Low carb can be very beneficial for weight management, diabetes management, and active lifestyle. But just like every way of eating, it has its challenges. People usually try to reduce their carbohydrate intake below 130 g per day on this diet which means they also remove a lot of fibre rich foods.
Low carb diets tend to be low in fibre
Getting enough fibre every day is not easy. Here is how much we should be aiming for.
- women: 21 - 25 grams per day
- men: 30 - 38 grams per day
Research shows that only around 5% of adults meet these recommendations, independent of whether they eat low carb or not (1). That’s probably because our modern diet is rich in highly-processed foods that are very low in fibre.
Grains such as wheat, rice, or corn and other high carb foods like potatoes are rich sources of fibre. When you cut these out, you’re further limiting ways of hitting the daily fibre limit.
Fibre is important for health
Fibre doesn’t give us any energy, it doesn’t provide us with any protein, vitamins or minerals. Why should we even care about it if it’s so hard to get? Research shows that regular intake of fibre can have significant health benefits. Here is an overview of the main ones.
- Weight loss. It increases feelings of fullness which helps reduce calorie intake (2).
- Better diabetes management. It lowers blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes (3).
- Improved cholesterol. It helps modestly reduce LDL cholesterol (4).
- Digestion and immunity. It feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut (5).
Fortunately, there are many tasty meals and ingredients that are both low carb and high in fibre. If you include enough of them into your diet you can enjoy these benefits too.
Low carb ingredients that are high in fibre
It’s probably no surprise that most of the high fibre foods are either vegetables, fruits, or seeds. But you can still find great and not so good options among them. That’s because when you’re low carb you need to take a look at the ratio of fibre to digestible carbs. There are two seeds that are excellent in this aspect. They contain almost no digestible carbs and a lot of fibre. These are your best options and you should include them regularly if you want to really boost your fibre intake.
- Flaxseed (27,3g of fibre and 1,6g of carbs per 100g)
- Chia seeds (34,4g of fibre and 7,7g of carbs per 100g)
This second group of foods is still great. Even though the difference is not as big they still have more fibre than carbs.
- Collard greens
The third group has about as much carbs as fibre.
- Romaine lettuce
And the last group has slightly more carbs than fibre but it’s still a good idea to include them into a low carb diet.
- Bell peppers
- Nuts and seeds
- Brussel sprouts
Supplements such as Psyllium husk powder can also be very helpful. Psyllium is extremely high in fibre. One tablespoon (10 grams) provides 8 grams of fibre and slightly less than 1 gram of digestible carb.
How to get high fibre foods into your low carb diet
Now that you know what ingredients you should focus on it’s time to find practical ways to include them into your daily diet. You don’t have to completely change how you eat just because of fibre. Actually, making gradual smaller changes usually brings better results long-term. Try one or more of the following tips.
- Add a small side of vegetables to each main meal of the day
- Include flaxseed-based ingredients such as bread, pasta, muesli, or pizza bases
- Make vegetable smoothies with berries and nuts
- Prepare big salads in the summer season
- Cook vegetable soups during colder months
To make things easier we prepared several delicious recipes for you. It won’t even feel like an effort to increase fibre intake this way.
High fibre breakfast recipes
With a flaxseed-based muesli you can easily make a hearty morning porridge that is high in fibre. Similarly, you can add more fibre by combining veggies, cheese, and a low carb bread.
High fibre lunch and dinner recipes
You can boost fibre at lunch or dinner without sacrificing your favourite meal. Our pizza bases and burger buns are made with flaxseed and psyllium husk powder so they are really high in fibre but still allow you to create that super tasty dish.
High fibre snack and dessert recipes
Did you know that nachos and cookies can be high fibre and amazingly crunchy and delicious? Follow our recipes and taste for yourself. It’s wonderful!
How to safely increase fibre intake
Fibre can be very healthy but it can also cause issues if you don’t use it right. If this article got you excited about increasing your fibre intake, then make sure to keep two things in mind.
- Increase fibre intake gradually! If your intestines aren’t used to a lot of fibre, it could cause you unpleasant issues such as diarrhoea or constipation. Make sure to increase the amount of fibre gradually and monitor how your body responds.
- Drink plenty of water! Fibre can cause constipation if you eat a lot of it without drinking enough water. Consider having an extra glass of water with every high fibre meal you introduce into your diet.
Now you’re ready to get both the benefits of low carb and high fibre eating. We believe that improving your diet shouldn’t be hard. That’s why we are fans of flaxseed at Lizza. We use it in most of our products to make adding fibre easy and delicious for anyone.