other diseases!).
But the main attraction for mustard greens is their high vitamin K content. A serving of this peppery-tasting greens will provide you with 524% of your daily recommended intake for this bone-building vitamin.
Are you confused about how to cook mustard greens?
Due to their stronger flavour profile, they’re the perfect addition to dishes that contain milder-tasting ingredients like celery, onions, turkey, and chicken. As a side dish, try sauteing your mustard greens with a bit of olive oil and garlic.
2. Prevent Heart Disease with Chicory
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 4g : 4.7g
Chicory has two popular uses for low-carb dieters: as a sweetener and as a tasty coffee alternative.
In addition to being excellent for digestion due to its high inulin content, which acts as a form of food for the good bacteria in your gut, chicory is also a potent preventative measure one can take against heart disease.
The inulin that serves as a dinner for your gut microbes also reduces the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels in your body. LDL cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis and the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
3. Grow Luscious Locks with Endive
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 3.1g : 3.4g
Do you suffer from dry and damaged hair that no amount of conditioning shampoo can fix?
You’ll definitely want to increase your consumption of endives then since this humble vegetable is packed full of nutrients that grow strong, long, and shiny hair.
Vitamin A helps ensure oil balance on the scalp, which is needed for shiny and smooth hair. And endive’s high vitamin E content helps stimulate hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp.
4. Detox your Body with Collard Greens
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 4g : 5g
In addition to acting as a great low-carb alternative to the bread used in your favourite turkey wraps, collard greens also prove to be packed full of nutrition and are an effective detoxifier of your body.
Their detox properties are due to their high isothiocyanates (ITCs) content, which is said to detox the body at the cellular level.
These potent little compounds also activate detoxification enzymes that block free radical damage that harms your DNA. And in today’s pollution-filled and chemical-laden world, your body needs all of the detoxification help it can get!
5. Support your Thyroid with Spinach
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 2.2g : 3.6g
Maybe the only memories you have of spinach is of the wilted and soggy green mess being dumped from a can onto your dinner plate. But don’t let sad childhood memories prevent you from taking advantage of this nutritious and low-carb vegetable.
Among many other benefits, spinach will help support your thyroid due to its high iodine content, which is important if you want to have a properly working metabolism.
The addition of a ‘good’ fat like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado helps the body to digest the oxalates in spinach.
6. Protect your Skin with Broccoli
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 2.6g : 7g
Roasted with coconut oil and a bit of sea salt, broccoli can can be a tasty and highly nutritious food to add to your ketogenic diet.
In addition to being a high-fibre food that will keep you satiated to prevent you from overeating, broccoli can also protect your skin from UV ray damage.
Broccoli is high in glucoraphanin, a phytonutrient that will protect your skin from signs of premature aging including wrinkles and age spots!
Looking for a yummy keto friendly broccoli recipe?
Try our Broccoli and Coconut Soup…
7. Fix your Leaky Gut with Brussel Sprouts
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 3.8g : 9g
Do you suffer from any number of symptoms caused by a leaky gut including gas, bloating, brain fog, and indigestion?
The best solution is to add brussel sprouts to your grocery list to gain the benefits this high-fiber vegetable can impart.
The sulforaphane content helps prevent bacterial overgrowth in your gut, and the glucosinolates found in brussel sprouts work to protect and maintain the integrity of the lining in your digestive tract and stomach.
8. Control Blood Sugar Levels with Artichokes
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 3.8g : 9g
Traditionally used as a liver tonic and hangover cure, artichokes can also help you manage your diabetes by helping you keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Artichokes’ high fiber content ensures that the sugar from the food you eat is absorbed into the blood more slowly. Meaning you won’t experience the spikes and dips that are often an inevitable byproduct of eating the standard western diet.
9. Prevent UTI’s with Asparagus
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 2.1g : 3.9g
Most of us are familiar with the pungent odour of our urine after dining on asparagus, but did you know that these green stalks have a beneficial impact on your urinary tract?
Asparagus is a natural diuretic.
Since UTIs can be caused by not urinating enough, loading up on asparagus can help prevent these annoying infections by moving bad bacteria out of the urinary tract.
10. Protect your Eyes with Bok Choy
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 1g : 2.2g
Although carrots have been touted as the ultimate vegetable for maintaining your eyesight because of its high levels of beta-carotene. You may want to consider bok choy as a suitable alternative for this vision-supporting nutrient. You’ll get a good dose of beta-carotene without the high carb count.
In fact, one cup of bok choy will give you the RDA of beta-carotene, which will protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Beta-carotene can also improve vision in conditions of low light and help treat dry eyes.
11. Prevent Cancer with Cauliflower
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 2g : 5g
Who would have guessed that such an innocuous looking vegetable could be such a powerful force in preventing the occurrence of cancer?
