What Is Fiber And Why Can It Be Beneficial
Dietary fiber is the portion of plant foods sometimes referred to as roughage. Unlike other carbohydrates, fiber isnt broken down and absorbed by your digestive tract.1 Instead, fiber passes through your system until it reaches your colon, where it is either fermented by bacteria or eliminated in feces, depending on the type.2
Vegetables and other plant foods contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber.3 Colonic bacteria ferment soluble fiber, while insoluble fiber passes through untouched, helping bulk up stools and making them easier to pass.
Although its promoted for helping to relieve constipation, fiber has been found to play several other roles in good health, including the following.4
- Better diabetes control: Soluble fiber can help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.5
- Lower LDL cholesterol levels: According to clinical trials, both soluble and insoluble fiber may help modestly reduce LDL cholesterol.6
- Relief from irritable bowel syndrome: Although insoluble fiber bulks up stool, soluble fiber seems to be more beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome.7
- Potential weight loss: Fiber may help you feel full and absorb fewer calories from mixed meals.8
The US Food and Nutrition Board recommends a minimum daily fiber intake of 25 grams for women and 38 grams per day for men, based on research connecting higher fiber intake with better health.9
High Fiber Low Carb Recipes That Are So Delicious
These high fiber low carb recipes are delicious and so easy to make! Filled with vegetables, protein and healthy fats, the healthy low carb high fiber meals in this collection will provide enough fiber to keep your digestion going! With a bit more fiber at every meal, you can actually optimize your low carb diet for weight loss and great overall health.
Types Of High Protein Low Carb Diets
Some of the most popular commercial diets commonly considered high in protein and low in carbs dont truly fit into both categories.
Notably, many people regard the Zone Diet and Sugar Busters Diet as high protein, low carb. However, these diets are moderate in carbs, as they typically provide about 40% of calories from carbs.
Additionally, many popular low carb diets, such as Atkins and ketogenic diets, are not considered high protein, low carb. Instead, theyre high fat, low carb or high fat, very low carb, and they only contain moderate amounts of protein.
In fact, no branded diets are known to conform to this pattern.
If youre interested in a strict high protein, low carb diet, you may need to count calories, protein, carbs, and fat to stay within your macronutrient ranges.
This can be difficult, so most people prefer to loosely follow a high protein, low carb diet by replacing high carb foods with protein sources.
Theres no set macronutrient range for a high protein, low carb diet, so most people tend to swap much of their typical carb-heavy foods with protein sources.
As such, high protein diets may provide numerous benefits as may low carb eating patterns, which are often associated with weight loss.
Thus, combining the two diets may give numerous advantages.
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Fibers Role In Immune Health
The gut is an integral part of our immune system! Our intestines are home to a large percentage of our bodies immune cells.
Therefore, a nutrient like fiber that contributes to a healthy gut microbiome, is likely one that will simultaneously support immunity.
Evidence points to the fact that consuming high-fiber foods encourages the growth of beneficial gut microbes yet another reason to take a look at our list of21 high fiber low carbohydrate foods.
Why Is Fiber So Important:
Fiber is essential to a healthy plan. While you probably associate adequate fiber intake with a healthy colon, reaching your recommended daily allowance offers multiple health benefits, such as helping to lower cholesterol and balancing blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that increasing your daily fiber intake reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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The Bottom Line On Fiber And Carbs
Most fiber sources are actually carbohydrates. The difference is that dietary fiber does not contribute to increased blood sugar levels the way most simple carbohydrates can. If you are on a low-carb diet, fiber can help to reduce the effect that carbohydrates have on the blood stream. Dietary fiber fills you up the same way carbohydrates do, but without the sugar spike. This may contribute to weight loss.
The benefits of dietary fiber are more than just keeping your colon moving along smoothly. Bowel regularity is a wonderful thing and necessary for overall health. But, fiber does so much more, especially when you are cutting back on carbs. As already mentioned, fiber can lower the negative impact of the consumption sugar and starch on blood glucose levels. A high-fiber diet has been linked to a reduced risk in developing pre-diabetic conditions, type II diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and gastrointestinal disorders and cancers.
As with any dietary plan, it is advised that you speak with your healthcare professional or nutrition expert before making drastic changes. A simple blood test, such as a lipid panel to determine cholesterol and triglyceride levels, is a good idea. You might also benefit from food sensitivity testing.
Food and oxygen are what sustain us. So, be cognizant of what you put into your body. And move about in fresh air to get the oxygen your blood and muscles rely on. Most importantly, enjoy the journey.
Fiber And The Regulation Of Blood Sugar And Cholesterol Levels
Eating fiber slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. The result is a less dramatic spike in blood sugar and a lower need for insulin. This is how fiber plays a role in helping to manage blood sugar levels.
