Most people now know about the benefits of high fiber in the diet. Fiber keeps you full, keeps you regular, and is even linked to lower disease rates. However, finding ways to increase fiber content without carbs can be difficult. Here are some tips to increase the amount of fiber in your diet without spiking the amount of carbohydrates consumed.
Vegetables are usually considered moderate to high in carbohydrate content but there are many veggies that are high in fiber and low in carbs. Plus, vegetables are necessary and important for proper nutrition so even low carbohydrate diets should include some vegetable foods. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, tomatoes, celery and bell pepper are relatively low in carbs. Broccoli and cauliflower are other great choices. Avoid corn, peas, carrots, and potatoes as those boast quite a bit of carbohydrates. Opt for red bell pepper with hummus as a dip, which only contains about 4 grams of carbs per serving.
Nuts and Seeds
One great but overlooked source of fiber and protein are nuts and seeds. Often low in carbohydrate, nuts and seeds are full of fatty acids and fiber. Make sure to keep the servings small to avoid overeating. About ¼ cup is all you need and it probably helps to actually measure that out because of the high fat and calorie content in nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and peanut butter are all great low carb options. Sunflower, flax, and hempseeds are all great varieties of low carbohydrate options that contain 3-6 grams of fiber per tablespoon! Add them to smoothies, cereals, or salads to boost fiber.
Don't Forget About Fruit
Fruit often gets a bad wrap from those avoiding carbs. Indeed, they can have a high carbohydrate content but in moderation they can boost fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Strawberries and watermelon are particularly low in carbohydrate. Berries are typically lower in carbohydrates, as well as fruits with high water content like watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, and kiwi. In moderation, fruit can be a great way to increase fiber in a low carb diet.
Make All Grains Whole
The carbohydrates you are allowed to consume daily should all be whole grain. Whole grains offer more fiber and nutrients than highly processed white flour products. Oatmeal, whole grain cereals, whole grain breads, brown rice, and whole-wheat tortillas are all great high-fiber options for your daily servings of carbohydrates. Whole grains boast much higher fiber content than their refined counterpart. Avoid white rice, white bread, refined flours, white and corn tortillas, and baked goods made with white flour such as bagels, muffins, pastries, etc.
If getting enough fiber through food proves too difficult, there are also supplements available. Check with your doctor before opting for this solution, as there can be complications.