Cauliflower has been shown to be effective in preventing a variety of cancers including cancers of the breast, colon, liver, lungs, and stomach.
Cauliflower, like other cruciferous vegetables, contains a compound called glucosinolate, which is used by the body to help repair DNA and slow the growth of mutated cells.
You can tell if a vegetable contains this cancer-fighting compound if it gives off a sulphur smell. The trademark scent of cruciferous vegetables when they are cooked.
Try our amazing Keto Thai Chicken Curry, served with cauliflower rice.
12. Prevent Asthma with Zucchini
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 1g : 3.1g
Making a keto-friendly lasagna with zucchini instead of inflammation-inducing grain-based noodles is not only tasty, it can help you prevent asthma and other lung-related diseases.
Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system.
A strong immune system is needed to fight bacterial infections in the respiratory system. At the same time, zucchini’s anti-inflammatory properties help keep the lungs open.
If you are looking for a simple way to include more zucchini in your keto diet, one of my favourite ways is using “Zoodles” aka Zucchini Noodles.
Try our Easy Pho Recipe with Zucchini Noodles, I know you will love it!
13. Beat Muscle Cramps with Swiss Chard
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 1.6g : 3.7g
An unfortunate symptom that can sometimes accompany a transition to the ketogenic lifestyle are painful muscle cramps. If you’re sick of waking up in the middle of the night with intolerable cramps, then consider upping your intake of swiss chard.
This leafy green is high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which reduces muscle cramps and pain that is the result of a magnesium deficiency. Get 38% of your daily magnesium needs for every cup of cooked swiss chard.
14. Treat Osteoarthritis with Radishes
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 1.6g : 3.4g
If you’re sick and tired of your knees creaking and your hips aching from a lifetime of wear and tear, then add a few more radishes to your diet.
Radishes are high in vitamin C, which is needed to make collagen.Collagen makes up the cartilage that acts a buffer between joints in the body.
At the same time, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps prevent further damage to cartilage, which can prevent your osteoarthritis from getting worse.
15. Prevent Signs of Aging with Romaine Lettuce (Cos)
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 2.1g : 3.3g
Whether playing a supporting role in your caesar salad or as the base for your keto-friendly tacos, romaine lettuce (or Cos as us Aussies call it) is a great addition to your fat-fueled lifestyle, especially if you want to prevent signs of premature aging.
Romaine lettuce is high in both vitamin C and vitamin A, which work together to prevent skin damage. At the same time, vitamin C is needed to make collagen, which is needed to build the firm and elastic skin associated with a youthful complexion.
16. Give your Brain a Boost with Flax Seeds
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 27g : 29g
Did you know that your brain is 60% fat?
If you want to keep your brain in tip-top condition, you need to make sure you’re eating enough high-quality fats. And not just any fats will do.
Trans fats and other forms of damaged fats found in many processed foods are not beneficial for your brain.
Flaxseeds are high in the good omega-3 fats your brain needs.Specifically, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a type of fat that has been linked to brain health, and deficiencies can negatively alter the structure and function of your brain.
17. Build Muscle with Chia Seeds
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 34g : 42g
Just because you’re on a ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you have to eat huge amounts of meat to get your protein in. In fact, chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of protein around.
If you’re looking to put on lean muscle and burn fat, chia seeds can help you reach your goal.
They’re also great to eat during or after exercise since they’re high in nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, and niacin that tend to be lost during periods of physical activity.
You can read more about the benefits of chia seeds here.
18. Reduce Blood Pressure with Sesame Seeds
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 12g : 23g
Do you tend to run a little hot around the collar, and would others say you’re a bit Type A?
People like you tend to have high blood pressure, and sometimes doing yoga and meditation won’t be enough to get your blood pressure under control.
But adding fiber-rich sesame seeds to your ketogenic diet can help reduce your systolic blood pressure.
While both white and black sesame seeds are beneficial, black sesame seeds far surpass their paler counterparts in terms of their ability to lower blood pressure.
19. Support your Immune System with Pumpkin Seeds
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 18g : 54g
Sprinkled on salads or grabbed by the handful when you’re on the run, pumpkin seeds can be a great addition to the keto diet.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is a mineral your body uses for numerous functions including sleep, mood, insulin regulation, and immunity.
Being deficient in zinc can leave you prone to experiencing a higher number of colds and flus every year. Only a ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds will provide you with 23% of your daily zinc needs!
20. Reduce Inflammation with Pecans
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 10g : 14g
Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases including heart disease, asthma, Crohn’s Disease, and arthritis.
Many people starting a ketogenic diet notice a decrease in the chronic inflammation in their bodies after cutting out inflammatory foods like grains and sugar. If you want to douse the fires that flame your body’s inflammation, you may also want to start adding pecans to your diet.
Pecans are high in manganese, which is a mineral needed to activate the antioxidant SOD (superoxide dismutase) that your body uses to reduce inflammation.
