Fiber has long reigned as a booster of digestive health, hailed for its ability to help us feel fuller longer. Plus, the presence of fiber helps offset the impact of total carbs in foods on our glucose levels, hence net carbs!
Also, a diet high in fiber is associated with increased colon health and elevated healthy cholesterol levels. Not to mention, fiber aids in regular elimination, which makes you feel lighter and less bloated.
Whether you add a handful of raspberries or blackberries to some live-cultured, sugar-free yogurt, or you prefer a side of artichoke with your salmon to make sure you're hitting your fiber macros, all are delicious and keto-friendly.
And furthermore, getting your daily dose of fiber doesn't have to be a chore—no need to guzzle clumpy mixes. We'll share some of the tastiest foods to savor to boost your fiber intake and support healthy digestive health—eating nothing but flavorful keto fare.
There are many foods filled with fiber, and you may have heard of its benefits. But you may wonder what fiber is and the difference between soluble and insoluble varieties. No worries, we'll clarify that distinction below, as well.
What is Fiber?
Touted for its ability to keep intestinal walls pristine and digestion and elimination regular: fiber plays a crucial and unique role in our well-being. But what is fiber?
Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that the body cannot completely digest, therefore impacting glucose levels to various degrees depending on the source: whether soluble or insoluble.
We know to monitor carb intake on a ketogenic diet to curb the consumption of elevated levels of sugar molecules. However, eating fiber helps prevent blood sugar spikes because it passes through the body undigested. So, selecting fibrous vegetables and fruits is ideal!
Since our body's digestive enzymes cannot wholly process fiber, our bodies cannot break dietary roughage into sugar molecules. While this may sound like a deficiency, it's not. The limited impact of food-derived sugar molecules available for absorption helps us regulate rather than jostle our body's blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber
Again, there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, including plant pectin and gums. However, insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve in water; and it includes plant cellulose and hemicellulose.
Fiber boasts loads of benefits, regardless of the variety, but the advantages of either type are unique.
As soluble fiber digests, it forms a gel-like coating that aids in digestion in various ways. Along with helping regulate blood sugar and prevent food cravings. Plus, soluble fiber may reduce blood cholesterol and aids in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Insoluble fiber plays its part in facilitating healthy digestion as it attracts water into the stool to soften it enough for comfortable elimination—promoting bowel health and regularity.
Plus, insoluble fiber, like soluble fiber, supports insulin regularity and sensitivity to prevent metabolic disorders like insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes!
Also, fiber does a lot to support gut health—something essential to holistic well-being. Here are some additional and impressive benefits of consuming adequate amounts of fiber:
- Manage body weight
- Control or possibly prevent hypertension
- Help balance cholesterol levels in the blood
- Regulate bowel movements and lower risk of hemorrhoids
- Balance blood sugar
- Regulate your body’s satiation signals—which informs you when you’re full faster!
- Reduce the risk of colon cancer
- Lower risk of breast cancer
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Fibrous foods require more chewing, which slows down your eating process and naturally aids digestion.
We encourage eating and enjoying various fibrous, low-glycemic foods on a ketogenic diet, but too much of a good thing can be problematic. Reduce intake incrementally if you notice gas, abdominal pain, or bloating, and increase water intake to ease digestion and elimination thereafter.
Furthermore, here are some more signs that you may be taking it too far with your fiber intake:
- loose stools or diarrhea
- temporary weight gain
- intestinal blockage in people with Crohn’s disease
- reduced blood sugar levels, which is essential to know if you have diabetes
Great, now you know the value of consuming fiber and that there's a sweet spot for an individual's intake, the next thought may be how much fiber is suitable for your daily recommended intake. Here's a guideline for ideal fiber intake for men and women:
- - women, age 50 and under: 25 grams per day
- - men, age 50 and under: 38 grams per day
- - women, over 50: 21 grams per day
- - men, over 50: 30 grams per day
Different foods provide varying amounts of soluble or insoluble fiber. And increasing these low-glycemic foods in your meal plan goes a long way to boost gut health, aids in appetite regulation, and promotes healthy digestion.
Here are some top food picks that are lower on the GI index and filled with fiber:
- All leafy greens (e.g., collards, mustard, spinach, kale, et al.): Turnip, mustard, and collard greens deliver a hearty five grams of fiber per cup, with spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard not far behind: providing 4g per cup serving.
- Lettuce: The diverse world of lettuce offers a wide variety of types and textures. Plus, romaine lettuce acts as an excellent keto burger ‘bun’ or a base for a crisp and refreshing salad with loads of ruffage to aid in keeping the colon pristine.
