What Is Fibre?
Dietary fibre is a complex healthy carbohydrate that our body can not break down. It is vital to include in the diet as it is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. Plus, a diet rich in fibre will aid digestion and prevent constipation.
The recommended daily intake of fibre is 25g-30g a day. Natural sources of fibre include; cereals, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Often foods high in fibre will make us feel fuller, causing many people to use fibre supplements as a weight loss strategy.
However, many foods that are rich in fibre are not suitable for the ketogenic (keto) diet as they commonly have a high starch carbohydrate content.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein diet.
There are many benefits to being on a low carb or keto diet. Most low carb diets have been found improve blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes.
Carbohydrates (a.k.a carbs), fat and protein are all macronutrients that your body needs for processes in the body. Starches, sugars and fibre are all forms of carbs. Your digestive system breaks down starches and sugar into glucose and blood sugar. This is why carbs are restricted in the keto diet as your body starts to burn fat for energy instead of converting carbs to glucose.
Why Do People Following The Keto Diet Struggle To Get Fibre?
Due to the nature of the diet the key foods that are eaten are meat, fatty fish, full fat dairy, eggs and bulletproof coffee. These foods are all rich in fat and protein but provide no fibre to the diet as they are all animal derived products and we can only get fibre from plant sources.
Foods High In Fibre Suitable For The Keto Diet
These soft green fruits are a very popular ingredient in keto-friendly meals and snacks, such as guacamole. One avocado contains less than 4g of net carbs but a huge 13.5g of fibre.
2. Chia Seeds
Another high fibre ingredient is chia seeds. A 30g serving will give you 10g of fibre. They can be incorporated into smoothie bowls, low carb smoothies or sprinkled over salads.
Nuts are a great ingredient for keto-friendly recipes as they are a source of fibre and fat.
Just one serving of almonds (23 kernels) will provide you with 3.5g of fibre (and 2.5g net carbs), with a serving of pecans (19 halves) giving you 3g of fibre (and 1g of net carbs).
Nuts make a great snack on their own or they can top a low carb pudding or salad. Nut butters are also a common ingredient in keto friendly meals as they can add flavour and a creamy texture.
4. Leafy Green Vegetable
It is a common misconception that you have to remove vegetables from your diet all together when following keto. Instead you should target high-fibre non-starchy vegetables such as, leafy green vegetables (lettuce, spinach, kale etc.), peppers, cauliflower and asparagus.
Cauliflower is often used in keto-friendly recipes to make alternatives to starchy carbohydrate foods such as pizza crusts, rice and mash potatoes. 1 serving of cauliflower (100g) has 3g of net carbs and 2g of fibre.
5. Raw Coconut
Coconut in many forms is a great ingredient in keto recipes. Coconut oil and MCT oil are high fat oils that can be easily absorbed in the body.
That's why we included MCT oil in our Nespresso compatible keto coffee pods, to give a boost of fat to your morning coffee.
A small piece of coconut meat has 3g of net carbs with 4g of fibre whilst also increasing your fat intake.
By Alex Warmisham ANutr - Nutritionist at Rejuvenation Water