This list of high-fiber low-carb foods is for everyone doing any type of low carb diet who wants to improve their gut health and their cardiovascular health.
BENEFITS OF FIBER AND DRI
Believe it or not, helping you poop isn’t the only superpower fiber has. I know: it’s like you’re really good at one thing and then it’s all you’re known for. Can you imagine being fiber and being known as a poop assistant?
“Hey, dude, did you know I prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and humans worship me since 2014?” said turmeric
“Great for you, they only think of me when they’re constipated.” – said fiber
It’s like you’re there right? OMG, if you can’t picture it, maybe I should make it a video, I am doing the voices as I’m writing this anyway…
So poop assistant, now we also know how coffee really feels.
Fiber can do more than that. It can actually benefit your cardiovascular, digestive and brain health. Research suggests consuming enough fiber can also help reduce inflammation and increase our chances of surviving infections as we get older. (source)
The minimum recommended amount of fiber is 25g/day for females and 38g/day for males (source).
Of course, most of us aren’t getting enough. I mean, it’s no surprise. Life would be too easy if we were doing everything perfectly, right? We need a challenge. And even though it’s naturally not too difficult to get enough fiber from what we eat, through evolution we found some great ways to take poor fiber out of our food.
Then we decided to process it a little bit more, put it in a package and sell it for more money as a supplement. Aaah, evolution, you’re wonderful.
But, wait, there’s more. You know how everyone and their guinea pig is doing the ketogenic diet right now? Oooo, that makes things even more complicated. But we love the challenge! We do a little bit of thinking and figure all we need to do is find some foods that are high in fiber and low in carbs and actually eat them.
THE BEST WAY TO GET ENOUGH FIBER ON A LOW CARB DIET
On a low-carb diet, many people tend to focus on eating either a ton of protein or fat and kinda ignore the really healthy part of a diet. Consuming more foods that are rich in fiber and antioxidants.
These types of foods are where the real health benefits of any good diet are hiding. To get enough antioxidants and fiber on a low carb diet you need to be more intentional about eating plenty of high-fiber vegetables, some low carb fruit, plus some seeds and nuts.
Of course, if you oversimplify, low-carb diets are about eating less carbs and eating more of the things that people have been telling you for decades not to eat. Like butter or bacon or eggs with their yolks in. Those freaking yolks.
So it might seem like there’s not really a lot of room for many plants, when you’re encouraged to cut carbs out of your diet. Plants do contain some carbs after all and they do add up. We know this because we’ve eaten bread and pizza on the same day in the past.
When you look deeper though, you’d realize it’s not about the number of carbs you’re eating overall. It’s about the quality of the diet and if you need to count, the number that actually matters is net carbs.
Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber.
See fiber is a carb, but it leaves your body undigested. Which means you’re not absorbing much if any of it and you don’t need to count it.
This leaves plenty of room for healthy high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds even if you’re eating keto or low-carb.
HIGH-FIBER LOW-CARB FOODS TO EAT DAILY
1.BROCCOLI, 2.4G FIBER
1 cup of chopped broccoli contains 2.4g fiber, 6.04g total carbs, 3.64 net carbs, and 31kcal. That would cover 10% of the daily fiber needs for females and 6% for males.
It’s no secret broccoli is a healthy vegetable: it can fight free radicals, cancer and cardiovascular disease due to the antioxidants it contains (source). Broccoli also provides a great amount of fiber. Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, iron, zinc and potassium.
The best way to prepare broccoli is to steam it or to add it to your one pan dishes almost at the end of cooking (3-4minutes before you turn off the heat), so you can preserve most of its beneficial nutrients.
2. AVOCADO, 13.5G FIBER
1 avocado contains 13.5g fiber, 17.15g total carbs, 4g net carbs, 322kcal. That would cover 54% of the daily fiber needs for females and 36% for males.
Avocados aren’s just an excellent source of fiber, they contain essential nutrients, antioxidants and healthy fats (monounsaturated fatty acids). These healthy fats further help the absorption of carotenoids from other foods (e.g. tomatoes, spinach, carrots). One study showed that eating avocado more often can improve the overall quality of your diet, nutrient intake and HDL cholesterol levels which is important for your cardiovascular health.
Avocado is easy to add to your diet – it can be a healthy substitute for mayonnaise, can be used in smoothies, salads or on toast.
3. RASPBERRIES, 9.8G FIBER
1 cup raspberries has 9.8g fiber, 18g total carbs, 8.2g net carbs, and 81kcal. This would cover 39% of the daily fiber needs for females and 26% for males.
Aside from fiber raspberries also have a lot of vitamin C and non-essential antioxidants that can prevent certain types of cancer and other chronic diseases. In alternative medicine, raspberries have been used to cure wounds, diarrhea, and renal ailments. (source)
Raspberries are great as a snack, in smoothies, in simple desserts, breakfast or even in salads.
