Consuming adequate fiber is vital for optimal health. Fiber can incredibly boost your weight loss, ease constipation, and improve your bowel movement.
Additionally, fiber can lower your cholesterol levels, consequently reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Unfortunately, many of don’t consume enough fiber to enjoy all the amazing benefits I’ve mentioned above.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 25 grams of fiber for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. The average American only consumes about 16 grams of fiber daily, which is far off the mark.
It’s even harder to get enough fiber when you’re on a low-carb diet because you may have to limit your intake of starchy veggies and fruits.
However, it’s not impossible.
Below are 12 effortless ways to increase fiber intake on a low carb diet.
How to Increase Fiber Intake on A Low-Carb Diet
1. Eat Nuts and Seeds
Seeds and nuts are naturally high in unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein. They also contain vitamin E and magnesium. One ounce of almonds, for example, has 3 grams of fiber.
Seeds and nuts are shelf-stable, versatile, and nutrient-dense, which makes them excellent snacks to have.
Eat them by themselves or use them in recipes to enhance your meals with extra fiber and nutrition.
2. Consider Non-Starchy Vegetables
You should also consider non-starchy, fresh vegetables to help boost up your fiber intake while ensuring your carb intake remains low.
That means you need to be careful with corn and peas as they are high in carbohydrates.
Examples of non-starchy vegetables include tomatoes, leafy greens, celery, bell peppers, etc.
3. Take Fiber Supplements
The best way to obtain your daily nutrition – including fiber – is from food. However, if you notice that your fiber intake is on the low side, you should consider taking a fiber supplement.
These supplements have been backed by adequate research:
- Psyllium: Psyllium is the primary ingredient in a popular fiber supplement – known as Metamucil – used to combat constipation. A recent study revealed that this potent ingredient could decrease hunger between meals.
- Guar fiber: Guar fiber is a supplement that helps in lowering your overall calorie intake and improves fullness. It is also used for enhancing the texture of processed foods.
- Glucomannan: Glucomannan is the key ingredient in zero-calorie shirataki noodles. It is usually added to several low-dairy products to improve its texture. As a supplement, it reduces appetite and heightens fullness.
Here are the best fiber supplements for weight loss.
4. Eat Avocados
Avocados are a highly nutritious tropical fruit. Its creamy, green flesh is packed with fiber and rich in healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids.
Half of this incredibly wholesome fruit delivers up to 5 grams of fiber.
Avocados have been scientifically linked to improved nutrient intake, heart health, and better diet quality.
You should consider using avocado instead of butter in your meals. You should also use it to top salads and other dishes.
5. Consume Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains
Whole grains, in most cases, are minimally processed, thus leaving them intact. But refined grains undergo intense processing which strips them of their fiber-rich hull and vitamin-containing germ.
While refined grains last long, their most nutritious part is stripped away. What is left behind is nothing but fat-absorbing carb.
Therefore, replace refined grains in your diet with their whole-grain counterparts. You can go for any of the following: Oatmeal, farro, brown rice, barley, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and freekeh.
6. Eat Berries
Berries with seeds are rich in fiber content. Blackberries or raspberries have the most fiber content, up to 8 grams per cup.
Other excellent choices are blueberries and strawberries, the former providing 4 grams and the latter up to 3 grams.
Berries also have less sugar content compared to other fruits. You can add berries to salads and cereal. Fresh and frozen berries are equally healthy.
7. Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet
If you are looking for nutritional powerhouses, then chia seeds are the best candidates. This is because they are loaded with protein, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber (up to 11 grams), and vitamins.
Chia seeds are 95 percent insoluble fiber, and this is evident as they gel in water.
Insoluble fiber helps your digestive tract by ensuring that everything therein keeps moving, which is highly crucial to colon health. These small seeds are also linked to a lower risk of diabetes.
8. Add Veggies to Your Meals
Eating lots of vegetables can lower the risk of chronic diseases and enhance weight loss.
I always advise clients to make sure veggies cover the biggest portion of their plates. This simple strategy makes it surprisingly easy to maintain a calorie deficit without hunger.
It’s also important to eat veggies first to avoid leaving them on the plate.
9. Eat Air-Popped Popcorn
One of the best snack foods around is popcorn because it is a whole grain. Popcorn delivers up to 4 grams of fiber per ounce, i.e. three cups of air-popped popcorn.
10. Bake Using Flours with High Fiber Content
If you need to bake bread or muffins, use flour that will add extra nutrition. Start by replacing that white flour with the fine-textured, whole-wheat pastry flour. The latter has up to three times more fiber than the former.
An ounce of coconut flour, for instance, has 11 grams of fiber. The same amount of soy flour has 5 grams. So, use these alternatives instead of all-purpose flour.
11. Add More Legumes to Your Diet
Legumes are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, carbs, and minerals. A well-cooked cup of beans can deliver up to 75 percent of your daily recommended fiber needs.
If you can replace meat with legumes in some of your meals every week, your risk of chronic diseases will reduce.
They have also been linked to increased life span if eaten consistently. Legumes have positive impacts on the gut microbiome, which is why they have such profound benefits.
You can increase legume consumption by adopting the following strategies:
- Top salads with well-cooked lentils or beans
- Add whole or mashed beans to ground beef dishes, etc.
12. Eat Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes, and Apples with Their Skin/Peel Intact
Do you know that when you peel vegetables and fruits, you have removed up to half of its fiber content? One small apple, for instance, is loaded with 4 grams of fiber. But a peeled one ends up with only 2 grams of fiber.
Half of the fiber content in a small potato resides in its skin. Cucumbers don’t have high fiber content, but half of the present one is in the peel.
The fiber found in the skin or peels of vegetables and fruits is usually insoluble fiber.
Fiber is crucial to your overall health. That’s why you should increase your intake by taking advantage of the strategies above.
If your goal is to lose weight, you need to do more than increase your fiber intake. Luckily, you don’t have to do anything extreme. You can lose up to 10 pounds in 1 week following this step-by-step guide.