In addition, the copper and magnesium in pecans have anti-inflammatory benefits of their own that is good for alleviating the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
21. Boost your Metabolism with Hazelnuts
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 10g : 17g
Sometimes those of us who have dieted on and off for decades have a metabolism that seems to be barely crawling along instead of racing at the pace we would hope for.
In addition to tasting delicious, hazelnuts can help move your metabolism into high gear due to their high thiamine and manganese content.
Thiamine helps in the production of red blood cells, which are needed to maintain energy, and manganese assists in converting carbohydrates into energy so that your body can use it for fuel.
22. Heal Faster with Almonds
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 12g : 22g
In order to heal any type of wound, it’s important that your body is well-nourished and supplied with the proper building blocks needed to make new tissue.
Almonds are a fiber-rich nut that are a great source of vitamin E and other antioxidants that nourish the skin and prevent your cell membranes from damage.
Also, almonds are a good source of healthy fats that work to improve circulation and keep skin hydrated, which is needed for wound healing.
23. Burn More Fat with Coconut
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 9g : 15g
Long gone are the days where fat was demonized for making you fat. The old adage, “the fat you eat is the fat you wear” has been proven to be a false tale.
In fact, adding coconut to your keto diet can help you burn fat at an increased rate. Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides, which can increase the number of calories you burn compared to other types of fat.
If you are looking for a creative way to include more coconut in your diet. You may want to try our low carb friendly Coconut Flour Naan Bread recipe.
24. Get Beautiful Skin with Avocados
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 7g : 9g
Maybe you’ve tried making an avocado face mask before in an effort to obtain beautiful skin. But in addition to wearing this fatty fruit, you should also be eating it to get the full host of the beautifying benefits it can provide.
Avocados are high in polyunsaturated fats that protect your skin from sun damage and inflammation. And avocados’ monounsaturated fats keep the top layer of your skin moist and supple to prevent the development of premature wrinkles.
Check out our Keto Guacamole Recipe. We include this as part of our meals at least once a week, and as a bonus the kids love it!
25. Have Pain-Free Menstrual Cycles with Blackberries
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 5g : 10g
If you suffer from painful PMS symptoms then you’ll want to stock up on blackberries rather than Ben & Jerry’s before your pre-period cravings hit.
Blackberries are high in vitamin K, which helps regulate hormone levels, thereby reducing cramping pain. Vitamin K also helps with blood clotting, so eating blackberries can be especially beneficial if you suffer from heavy menstrual cycles.
26. Improve Fertility with Raspberries
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 7g : 12g
With our high-stress lifestyles and nutrient-poor diets, it’s no wonder that infertility is increasing among couples these days.
And in addition to eating a healthy diet full of beneficial hormone-producing fats, raspberries can also improve your chances of conceiving due to their high vitamin C and magnesium content.
These two nutrients are hypothesized to protect sperm health, promote conception, and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
27. Improve Circulation with Mulberries
Fiber to Carb Ratio/100g: 1.7g : 10g
You need iron to build red blood cells, and red blood cells are needed for good circulation. Your body uses its red blood cells to distribute oxygen to tissues and other organs.
Although you may believe that you need to eat a large steak to get enough iron everyday, mulberries are unique in that they contain a substantial amount of iron, which is unusual for a fruit.
Did you enjoy reading about the 27 high-fiber and low-carb foods that would be a great addition to your ketogenic diet?
The Bottom Line
Remember, just because you’re avoiding excessive carbohydrates on your fat-fueled lifestyle, doesn’t mean you should not strive to eat an abundance of nutritious foods that will result in long term health.
By adding in these high fiber low carb foods into any diet you will be stacking the odds in your favour.
You will receive the benefits of a ketosis, all while keeping your gut microbiome and body happy in the process.
Did you enjoy reading about the 27 high-fiber and low-carb foods that would be a great addition to your ketogenic diet?
Leave us a comment to let us know what you thought about the article, and share the article if you liked it!
Thanks for reading 🙂
It’s true that the keto diet food list contains high amounts of healthy fats. Eighty percent of your total daily calories should be coming from foods like olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, nuts and seeds. But what kind of role does fiber play in the ketogenic diet?
The answer is that we need fiber on keto. Fiber is essential to normalize our digestive health and support the beneficial bacteria in out gut.
You may have noticed after beginning the keto diet that your digestion has slowed down. That’s why it’s especially important to consume plenty of fiber on keto in order to avoid digestive issues like constipation. But don’t worry — there are plenty of keto fiber foods that will keep you in ketosis and keep you regulated.
Related: Beginner’s Guide to the Keto Diet
Why You Need Fiber on Keto
Many people underestimate the importance of eating enough high-fiber foods. In fact, most Americans are only consuming about half the amount of fiber they should be having on a daily basis. Everyone needs to eat enough high-fiber foods in order to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and normalize digestion.