4. ARTICHOKE, 6.9G FIBER
1 artichoke contains 60kcal, 6.9g fiber, 13.3g total carbs, 6.4g net carbs. This would cover 28% of the daily fiber needs for females and 18% for males.
I personally have no idea how to cook a fresh artichoke. I always buy a jar of artichoke hearts and add them to bowls like this one. You can have them on the side or in salads. If you want to cook an actual, unprocessed artichoke, you might find this article helpful.
5. COCOA, 2G FIBER
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder contains 12kcal, 2g fiber, 3.1g total carbs, 1.1g net carbs. This means, with that 1 tbsp you can cover 8% of your daily fiber needs if you’re a woman, and 5% if you’re a man.
Unsweetened, raw cocoa powder is also naturally rich in iron, magnesium, protein. It’s also a very important source of powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. (source) Cocoa can have multiple health benefits for your cardiovascular and brain health. Studies suggest flavonoids can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, reduce the risk of stroke (source), improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure (source).
6. ALMONDS, 12.5G FIBER
100g raw almonds have 579kcal, 12.5g fiber, 22g total carbs, 9.5g net carbs. This means that by eating a little less than a cup you can cover your daily fiber requirement to 88% if you’re female, and 58% if you’re a male.
Almonds are an excellent healthy snack you can take anywhere and are rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, B-vitamins and vitamin E.
7. FLAXSEED, 2.8G FIBER
1 Tbsp whole flaxseed has 55kcal, 2.8g fiber, 3g total carbs and 0.2g net carbs. This covers 11% of your daily fiber needs if you’re female, or 7% if you’re male.
Additionally, flax has a very high omega-3/omega-6 ratio. Usually, we get way too many omega-6 fatty acids from food (they’re everywhere) and not enough omega-3’s (found in fish, flaxseed and chia seeds) which might result in low-grade systemic inflammation. This inflammation is linked to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, or neurodegenerative diseases. So, beyond fiber, it’s a good idea to add a tbsp of ground flaxseed to your breakfast or your smoothies, so you can balance out the omega-6’s found in most other foods.
8. CHIA SEEDS, 10G FIBER
There are 138kcal, 12g total cabs, 10g fiber and 2g net carbs in 1oz chia seeds.
Chia seeds are highly nutritious and a great source of iron, omega-3’s, magnesium and B-vitamins (source). They’re also suggested to have laxative, analgestic and antioxidant properties (source). Chia seeds have also been demonstrated to be beneficial for managing excess weight and diabetes (source).
Make sure to soak your chia seeds before eating for better absorption. You can add them to smoothies or make this chia pudding for breakfast.
9. STRAWBERRIES, 2.9G FIBER
1 cup whole strawberries: 46kcal, 11g total carbs, 2.9g fiber and 8.1g net carbs. This means that you’re getting 12% of your fiber needs if you’re a woman and 8% if you’re a man.
Strawberries have one of the highest vitamin C content. They also contain a variety of polyphenols that could reduce cardiovascular disease and prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol (which is the bad one). (source)
Strawberries are delicious as a snack, with yogurt, as a topping for chia pudding or with cream cheese.
10. RED CABBAGE, 2.1G FIBER
1 cup chopped cabbage contains 28kcal, 7g total carbs, 2g fiber, and 5g net carbs. The fiber content covers 8% DV for women or 5% for men.
Red Cabbage is also a great source of vitamin C, A, B6. As a cruciferous vegetable, it’s also been demonstrated to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. (source)
All you need to do with red cabbage is chop it and have it on the side or add it to salads. I have a very good recipe for a Mediterranean Salmon Bowl that comes with a tasty cabbage salad.
11. BRUSSELS SPROUTS, 3.3G FIBER
1 cup Brussels sprouts delivers 38kcal, 7.9g total carbs, 3.3g fiber and 4.6g net carbs. This would cover 13% DV for women, and 9% for men.
Brussels sprouts are also a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage and broccoli and exhibit similar anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain vitamin C, B6 and A.
12. NETTLE, 6.1G FIBER
1 cup blanched stinging nettles contains 37kcal, 6.7g total carbs, 6.1g fiber, and 0.6g net carbs. That means, you’re getting 27% of your fiber needs if you’re a woman and 18% if you’re a man.
Nettle is very ignored, but also highly nutritious food. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A and it’s one of the best anti-inflammatory foods you can find. In some studies, it has also demonstrated antioxidant, anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic properties. (source)
I’ve made a few recipes with raw and cooked nettles myself. I like them in soups, cooked with spring onions and olive oil on the side or if you’re brave – add them raw to your smoothies. Make sure they’re blended all the way through, so they don’t sting.
13. SNAP BEANS, 3.4G FIBER
1 cup snap beans contains 31kcal, 7g total carbs, 3.4g fiber and 3.6g net carbs. This would cover 14% of your daily fiber needs if you’re woman or 9% if you’re a man.
