The ketogenic diet (aka the keto diet) has taken the diet world by storm. As a popular low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet, following this diet is linked to outcomes like weight loss, heart health benefits, and cognitive benefits. But since the keto diet is so low in carbs, and carbs tend to be one of the best sources of fiber, meeting the recommended 25–38 grams of fiber each day can be a challenge.
Why is it so important to have enough fiber in your diet?
Fiber is a category of indigestible carbohydrates that provide some pretty significant benefits to the body. People with a high dietary fiber intake appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake also reduces blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels.
Some of the best sources of dietary fiber include fruits, especially fruits with skins, whole grains, and beans. However, there is a catch: these foods are generally not encouraged when following a keto-friendly diet.
So how do you follow the keto diet and eat fiber? Fortunately, there are certain foods that can be eaten on a keto diet that also provide important fiber. If you’re looking for some of those keto-friendly fiber gems, here are 11 options that deserve a spot on your plate. And for more information on the keto diet, be sure to also check out 7 Dangerous Keto Diet Side Effects, According to Experts.
Each third of an avocado—which is considered about one serving—provides 3 grams of fiber, plus healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients like magnesium and folate. These fruits (yes, they are technically fruits) are a great addition to salads, eggs, and sandwiches made on low carb bread.
One ounce of chia seeds contains 10 grams of fiber, along with healthy fats and an increase in antioxidants. These tiny nutritional powerhouses can be used to make chia pudding, added to smoothies, and sprinkled on a multitude of keto-friendly dishes.
Not only can a single 1 ounce serving of walnuts provide 2 grams of fiber, these nuts are also the only nut that is an excellent source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, they provide antioxidants, vegetable proteins and many micronutrients. Nuts are a fantastic addition to chicken salad, lettuce salads, and even dipped in dark chocolate for a decadent treat.
One tablespoon of whole flax seeds provides nearly 3 grams of fiber. They are also a source of iron, an important mineral that helps prevent iron deficiency anemia. Flaxseeds can be sprinkled on many dishes without affecting the taste or texture.
An ounce of pistachios contains nearly 3 grams of fiber, as well as healthy fats and plant-based protein. And a new study conducted by Cornell University and published in the journal Nutrients found that pistachios have a high antioxidant capacity, suggesting that these tiny nuts may be a source of this key nutrient, along with popular choices like berries and red wine.
This ever-popular leafy vegetable provides nearly 1 gram of fiber per cup when raw. A single serving of kale also provides just 0.9 grams of carbs, making it a natural choice for a keto-friendly diet. Add kale to soups, salads, eggs or smoothies for a fiber boost.
Relying on rice cauliflower instead of regular rice is nothing new, whether a person is on a keto diet or now. This vegetable provides 2 grams of fiber per cup when raw, along with antioxidants, micronutrients, and very few calories.
A cup of sunflower seeds provides 4 grams of fiber along with healthy fats and very few carbs. These seeds are a go-to snack for people on the keto diet. Pro tip: Try sprinkling them with cayenne pepper for a spicy bite that fits right into this unique diet.
The keto diet is not a zero carb diet. It’s more of a low-carb diet, which allows for some of that macro. Blueberries contain 11 grams of carbs per one-cup serving, along with 4 grams of fiber and antioxidants that support brain health. Blueberries offer a natural sweetness that can satisfy the sweet tooth of people who avoid candies and other sweets with added sugars.
A cup of broccoli provides nearly 4 grams of fiber and makes a great side dish paired with protein and healthy fats. Broccoli is also a source of vitamin C, also helping to support our immune health.
Whether roasted, baked, or sautéed, Brussels sprouts can give you a fiber boost on your keto diet, with 3 grams of this nutrient per one-cup serving. They also only provide 8 grams of carbs per serving, which goes to show how great a natural addition they are to a keto-friendly diet.
Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning dietitian, book author and recipe creator who has been practicing for nearly 20 years. Learn more about Lawrence
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