How to Get Enough Fiber When You're on a Low-Carb Diet

How to Get Enough Fiber When You're on a Low-Carb Diet

Learning how to get enough fiber on a low-carb diet is tricky sometimes, but it’s definitely possible. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, and it’s found only in plants. So if you’re eating a diet low in carbohydrates, you’re potentially missing out on all the good fiber does in your body.

“Fiber helps keep things moving — creating regular bowel movements — and ‘feeds’ the good bacteria living in the gut,” explains Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian based in Seattle.

Here’s our guide on the benefits of fiber for your body and how to get more fiber on a low-carb diet.

With 7 grams of fiber, 20 grams of pea protein, and no added sugar per serving, Openfit Plant-Based Nutrition Shake is the perfect addition to your diet! Get it here.

 

Why We Need Fiber

“Fiber is not only essential for digestion,” says registered dietitian Kim Rose, RDN, LD. High-fiber diets can also help support heart health and even healthy blood sugar levels.

Plus, since eating fiber promotes fullness and may help keep you from overeating, it can help support both weight loss and maintenance programs. Foods that are naturally higher in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, are often lower in calories but high in volume.

According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended intake for fiber is 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women.

 

5 Tips on How to Increase Your Fiber Intake

bowl of berries and oatmeal | how to get enough fiber on a low carb diet

1. Eat more plants

The best way to get enough fiber is by incorporating more plant-based foods into your meals and snacks. Even on a lower-carb diet, you can make room for high-fiber seeds, nuts, low-glycemic fruits, vegetables, and sometimes legumes and pulses.

2. Start slow

Too much fiber too fast can cause stomach upset. “I always recommend you start slow,” cautions Rose. “For beginners, include one fruit and one vegetable at each meal and then slowly work your way up.”

3. Befriend berries

Berries are a low-carb way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try adding a cup of raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries to your meals or snacks, suggests Rose.

4. Add greens

Dark leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses that have relatively few calories per cup. Greens like kale and spinach cook down, so add heaps of them to your morning egg scramble. You can also blend them into protein shake recipes or have them with your favorite lean protein for lunch.

5. Read the label

Some protein shakes add sugar, which bumps the carb content way up. Instead, look for protein shakes that provide fiber but don’t include sugar in any form. Openfit Plant-Based Nutrition Shake provides 7 grams of fiber and only 8 grams of carbs, with no added sugars.

 

12 High-Fiber Low-Carb Foods

Avocado

bowl of avocados | how to get enough fiber on a low carb diet

One avocado contains 9 grams of fiber and 12 grams of carbs.

Blackberries

One cup of blackberries contains 7 grams of fiber and 22 grams of carbs.

Broccoli

One cup of broccoli contains 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of carbs.

Brussels sprouts

One cup of brussels sprouts contains 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of carbs.

Carrots

bowl of shredded carrots | how to get enough fiber on a low carb diet

One medium carrot contains 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of carbs.

Chia seeds

One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of carbs.

Flaxseed

One tablespoon of flaxseed contains 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of carbs.

Kale

One cup of kale contains 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of carbs.

Pomegranate seeds

bowl of pomegranate seeds | how to get enough fiber on a low carb diet

Half a cup of pomegranate seeds contains 3 grams of fiber and 13 grams of carbs.

Pistachios

Half a cup of pistachios contains 7 grams of fiber and 17 grams of carbs.

Raspberries

One cup of raspberries contains 12 grams of fiber and 23 grams of carbs.

Spinach

bowl of spinach | how to get enough fiber on a low carb diet

One cup of spinach contains 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of carbs.

About

Mascha Davis is a registered dietitian nutritionist, humanitarian, and founder of Nomadista Nutrition, a private nutrition practice based in Los Angeles. Her writing and expertise have been featured in numerous media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, ABC News, Men's Health, Refinery29, PopSugar, Reader's Digest, and more. Follow her on Twitter.