Dietary fiber can bind to cholesterol in the gut and interfere with absorption. The ability of fiber to reduce absorption of cholesterol means that it even helps with heart health.
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Top 10 High Fiber Low Carb Foods
If youre looking for some high fiber low carb foods to enjoy on a low carb or keto diet, youve come to the right place. Weve gathered up ten of the best high fiber low carb foods:
One cup of blackberries contains 13.8 grams of carbs and 7.6 grams of fiber. Theyre packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that deliver a plethora of health benefits, including combating disease and certain types of cancer.
Broccoli is packed with two grams of fiber and just six grams of carbs per cup. Its low in calories too, so its a great veggie to indulge in. Plus, it contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to help prevent the type of cell damage that leads to cancer.
A cousin of broccoli, cauliflower has a similar nutrient profile with five grams of carbs and three grams of fiber per cup. Its high in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that help protect the cells from oxidative stress and damage from free radicals.
Just two cups of raw collard greens are packed with 2.8 grams and fiber and four grams of carbs. Surprisingly, these leafy greens are more closely related to kale and broccoli. Theyre also packed with vitamins A, K, B6, and C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Low Carb High Fiber Breakfast Cereal Recipe
This low carb high fiber breakfast cereal recipe is full of maple goodness. The high dietary fiber helps keep you feeling full for a long time. With plenty of good things like flax, almond meal, and coconut flour it has a natural sweetness that will get your morning off to a good start.
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Low Carb Diets Come With This Side Effect
One of the not so magical results of following a low carb or keto diet is constipation. We know that. Been there, done that. While Im not following a strict low carb or keto diet anymore, I have reduced my carbohydrate intake significantly by enjoying more low carb meals throughout the day. I do this because I need to watch my blood sugar and because it helps to make my diet more nutritious. Youd be surprised how many green stuff youll eat when you cut out gluten and most grains from your diet. So, at every meal, I make sure to include lots of non-starchy vegetables and berries, since these are healthy low-carb high-fiber foods.
Soluble Fiber Is A Natural Appetite Suppressant
Because fiber isnt absorbed into your body or digested, it fills the gaps in your intestines. This makes you feel full for longer, this is a great way to ward of those afternoon snack craving. It will help you stay away from the snack machine or snatching a sneaky donut from the lunchroom. It will also save you from overeating on your business trips when you work high fiber low carb foods into your diet.
Forget dangerous diet pills! Soluble fiber is the natural way to suppress your appetite!
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Great For Weight Loss
A diet that is naturally low in carbs and rich in fiber is usually very nutrient dense and will help keep you satiated for longer, so you will avoid snacking and overeating. Research has shown that both a high-fiber diet and a low carb diet are beneficial for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. When you combine them, you basically get best of both worlds.
Guidelines For Consuming Fiber
While fiber is essential to a healthy diet, there are some precautions to consider when increasing your intake.
- Drink lots of water. Fiber can, in rare cases, cause choking or constipation if eaten with insufficient fluid. Therefore, be sure to drink plenty of water when taking fiber supplements or eating high-fiber foods.
- Gradually increase consumption. If you are not used to eating a lot of fiber, increase the amount gradually to prevent intestinal distress.
- Take medication long before/after fiber supplements. Since large amounts of fiber can reduce the absorption of some medications, it is best to take medication either an hour before or two hours after the fiber. Follow-up with a registered dietitian or your provider for more details.
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What Is A Carbohydrate
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that exist in large amounts in the foods we eat. During digestion, our bodies eventually break down carbohydrates into glucose which can be used for energy.
There are three main different types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches, and fiber.
Sugars can come from refined sources as well as those that are naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables.
Starches are complex carbohydrates. They include foods such as potatoes, corn, bread, cereal, and pasta. These take a bit more work for our bodies to break down and convert into sugar.
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that cannot be broken down and absorbed by the body. Continue reading below for more information about this all-star nutrient.
High Fiber Keto Foods
Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate, BUT, many following a low carb eating plan count net carbs, versus total carbs, which is the total carbs minus the fiber. The reason for this is that dietary fiber passes through the digestive tract largely unchanged. Which is why many on a low carb eating plan are ALL ABOUT the good source of fiber foods shared below!
Here are the 31 best high fiber low carb foods:
|Low Carb Food
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What Are The Benefits Of High Fiber Foods
Fiber or dietary fiber is the part of a plant that the human body cannot digest or absorb. Other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are broken down into smaller forms and absorbed during digestion. There are 2 different types of fiber in foods: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber means it dissolves in water and forms a gel. Examples of foods containing soluble fiber are oats, beans, apples, oranges, carrots, and barley. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water but promotes the movement of digested foods through your digestive tract. Examples of foods containing insoluble fiber are cauliflower, green beans, wheat bran, and nuts.