- Asparagus: The complex flavors of the asparagus stalk come alive when seared on a grill and drizzled with grass-fed butter, but its benefits don’t end there. A mere half cup serving provides 7% of your daily recommended needs with almost two grams of fiber.
- Artichokes: The rich fiber content in artichokes promotes healthy gut bacteria, and can help with everything from alleviating symptoms of constipation and diarrhea, to lowering your risk of more harmful conditions, like certain bowel cancers.
- Chia seeds: Fun fact, chia seeds are 40% fiber by weight, making them one of the best sources of fiber, bar none!
- Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale): The world of cruciferous vegetables is filled with nutritional benefits and tasty culinary delights. Convert cauliflower into rice or a creamy mash. Roast some broccoli and top it with a decadent drizzling of cheese sauce, or toss together a savory cauldron of cooked kale—all options are delicious and packed with fiber.
- Celery: There are many benefits to adding celery to your keto meal plan. Its crisp stalks are hydrating—composed of about 90% water—along with a significant amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Zucchini: We love these green gourds because they are high in fiber and flavor but low in calories. Spiralize some zoodles or make a lasagna using zucchini ‘pasta’ strips for a low-carb take on pasta that’s sure to delight.
- Cucumber: Add slices of cucumber to spring water to impart a little flavor, and then toss some bits into a fresh green salad for a fast and tasty lunch option.
- Bok choy: Consider roasting these delicious veggies and pairing them with your favorite protein for a well-balanced meal selection.
- Green beans: Add these tasty stalks to a creamy casserole for a family favorite that will help keep everyone’s digestive health right on track.
- Citrus fruit (lemon or lime): Adding a spritz of lemon or lime to beverages provides a lovely citrus flavor, but beyond taste these powerful fruits increase alkalinity in the body.
- Raspberries: Parfaits are made perfect with the addition of these rosy red berries. Plus, they pack a hearty punch in the area of fiber.
- Strawberries: Blending a fruit-filled smoothie is an excellent way to start your day, and strawberries are the perfect low-carb berry to use to keep those blended beverages keto-friendly.
- Blackberries: Bulbous blackberries are the perfect topper for a mile-high stack of keto pancakes or a shining star in keto syrup recipes. Experiment and discover new pairings with foods like steak and lamb—in addition to obvious sweet applications—that will add welcomed variety to your meal plan.
- Avocado: There are endless ways to enjoy the amazing and nutrient-dense avocado. Whether a bowl of herbaceous guacamole or the creamy base for a chocolate keto pudding, you’ll receive an added boost of fiber and create perfect consistency every time!
- Tomato: Bursting with flavor and color, tomatoes also provide a significant amount of essential vitamins like C, K, folate, and potassium.
- Low-sugar berries (e.g, Wild blueberries): Feast on delicious berries like blueberries, acai berry, smoothie packs, and blueberries, they’re loaded with antioxidants and fiber.
- Chia seeds: Make a simple overnight chia pudding and then create endless parfaits and breakfast bowls throughout the week!
- Hazelnuts: A spread with chocolate and hazelnut is the favorite of many, and this fiber-filled nut is also a fantastic food option on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
- Brazil nuts: Making keto-friendly, dairy-free cheese is easy with versatile ingredients like Brazil nuts; plus they’re fiber content helps support healthy digestion.
- Macadamia nuts: Making or purchasing nut butters is a wise option on a ketogenic diet. Furthermore, soak and sprout your nuts, like the creamy macadamia, before using them for an added boost of nutrition as well as fiber.
- Flaxseed: Make a batch of savory crackers to munch on throughout the week, or create a flaxseed egg to aid in your baking applications. Which way you use these nutrient-dense seeds is boundless, so you’re always winning!
- Hemp seeds: Protein is essential in moderate amounts on a ketogenic diet, and hemp seeds are an excellent plant-based complete protein that’s worth incorporating heavily into your keto meal plan—they provide all nine essential amino acids!
- Almonds: From milk to butter and many uses in between. Almonds are a fabulous nut to have on hand at all times to successfully execute loads of keto-friendly, gluten-free baking recipes.
- Walnuts: These delightful textured nuts make the perfect fatty paté to enjoy atop some flaxseed crackers, for a double dose of delish and gut-friendly fiber.
- Pecans: Use these delicious nuts to create pies and crusts that dazzle; they add a unique and distinct taste to recipes.
- Pumpkin seeds: Pop these pods throughout the day for a flavorful and salty snack that’s packed with fiber, iron, zinc, and magnesium!
Everyone who's ever tried to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables can appreciate hiding the ingredients within another food they like. Making a green smoothie filled with antioxidant-rich ingredients is the perfect way to mask the taste of greens with the sweetness of the added fruits.