One of the most common complaints after transitioning from a high-carb diet to a low-carb, high fat diet is digestion issues, especially constipation.
In order to prevent or improve these keto flu symptoms, and avoid digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea, we need to eat fiber on keto. Eating a diet that’s made up mostly of fats may throw off your digestion. That’s why you can’t forget to add plenty of high-fiber foods to your diet while on keto.
Here’s one thing people get confused about when they are counting their net cards for the day: Your “net carbs” is the amount of carbohydrates that remain once dietary fiber is taken into account.
Fiber is indigestable when it’s eaten, so most people don’t count grams of fiber towards their daily carb allotment. Think of it this way: total carbs – grams of fiber = net carbs.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can high-carb foods that are high in fiber and pretend it didn’t happen. The point is to choose high-fiber keto foods that will keep you in ketosis, but keep you regulated at the same time.
This means adding plenty of low-carb, high fiber foods into your diet and supplementing with keto fiber powders or capsules if you need the extra support.
Best High-Fiber Keto Foods
1. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables are an essential part of the keto diet because they provide essential vitamins and minerals, are packed with antioxidants and provide plenty of fiber. Plus, when you load up on veggies, you are adding volume to your meals so that you feel more satisfied. You are also working to reduce inflammation, increase your antioxidant intake and support the health of your heart.
Some of the best high-fiber keto-friendly veggies include:
- leafy greens
- Brussels sprouts
Avocado is a fat-based fruit that also serves as a great source of fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin C. It contains about 10 grams of fiber per cup. Avocado is a staple keto fiber food because of its healthy fat content. Add it to any keto recipe to make it more fulfilling, and tasty.
You can even use avocado to make keto salad dressings, like this Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing, and soups like this Creamy Cucumber Avocado Soup.
Coconut is an excellent high-fat source of fiber. Did you know that coconut actually has 4-to-6 times the amount of fiber as oat bran? A cup of coconut contains about 7 grams of fiber, along with omega-6 fatty acids, manganese, folate and selenium. When it comes to keto fiber foods, you can eat coconut flakes, coconut chips, coconut flour and coconut oil, too.
It’s okay to eat nuts on keto in small-to-moderate amounts. They are good sources of fiber and trace minerals, so when eaten in moderation, they can aid digestion while keeping you in ketosis. Research also shows that nut consumption improves metabolic syndrome and has cardiovascular benefits.
High-fiber nuts contain between 13 and 5 grams of fiber per cup. You can eat whole nuts as a keto snack, chopped nuts added to salads or veggie dishes, nut butters or ground nuts in place of flour for baking. Some of the best nuts to eat on keto include:
- Brazil nuts
- Pine nuts
- Macadamia nuts
Seeds are another high-fiber food that you can eat on keto, but only occasionally to stay in ketosis. Full seeds, ground seeds and seed butters will help to increase your fiber intake and minimize keto flu symptoms like constipation. Plus, they supply important nutrients, including essential fatty acids and protein, and are known to support cardiovascular health.
Try this Keto Smoothie Recipe that’s made with keto fiber foods like chia seeds, sunflower seed butter and avocado. This is just one example of how you can incorporate a small-to-moderate amount of seeds into your diet while on keto.
The best high-fiber seeds to consume as part of a ketogenic diet include:
- Sesame seeds
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Low Carb & Keto Fiber Supplements
There are keto fiber supplements available online and in health food stores that are made of a combination of low-carb, high-fiber foods. Keto-friendly fiber supplements may include ingredients such as:
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are considered a superfood because they are rich in antioxidants, omega-3s, fiber, protein, manganese and calcium. They are often used in supplements to promote digestive health. Plus, they help to balance blood sugar levels and support healthy skin too.
- Ground flax seeds: Flax seeds are used to make fiber powders and supplements because they work to support colon detoxification. Ground flax seeds are high in fiber and low in carbs. Plus, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making them an excellent keto fiber choice.
- Psyllium husk: Psyllium husk is a bulking fiber that promotes easy, healthy elimination by moving waste out of the colon more quickly and efficiently. It’s typically used in powder form to improve digestion and is often added to fiber formulas.
- Gum arabic: Gum arabic, or acacia gum, is rich in fiber and is used as a plant-based binder. It helps to increase probiotic bacteria in the gut, slow down gastric emptying and promote satiety. Acacia gum is sometimes used in dried, powdered forms, and it’s recommended to start with lower doses.
- Inulin fiber: Inulin fiber is a plant-based fiber that’s found in chicory and other plants. It’s commonly used to reduce constipation, improve gut health and help curb appetite. You’ll find inulin available as a powder that can be added to liquid or recipes, or in capsule form. It’s also commonly added to fiber formulas.