So high fiber foods can help to increase your fiber intake which promotes a wide array of benefits! High fiber foods can help to:
- Maintain a healthy digestive tract and lowers the risk of developing colon cancer. They also add more bulk and weight to your stool preventing constipation and diarrhea.
- Lower cholesterol levels, especially soluble fibers found in foods such as oats and flaxseed.
- Promote weight loss or weight maintenance by keeping you full longer.
- Promote lower blood sugars if you have diabetes by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and all cancers!
The recommended amount of fiber per day:
- Men, age 50 or younger: 38 grams of fiber
- Men, age 51 or older: 30 grams of fiber
- Women, age 50 or younger: 25 grams of fiber
- Women, age 51 or older: 21 grams of fiber
A Small Smoothie Or Smoothie Bowl With Chia Seeds Can Help Keep You Regular On The Keto Diet
One thing thats often missing from the keto diet? A little bit of roughage. The popular diet, which often requires eating up to 80 percent of your calories from fat and only 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, is often criticized for being distinctly lacking in fiber.
And, thats certainly the case for some followers. A poorly planned keto diet is at risk of being deficient in fiber, says Dana Elia, RDN, an integrative and functional medicine dietitian in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She notes that dietitians frequently see patients who complain of constipation when they go keto.
Thing is, most Americans dont get enough of the GI-friendly nutrient anyway, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture . Rule out most sources of carbohydrates, including whole grains, fruits, and legumes, and its even more likely youll fall short.
Skimping on fiber isnt good for your digestive health, as it feeds the good bacteria in your GI tract, something that benefits you beyond adequate bowel movements. The digestive tract is where your bodys second brain is, and its home to the majority of your immune system, says Elia. If youre following keto, it should be one of your biggest priorities to make sure you get adequate fiber to keep your gut healthy and happy, she adds. And, she notes, high-fat diets slow digestion and decrease GI motility, so its especially important to get enough.
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Healthy High Fiber Low Carb Foods
Low carb diets have been linked to several impressive health benefits.
Research has shown that theyre particularly effective at reducing hunger and aiding weight loss .
Theyve also been associated with decreased blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as increased HDL cholesterol .
Whats more, low carb diets have been found to improve blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes .
Low carb diets typically provide less than 130 grams of carbs per day, while very low carb diets typically provide 2050 grams of carbs per day .
However, some very low carb diets can be low in fiber, a nutrient thats important for digestive, heart, and gut health .
In fact, studies estimate that only 5% of American adults independent of whether they eat low carb or not meet the recommended 2538 grams of fiber per day .
Fortunately, if you follow a low carb diet and are worried about your fiber intake, several tasty foods are both low in carbs and high in fiber.
Here are 14 healthy high fiber, low carb foods.
Why Sedentary People Need High Fiber Low Carb Foods
- Executives like yourself by default lead a less active lifestyle.
- You spend most of your day sitting, trapped for hours and hours at the office toiling away. Health often slips their mind when thinking of things that must get done. This situation can increase your chances of dying by as much as 50%.
- You have a greater risk of heart disease and weight problems.
- Sedentary executives typically have unhealthy diets which lead to type 2 diabetes, digestive issues, and other health concerns.
- With ever-present vending machines or convenience foods during travels, youre exposed to high carbs that drop your energy levels while at work.
These are the reasons why youre gaining weight in your executive position. Youre also finding that your sedentary lifestyle leads to health issues like constipation, high cholesterol, or even type 2 diabetes.
Executives never want to hear about the problems though. Thats why were here to help you focus on the solution. This is to increase your intake of high fiber low carb foods and keep your waistline and health issues in check!
Now lets get started with the basics first.
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About As Much Usable Carb As Fiber
These foods have an equal amount of usable carbs and fiber. They offer a perfect balance of the two and are also good choices for your diet.
- Asparagus:1 cup chopped asparagus has 2 grams usable carbs, 3 grams fiber
- Celery: 1 cup chopped celery has 1.5 grams usable carb, 1.5 grams fiber
- Eggplant : 1 cup cooked eggplant has 3 grams usable carb, 3 grams fiber
- Mushrooms: 1 cup of mushrooms has 4 gram usable carb, 2 gram fiber
- Radishes:1 cup raw sliced radishes has 2 grams usable carb, 2 grams fiber
- Red raspberries: 1 cup red raspberries has 8 grams usable carb, 9 grams fiber
- Romaine lettuce: 1 cup raw romaine lettuce has 0.5 gram usable carbs, 1 gram fiber