Snap beans are additionally a good source of protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin C and B6. Adding snap beans to a low carb diet is as easy as cooking them with some olive oil in a non-stick pan, add some garlic and spices and have them on the side.
14. SESAME SEEDS, 11.8G FIBER
100g of sesame seeds contain 573kcal, 23.5g total carbs, 11.8g fiber and 11.7g net carbs.
Sesame seeds are also a great source of minerals, protein and some vitamins. I find them most delicious when they’re toasted in a pan for a minute or two and then added on top of salads or in dressings.
15. HEMP SEEDS, 1.2G
3 Tbsp hulled hemp seeds contain 166kcal, 2.6g total carbs, 1.2g fiber and 1.4g net carbs.
Hemp seeds are a great source of omega-3’s and protein and you can add them on salads or in smoothies.
16. BLACKBERRIES, 7.6G FIBER
1 cup contains 62kcal, 14g total carbs, 7.6g fiber and 6.4g net carbs. This would be enough to cover the fiber DV to 30% for women and 20% for men.
Blackberries are great as a snack, or like strawberries on top of chia pudding or yogurt. In folk medicine they’ve been used to cure colitis and in more recent research they’re shown to contain active compounds that can prevent age-related neurodegeneration. (source)
17. GREEN BELL PEPPER, 2G FIBER
1 medium-sized green bell pepper has 24kcal, 6g total carbs, 2g fiber and 4g net carbs. This would be enough to cover the fiber DV to 8% for women and 5% for men.
Bell peppers are also known as one of the best sources of vitamin C – an important vitamin for your skin, hair and for weight loss. Bell peppers are also good sources of vitamin A or B6.
Easy way to add them to a low carb diet is raw on the side, as a snack or in salads.
18. ASPARAGUS, 2.8G FIBER
1 cup asparagus has 27kcal, 5.2g total carbs, 2.8g fiber and 2.4g net carbs. This would be enough to cover the fiber DV to 11% for women and 7% for men.
Asparagus has a good amount of protein, iron, potassium, zinc and is a great source of B vitamins & vitamin K.
19. CAULIFLOWER, 2.1G FIBER
1 cup chopped cauliflower contains 27kcal, 5.2g total carbs, 2.1g fiber, and 3.1g net carbs. This would cover the fiber DV to 8% for women and 5% for men.
Cauliflower is very similar to broccoli and also belongs to the Brassica family (that’s right they’re all brothers). As such, cauliflower contains compounds that protect from cancer and are antimutagen. (source)
The best way to cook cauliflower to get the most out of its benefits is to steam or lightly stir-fry it. (source)
20. ZUCCHINI, 2G FIBER
1 medium-sized zucchini contains 33kcal, 6g total carbs, 2g fiber, and 4g net carbs
It’s funny, I always thought zucchini had no nutrients, much like lettuce or cucumber. Turns out, that’s not true. Folate, vitamin C, provitamin A, potassium and minerals – you can find all of these in zucchini.
Wait, there’s more. Zucchini’s been also used in folk medicine to treat colds and aches. Research has demonstrated it has antioxidant properties and might prevent cancer. (source)
Best way to cook zucchini to preserve more nutrients is steaming. But I also like stir-frying and it doesn’t lead to too many nutritional losses. (source)
21. CELERY, 1.6G FIBER
100g of celery have 16kcal, 3g total carbs, 1.6g fiber, and 1.4g net carbs
Celery got quite famous over the last year. Turns out it does have some fiber, as well as folate and vitamin K.
22. OKRA, 3.2G FIBER
1 cup okra provides 33kcal, 7g total carbohydrates, 3.2g fiber, and 3.8g net carbs. This would cover the fiber DV to 13% for women and 8% for men.
Also known as lady’s finger, okra is native to Africa. In the traditional African and Asian medicine it’s been used to help with gastritis. In more recent research, okra’s been shown to be an antioxidant and to help with fatigue. (source)
23. COCONUT MEAT, 7.2G FIBER
1 cup shredded coconut meat contains 283kcal, 12.2g total carbs, 7.2g fiber, 5g net carbs. This would cover the fiber DV to 29% for women and 19% for men.
Whew! You can do any diet if you can eat coconut, right? And it’s good for you. Coconut meat provides not only fiber but also iron, potassium and healthy fats.
24. PUMPKIN SEEDS, 6G FIBER
100g contain 560kcal, 10.7g total carbs, 6g fiber, 4.7g net carbs. This would cover the fiber DV to 24% for women and 16% for men.
You can add these nutritious seeds rich in magnesium, protein and iron to your salads or have them as a snack.
I hope you found some new fiber-rich foods you actually want to eat, even if you’re doing a low-carb diet. You can check the recommendations below for more foods and recipes.