Low-Carb Diets High in Fiber

low carb eating

If you live any place on this planet, you have heard a lot about low-carb diets. The conundrum for many people is that when they eat low-carb, they also eat a diet low in fiber. This happens because fiber is a kind of carb the body can't digest. A healthier approach is to eat a low carb diet that still provides adequate fiber while staying within your carb limits.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

The key is to find balance by adding low-carb, high fiber foods together with lean protein. How many carbs you eat depends on the particular phase and diet you follow. Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Once the introductory phase of a low-carb plan is complete, adding high fiber takes planning. Whole grains are complex carbs that are good for you, but high in carbs. Look for low-carb options such as low-carb pitas, breads, cereals, etc. Vegetables should be the source of most fiber. The following lists offers low-carb options for adding fiber to your diet, however fruit should be limited.

Low-Carb Fruits

Fruit Carbs
Blackberries (1/2 cup) 9
Black Currants (1/2 cup) 9
Blueberries (1/2 cup) 10
Cranberries (raw) (1/2 cup) 6
Fig (medium) 10
Gooseberries (1/2 cup) 8
Grapes (about 10 medium) 9
Guava (1/2 cup) 10
Kiwi (medium) 11
Olives black (pitted) (1 oz.) 2.5
Olives green (pitted) (1 oz). .4
Papaya (½ cup) 7
Passion Fruit (medium) 4
Paw Paw 4
Peach 10
Pineapple fresh (½ cu) 10
Plum 9
Prune (dried and pitted) 5
Raspberry (½ cup) 7
Rhubarb (½ cup) 3
Strawberries (½ cup) 5
Tangerine 9
Tomato (large) 6

Low Carb Vegetables

When trying to eat a higher fiber, low carb diet, the best low-carb, plant-based foods are non-starchy vegetables.

Vegetable Carbs
Alfalfa sprouts raw (100g) .4
Asparagus boiled (100g) 4
Bamboo shoots (canned) (100g) .7
Beets (raw) (100g) 4.6
Beets pickled and drained (100g) 5.6
Broccoli boiled (100g) 1.3
Broccoli raw (100g) 1.8
Butternut squash baked (100g) 7.4
Cabbage boiled (100g) .6
Green Pepper raw (100g) 2.6
Carrots (raw young) (100g) 6
Cauliflower boiled (100g) 2.3
Celery raw (100g) .9
Cucumber, unpeeled, raw 1.5
Eggplant raw (100g) 2.2
Endive (100g) 2.8
Kale raw (100g) 1.4
Leeks raw (100g) 2.9
Mushrooms raw (100g) 3.4
Okra raw (100g) 3
Onions raw (100g) 7.9
Romaine lettuce raw (100g) 1.7
Spinach raw (100g) 1.6
Zucchini raw (100g) 1.8

The Diet/Carb/Fiber Connection

During the digestion process, all carbohydrates except fiber break down into sugars. Low carbohydrate diets base themselves on the principle that too much glucose causes blood sugar to rise, which jolts insulin production into high gear. Insulin's only function is to hook up with glucose and carry it to our cells. When more glucose is made than used, it is either stored as glycogen for later energy use or stored as fat. Our body effectively regulates its insulin production during the digestion of complex carbohydrates, so that's where carbohydrates should come from most often. The trick to eating high fiber on a low-carb plan is to choose your carbs wisely.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates include sugars found in:

  • Candy
  • Fruits
  • Baked goods
  • Processed foods

Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates include starches found in:

  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains

Fruit is a simple carb and should be limited even when choosing low-carb fruits. When choosing complex carbs, limit grain products. Instead carb intake for fiber should primarily come from vegetable sources.

Low-Carbohydrate High Fiber Menu

Today diet experts often recommend low-carbohydrate diets as a safe and effective way to lose weight. Many studies show the efficacy of low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss, including a 2010 study at Temple University. Low carb does not mean no carb, nor does it have to mean high fat. Here are a few menu ideas to help you add healthy low-carb fiber to your diet.

Breakfast Ideas

  • Vegetable omelet made with two eggs and 1/2 cup vegetables
  • Protein smoothie with 1/2 cup of fruit (or instead of fruit add 100 grams of romaine lettuce. Once it's blended you don't taste it.)
  • Carb Master Vanilla Yogurt over 1/2 cup strawberries

Lunch Ideas

  • Low carb whole grain pita filled with lean mean, cheese, and alfalfa sprouts, raw
  • Low carb wrap filled with 1/2 cup of dark leafy greens and other favorite low-carb fillings
  • Breadless BLT - Roll bacon, lettuce and tomato in sliced turkey for a satisfying lunch

Dinner Ideas

Importance of Fiber

Fiber is important, but most people don't understand the far-reaching benefits of fiber in the diet.

  • Helps prevent constipation
  • Soluble fiber helps absorb fats and cholesterol
  • Speeds up the time it takes for food to move through the digestive tract
  • Helps control blood sugar

Fiber Supplements

If you are trying to lose weight, the most effective and safe approach is through moderate portions of all the food groups, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. If you have a problem staying within carb limits by adding fruits, vegetables and low-carb, whole grain products, another option is to consider a fiber supplement. However, check with your doctor before taking fiber supplements because of possible contraindications with other medication including some diabetes medications.

Low-Carb Diets High in Fiber