Plus, blending your ingredients is the perfect way to consume large amounts of fibrous foods without having to sit and chew your food for what might feel like hours.
Also, there's an endless variation of recipes to make to use the many low-glycemic fruits and vegetables encouraged on a ketogenic diet. Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes to try:
Tips on Keto to Eat More Fiber
- Eat a huge salad each day: You'll treat your system to a kaleidoscope of nutrients and create the most visually appealing platters ever!
- Sprinkle sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, and wakame on cooked veggies or raw salads to boost minerals and add a naturally salty flavor.
- Add extra veggies to everything: Toss some green peppers and mushrooms into a morning omelet, or add olives and delicate nutrient-dense sprouts atop crisp leafy greens to increase taste and fiber.
- Chia overnight pudding is an excellent base to create parfaits and other delicious treats throughout the week. It'll also help you feel energized and fuller for longer.
- Dressings and dips are an area where the battle of the bulge is often lost or won. Opt for selections with premium fats, without sugar or other unsavory ingredients, and you're good to go.
However, make a few poor choices with dressings and dips throughout the week, and you can quickly derail your weight-loss efforts and send your blood sugar levels into a frenzy. Choose wisely.
Fiber-filled Keto Recipes
There are many high-fiber recipes to enjoy on a ketogenic diet. Here are a few of our favorite picks to consider:
- Bake a sweet and delicious loaf of zucchini bread to start or end the day paired with a piping hot beverage; it's so satisfying and straightforward to put together.
- No-Bake Chocolate "Oat" Bars are a fantastic take on keto granola bars that are simple to toss together and last all week long in an air-tight container.
- Take breaking the fast to new and tempting heights with the ever-versatile and delicious acai bowl, bursting with low-glycemic berries and energy-boosting chia seeds for a high-octane option to effortlessly power you through to the afternoon.
- Keto pumpkin walnut bread offers an unmatched comfort dessert in fall, but it's equally delightful during the summer months. Pair a piece with a creamy warm chai for an easy and satisfying selection.
- Granola has long been a health-food favorite, but traditional mixes can contain loads of sugar and starchy ingredients. Fortunately, our Crunchtastic Keto Granola recipe is perfect alone or atop yogurt—and can even stand in as the ideal low-carb cereal. You’ve got choices!
- Take Taco Tuesdays to higher levels with a delicious and bright Muy Keto Taco bowl brimming with colorful produce and healthy fats.
- Zucchini acts as a fantastic base ingredient to recreate noodles and even keto-friendly hash. Spiralize some zucchini and top it with a creamy alfredo sauce and a hefty sprinkling of bacon chips for a filling and satisfying fiber-rich dish.
- One-pot meals that transition well from oven to table are always convenient for the busy keto dieter. Selections like our beloved keto savory pie with zucchini shine brightly alone as a main meal option in this instance.
- Consuming enough fiber need not be tedious, and keto recipes are often best when kept simple. Our broccoli & cheese soup is the perfect example of this notion.
- Keto Ridiculously Loaded Radishes are just that. The dish is mind-blowingly delicious and loaded with fixings! Plus, this tasty dish is so simple to make that the kids will want to get in on the act!
- Equal parts mac & cheese and savory casserole, the keto cauliflower bake is cheesy and hearty and aims to please! It’s the perfect decadent comfort food that just happens to contain loads of fiber.
- Avocado is mineral-rich and loaded with essential vitamins. Experiment with a new take on sandwich buns with an Amazingly Avocado Keto Bun.
- Avocado Keto Chocolate Pudding is a marvelous treat that packs a hefty serving of fiber to satiate a sweet craving and satisfy the appetite faster and for longer.
- Eating fiber need not feel like a chore. Instead, dip some bright and juicy strawberries into some antioxidant-rich chocolate for a fiber-filled treat that is fit for dessert.
- Round out your evening with a sweet and satisfying slice of Keto Almond Cake (Fat Bomb); it's the perfect complement to any keto meal.
Fiber helps keep our net carb intake low, and works wonders to promote a healthy gut microbiome and digestion. Plus, eating fiber-filled fare helps us eat less while always feeling pleasantly full and well-nourished.
Fill your plate daily with dark leafy greens, chia seeds, avocado, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cauliflower to stock your daily macros to the brim with gut-nourishing fiber.
There are supplements to include in your regimen if you feel you’re unable to hit your desired levels otherwise. However, the wide array of fiber-filled foods with suitable carb macros, like those we’ve shared, make it easy to add increased amounts to your low-carb, high-fat meal plan with ease.
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