“Eat more Fiber!” I am sure we have all heard that phrase before. And now that I have said it out loud… I kind of feel like your mother. Why should we eat more fiber?
Fiber is generally defined as plant-based nutrients. It is also known as bulk or roughage. Fiber is classified as a carbohydrate. But, unlike other carbohydrates, it comes in two forms, Soluble & Insoluble.
Soluble fiber actually absorbs water as it passes through your body. As the soluble fiber moves through your digestive tract it forms a gel (thanks to the water) that slows the absorption of & sugars. The sugars are then released at a slower rate, helping lower your insulin levels and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Insoluble fiber means that the fiber can’t be absorbed by the body. Meaning it passes through the intestinal tract almost fully intact. Kind of like a soft brush scrubbing away toxins and dead cells as it goes.
Fiber has been proven to be one of the most important nutrients to aid in the digestion process. It has also been found to help in various ailments that arise due to poor eating habits. Eating fiber increased the immune system, feeds the good bacteria in the gut biome, keeps you feeling fuller, longer and generally keeps your digestive lining strong and healthy.
How can we get more fiber on a Ketogenic diet? (I mean is not like we are looking to eat whole grain breads on while on Keto.)
How to add fiber in a keto diet?
As many Keto dieters know, being on keto means consuming a diet low in carbohydrates, high in dietary fat content and medium amounts of protein. Some people on a keto diet have experienced an increase in constipation due to the higher-fat content being ingested.
Many people are in the dark on ways of adding fiber to their keto diet. There are a few simple ways that you can increase your fiber intake while on a keto diet. These are highlighted below.
Add avocado to your diet
Avocado’s are known as the Rockstar fruit of a keto diet. Avocados are jam packed with heart-healthy fats, powerful antioxidants and rich in fiber. I know people might doubt this due to the soft, fleshy appearance of the avocado, but it is one of the fruits with high fiber content which is well suited to a keto diet.
The humble artichoke holds the highest antioxidant count of any known vegetable! These beautiful little flower hearts are praised by practitioners for reducing cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugars and regenerating the liver. A staple in countries like France, Spain & Italy the artichoke is an ideal way to boost your fiber intake, without increase your calorie count. It can be steamed, boiled or baked. Larger artichokes are typically stuffed and served as a meal. One of our favorites is a warm artichoke dip used to dip more veggies in.
The Chia seed is a fantastic source of fiber. Collecting water as it passed through the digestive tract & slowing the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, these power packed like nuggets are chock full of nutrients that are good for your body and your brain. Just 1 ounce of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber! The chia seeds can be mixed into smoothies, plain yogurts and even sprinkled over a fresh garden salad, to give it a nutty flavor. Our go to for adding more fiber to our diets is a lovely Vanilla Keto pudding made from these high fiber chia seeds.
A handful of Nuts
Nuts can be a quick and easy source of dietary fiber on a keto diet. The problem is that some nuts have very high carb content. (I’m looking at you Cashews!) That is why I would suggest going with pecans.
Pecans are rich in fiber and have a high quality fat content, as well as being one of the lowest carbohydrate nuts available for consumption. That make the humble pecan an excellent snack on a keto diet.
Brazil Nuts are listed as a complete protein because it holds all 9 of the essential amino acids. Making a handful of these bad boys a rich source of dietary fiber with only 1.3 grams of carbs for a one ounce portion
Almonds are another nut with high fiber content. Almonds are very rich in fats, while having a medium-low carb count. However, almonds hold a secret weapon. This tasty little nut is also rich in vitamin E which gives it an added advantage. Medical studies have shown that eating almonds may actually reduce your risk of some heart problems. This makes it a very suitable choice to add in your keto diet.
If you are interested in knowing more, Truly Good Foods has done an excellent write up about the best nuts to eat on a Keto diet. (https://www.trulygoodfoods.com/blog/the-best-nuts-for-keto-diet/)
The best way to take this is when they are grounded up. Grounded flaxseed is known for its high fiber content levels. Flax seeds are known to have 71 percent fat content which is obtained from fatty acids. It also has very low carb content and its fiber is very high. This makes it a perfect companion for your keto diet. The good thing about this is that Flax seed has been linked to many health benefits including, reduced risk of type 2 Diabetes, lower risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Greens, like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts & Collard green
Broccoli is a great source of fiber, even if it is cooked or simply eaten raw. Broccoli is full of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, potassium and folate. Eating broccoli helps improve your body’s ability to heal wounds, build new tissue and bones as well as lower cholesterol, while keeping your digestive tract healthy.
Brussel Sprouts are a low-glycemic food, rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. A new study has shown that eating these vitamin rich little balls, may actually help protect your from certain types of cancers. Every 100 grams of brussel sprouts contains 3.8 – 4.1 grams of fiber. Or to put it another way for every 1 cup of brussel sprouts you are getting 16% of your daily recommended fiber intake.
Collard greens are closely related to broccoli. High in fiber and low in carb content the collard green makes it very suitable for the keto diet. The reason I suggest the cooked one is because they cook down very nicely. It also makes them yummy and fit for your meal.
Raw coconut can be a sweet little treat while on a keto diet. Just don’t over do it. Raw coconut has about 15 grams of carbs for every 100 grams! But it also has 9 grams of fiber. So 100 grams of raw coconut is actually 6 Net Carbs per serving. Total Carbs – Fiber = Net Carbs (thank you fiber fairy’s) Furthermore, this delicious little snack has a high fat content, giving you the upper hand in your keto diet.
This is one of the vegetables that has enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the Keto diet. Our go to is Mock-Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower pizza crust. Cauliflower is high in fiber and water. Both are important for maintaining a healthy digestive tract and preventing constipation. So studies also suggest that by eating cauliflower there is a lower risk of colon cancer. Other studies have indicated that the dietary fiber in this vegetable may reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system. You can see why it is a staple of a ketogenic diet.
Green smoothies – Eat your berries
I can’t think of a better way to get more fiber, than by combining a few high fiber vegetables with a handful of your favorite berries. Raspberries rock in at a whopping 8 grams of fiber per cup! Followed closely by Blueberries, Black berries and strawberries. Adding a cup of any of these berries to a fresh green smoothie; will definitely boost the fiber content. There are many benefits to adding berries to your diet, including improve insulin response, reduced cravings, and a feeling of fullness. Leading to a reduction in hunger.
Importance of fiber in a keto diet
Fiber has been linked with the prevention of diseases like heart problems, diabetes, possible cancer prevention, blood sugar regulation, improved insulin response and much more. This makes fiber an important component in your keto toolbox. You don’t need to gulp down a loaf of bread or plate full of whole grain pasta to get.
Stick to whole foods, full of vitamins and minerals and rich in fiber and you will be good to go.