I think this is a very important discussion topic about fiber on a ketogenic diet because carbs are fiber, so if something is fiber then it is going to have carbs and you are trying to limit your carbs… but fiber is important. That almost reads like a tongue twister but I didn’t mean for it to.
Do you see the dilemma here? And I have had conversations with people who follow a ketogenic diet mainly of protein and fats and aim for zero carbs. They argue that your body doesn’t need carbohydrates and the glucose that your body does need you can get from excess protein in the body. So if you don’t need carbohydrates than why do you need fiber? This question had me stumped.
Do you actually need fiber in your body for it to function properly? A Million dollar question. I started my ketogenic lifestyle on total whole carbs at no more than 20 per day and I did lose weight but I had to take supplements to ensure that I was going to the washroom regularily. Since intoducing a 30 whole carb diet per day, I eliminated this issue and I became more natural on my own. While doing this, I have been able to maintain my weight, so that tells me that my body responds well to more fiber.
Benefits of Fiber:
Fiber is an important component of any diet and for a few reasons but most importantly it normalizes your bowel movements and keeps things moving! Maintaining bowel health is extremely important and you going at least one time per day is essential to your health and wellbeing.
Plainly put, poop is full of toxins and if your bowels are full of old poop, that means you are holding on to toxins which is very dangerous. If you don’t feel well, exhausted, bloated, gas all the time and your breath stinks, these are all signs that your bowels might not be working properly.
Fiber also helps to lower your cholesterol levels and helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Both objectives of eating a ketogenic diet. So this is why I am a strong advocate for a ketogenic diet of around 30 whole carbs, and less than 20 net carbs. I think leafy green vegetables and avocado that are full of fiber are excellent sources of food on the ketogenic diet.
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Just like omega’s, I think fiber is best to get from natural sources, but if do decide to go on a strictly low fiber diet, there are supplements that you can take to increase your fiber and to keep things regular.
Before I get into a fiber supplement, I want to talk about Magnesium. This is an essential mineral to take as it helps the body with so much. including regulates your metabolism and helps with electrolyte balance.
Other health benefits include:
- Muscle relaxant and good for your heart health
- It helps you metabolize protein, fats, and carbohydrates
- Helps calm your nerves and sends relaxation messages to your brain and nervous system
- It helps your body’s use of other minerals
- Assists in bone and teeth formation
- Helps you sleep
- Keeps your bowel regular
- Regulates cholesterol
The fact that magnesium can keep your bowels regular is key if you are on a very low-carbohydrate diet that is absent of fiber. You will want to take magnesium before bedtime. The above health benefits equates to the following on the ketogenic diet:
- Helps you sleep
- keeps your bowels regular
- reduces muscle crampings
- helps your digest your macronutrients
Now, let’s touch on fiber supplements. You have to be careful which supplement you are ingesting, because remember, fiber is carbs, so if you are taking in a high-carb fiber supplement, you may as well just eat the carbs. However there are some products out there that won’t interfere with the ketogenic diet, and those are:
Psyllium Husk and Flax Seeds, which you can get in the PH in pill form and you could fill pills with the flax seed if you wish. These are natural forms of fiber that are basically 100% fiber, so the whole carbs are minimal.
Where you get Fiber on a keto diet:
When I look at where I get the majority of my fiber on the ketogenic diet, these are the main foods that I came up with from looking at my food logs:
I used to eat a 20 whole carb diet on keto for over a year, but more recently I switched to a 30 whole carb diet and I end up eating about 14-16 net carbs. I feel much better on this way of eating, with fewer cravings and I feel more full. This was definitely a good move for me, but everybody is different and you have to find what works for you.
I meet people often that profess their hatred for vegetables and fruits, which makes getting your fiber in naturally pretty difficult. I happen to love salads and have eaten them almost every day since I can remember. To make sure I am including the non-veggie lovers in my recipe below, I have included bread and a not a big green salad.
Below is a recipe for a high fiber keto bread that you can microwave and have ready within 120 seconds!
High-Fiber Keto Bread:
- 4 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp refined coconut oil melted
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- In a small microwave-safe dish, I use a square glass container that is around the size of 3×3, add in 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil & then add in the egg and whisk
- Then add in the flaxseed, baking soda and pinch of salt, continue to stir with a fork until a thick batter is formed, with a spatula try to scrape down the sides and even out the surface so it is flat
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes
- Remove from microwave and remove from the glass dish and let cool on a wire rack until it is no longer hot to touch
- Slice in half with a bread knife and butter your bread with butter, ghee or coconut oil … or anything you would normally have bread with! The sky the limit with this recipe!
I love this recipe for mini pizza’s, toast for my eggs, egg & sausage breakfast sandwiches and I also love it as french toast! It is a great recipe to have on hand. I’d love to hear what you have or would use it for, please let me know in the comments below.