Has the keto diet made your digestion move a little…slowly? Do you often feel hungry? Bloated? Do you have concerns about high cholesterol? Dietary fiber is key to all of these health factors and more.
One complaint that people often have about the ketogenic diet and similar low-carb diets is that these plans are lacking in roughage. People may assume that high-fiber foods aren't suitable for a low carb diet, but they're actually a crucial component. Some folks experience digestive side effects like constipation, especially when starting keto. Others find that they just don't feel full—both may be related to our friend, fiber!
Here's how to get enough fiber on keto to keep your system running at optimum capacity.
How Does Fiber Help Your Health?
Fiber is a crucial nutrient for dietary health, and most of us don’t get nearly enough. It’s estimated that only about 5% of Americans consume enough fiber to support their health. What does fiber do anyway?
Fiber has many health benefits. People often think that fiber "makes you poop." While this is somewhat true, it's also a bit of a misconception. Your body doesn't fully digest fiber. So, when you consume fiber, it adds bulk to your stool, making it softer and easier to pass. However, if you have problems with loose stools, that same bulking quality can actually help your bowel movements solidify and stop diarrhea.
There are numerous other benefits of consuming fiber too. Fiber contains prebiotics—food for your gut bacteria. It helps keep your stomach feeling balanced and healthy. If you often feel bloated, gassy, or sluggish, then fiber can help realign your digestive system.
Additionally, fiber helps you feel full. Even though fiber contains a lot of bulk, that bulk fills you up without adding calories to your meal. Fibrous foods often appear more abundant—think of a big leafy green salad over a tiny piece of cheese that might contain the same number of calories. It’s not that the cheese is bad for you, per se—it contains protein, calcium, and filling fat. But who feels full after just one piece of cheese?
Similarly, "bulking up" meals with fibrous foods like green vegetables can help you get that visual satisfaction crucial to dietary success. When you see a lot of food on your plate, you avoid those pangs of deprivation—those feelings that can lead to throwing in the towel and cheating on your diet.
Fiber also offers many other health benefits. Consuming enough fiber can help you keep your blood sugar levels steady. It will help you feel full and satisfied. It helps lower Type 2 diabetes risk. Fiber can lower your cholesterol and promote better blood pressure. Some studies show that diets high in fiber are better for heart health and can even help prevent certain types of cancer, like those of the GI tract.
Getting Enough Fiber on a Keto Diet
While a keto or low-carb diet is excellent for losing weight and feeling energetic, there can be a few side effects, especially for keto newbies. Constipation, heartburn, and other digestive woes are common complaints. If you’re experiencing these effects, you might not be consuming much fiber.
Because fiber is crucial for a healthy gut biome and digestion, you can experience discomfort when you're not getting enough. Keto is a higher-fat diet, so it's common to experience heartburn and acid reflux as you shift to a new way of eating, especially if your diet lacks fiber-rich foods.
Similarly, many keto dieters experience constipation when they start out because they aren’t only lacking insoluble fiber but also water! Hydration is crucial for moving things through your system for weight loss. Most people get about 20% of their water intake from the foods they eat. Think of foods like lettuce, watermelon, apples, and tomatoes—these foods have a high moisture content, and when you consume them, you stay hydrated.
Keto and low-carb dieters often cut out fruit and even lower their intake of certain vegetables. When we consume fewer hydrating foods, we naturally become dehydrated, even if we drink lots of water. Meats and other low-carb foods may not contain as much water and can lead to dehydration and interfere with regular bowel movements. Plus, keto dieters may naturally increase their sodium and exercise—both of which can also lead to dehydration.
If you're experiencing digestive tract side effects on keto, your first step should be to drink more water! If that doesn't help the issue, you should start to look at increasing the amount of fiber in your meals with keto-friendly high-fiber foods for better gut health!
6 Keto-Friendly High-Fiber Foods
What high-fiber keto foods will help you feel full on a low-carb diet? Fortunately, there are plenty of low-carb, high-fiber options out there. Weight management is easy when you add these keto-friendly foods to the menu.
1. Leafy Greens
Tried and true, leafy greens are one of the best sources of fiber with almost no carbs. Try adding some ribbons of kale to any dish. Chop up collard greens, mustard greens, or cabbage and add it to your plate, or enjoy them with butter, whole grain mustard, or a little hot sauce. Stock up on salads and pile your plate with green, leafy vegetables whenever possible.
If you're on a high-fat diet like keto, you'll love avocado, and for a very good reason. Avocado has plenty of both fiber and healthy fat. They are filling and offer a great texture that adds a delicious creaminess to any dish. You can make delicious salad dressings, dips, and smoothies with avocados.
Amongst high-fiber foods, seeds are a great way to increase your fiber intake, add protein, and fill up without too many carbohydrates. Try chia seeds, which are very high in fiber. When wet, chia seeds gel together and can thicken smoothies and make chia seed pudding. Flax seeds are another excellent option that you can use to coat fish and other proteins for a "breading" effect. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are another flavorful favorite, with plenty of nutrients too.
Add nuts to your diet if you want to get additional keto-friendly fiber. Nuts have some carbohydrates, so choose options like pecans and almonds that are lower in carbs. Puree nuts into a buttery dip for carrots and pepper strips. Grab a handful of nuts for a quick boost of healthy fats and a great source of fiber.
5. Cauliflower & Broccoli
Eating broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and other vegetables in the Brassicaceae family is an excellent way to increase the fiber in your diet. These veggies are generally very low in carbohydrates with fantastic flavor. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, and cauliflower is an excellent addition to many dishes. Add a side of sauteed broccoli or baked cauliflower to your favorite recipe. Enjoy cruciferous vegetables as a side dish with protein. For a tasty treat, top with lemon, hot sauce, or a drizzle of olive oil.
6. It’s Skinny Pasta or Rice
We can't talk about low-carb, high-fiber foods without konjac root! What's that? You're not familiar with konjac? It's okay—many people haven't heard of this miraculous vegetable. Konjac root is exceptionally high in glucomannan fiber, a unique fiber that aids in blood sugar control while keeping you full.
It's Skinny Pasta and It's Skinny Rice are made from konjac root, making them a great solution for dieters looking for low-carb, high-fiber foods. In fact, a pack of It’s Skinny has ZERO net carbs and only 9 calories per serving. Yet, It’s Skinny looks, tastes, and acts like your favorite pasta or rice when you use it in any recipe. It’s truly the secret to keto dieting success.
It's Skinny Pasta and Rice are easy to use—simply open the pack, drain, and heat through with the rest of the ingredients for your sauce or toppings. The noodles are available as Spaghetti, Angel Hair, or Fettucine. Choose a variety pack to get all three plus Rice. You can try all the varieties and choose your favorite!
If you’re looking for ways to enjoy some of your favorite recipes, increase your fiber on keto, and avoid carb overload, It’s Skinny is the answer! Explore our many keto-friendly recipes to see how easy it can be to enjoy your favorite Pasta and Rice dishes while still sticking to keto!
It’s important to get plenty of filling fiber when you’re following a low-carb diet plan. It’s Skinny helps you stay full and enjoy dishes your way—guilt-free and easy to digest! It’s plant-based, kosher, low-carb, and gluten-free, making it the perfect solution for any lifestyle.
If you’re ready to explore It’s Skinny, order today! Once you try it, you’ll love this great low-carb solution!