These foods are high in fiber but low in carbs.

By Claire Gillespie
January 13, 2020
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If you’re limiting carbohydrates because you’re on a keto diet, consider this: including fiber-rich carbs in your diet can be very beneficial.

“Fiber is a carbohydrate that humans can’t digest,” Naomi Whittel, Gainesville, Florida-based author of High Fiber Keto, tells Health. “However, it’s still very important for health and can improve digestion, the microbiome (the bacterial balance in and on the body), balance blood sugar and support metabolic health.

The original ketogenic diet—extremely low in all carbohydrates (even veggies), low in protein, and very high in fat—was developed for children with epilepsy who weren’t responding to medication, Summer Yule, RDN, based in Avon, Connecticut, tells Health.

“Many people are now adopting the diet for weight loss,” she says. “In these cases, the macronutrient profile may contain more protein and less fat than in the traditional ketogenic diet.”

Even so, keto followers may experience a rise in LDL cholesterol, sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because too much of it can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can increase the risk of heart disease. And that’s where fiber can help. However, many high-fiber foods, like beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are also high in carbs, so they're limited on the keto diet.

“Including more keto-friendly high-fiber foods in the diet may help improve the person's lipid profile without having to go off keto,” Yule explains.

Here are some high-fiber, low-carb foods that are allowed on the keto diet.

Lupini beans

Low in carbs and high in fiber, lupini beans (aka lupin beans) are perfect for those on keto who are looking for a high-protein, high-fiber snack. Never heard of them? This yellow legume is hot on the heels of the edamame and fava bean as an on-trend nibble for the health-conscious consumer.  One cup of cooked lupini beans contains 4.6 grams of fiber—about 19% of the recommended daily value. However, ready-to-eat branded lupini bean snacks often contain even more. “I've noticed that the amount of carbs/fiber can vary greatly between lupini bean brands,” says Yule. “To make sure that you are choosing a food that is keto-friendly, be sure to check the label.”

Ground psyllium

Psyllium husk is a type of fiber commonly used as a gentle, bulk-forming laxative. With no net carbs and a whopping 7 grams of fiber per two tablespoon serving, ground psyllium is an easy way to increase fiber intake on the keto diet. “It works great as a binding agent in recipes,” Yule says. “Just make sure to consume it with plenty of water, coconut water, or juice to avoid dehydration.” Add a tablespoon to your beverage, and you’re good to go.

Brussels sprouts

If you want to boost your fiber intake on a keto eating plan, make non-starchy veggies like Brussels sprouts a staple, says Yule. Cooked Brussels sprouts contain just 5.5 grams of carbs, including 2 grams of fiber, per one-half cup. Add bacon and mozzarella or Parmesan cheese to your sprouts for a keto-friendly side.

Artichokes

A great choice on any healthy eating plan, artichokes are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium. Plus, a single (large) globe artichoke contains up to 10 grams of fiber, including inulin. “This is a specific prebiotic fiber that feeds beneficial bacteria in the body,” Whittel explains.

Wild blueberries

You can have fruit on the keto diet, as long as you choose carefully and keep serving sizes small. Whittel suggests blueberries, which can be added to salads and smoothies or eaten as a snack with nuts. “Berries are among the fruits with the highest fiber content yet are relatively low in carbohydrates for a small serving,” she says. For the ultimate high-fiber keto smoothie, mix unsweetened coconut milk, avocado (“the perfect keto food,” according to Whittel), chia seeds, and up to one-half cup of blueberries.

Garlic

Along with onions, leeks, and chives, garlic is a fiber-filled little package that can add flavor to any keto meal, says Whittel. Garlic butter (garlic cloves, butter, salt, and pepper) is a quick way to add flavor to your keto steaks and chicken fillets.

Raw cacao powder

Chocolate can be part of a keto diet, but choose dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa solids, and preferably more—the greater the cocoa percentage, the lower the carbs. Or even better, go for raw cacao powder. “Cacao powder can be used in smoothies and keto desserts for a boost of nutrition, fiber, and flavor,” says Whittel.

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