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.
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 and 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.
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