8 low-carb, high-fiber foods to load up on every day

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ICYMI low-carb diets are kind of a big deal right now. Whether you’ve dabbled in the keto diet or you paired up with friends for a post-holiday Whole30, there’s a good chance you’ve heard a thing or two about high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets.

A big downside of the low carb life, however, is the lack of fiber. Fiber is important for managing blood sugar, cholesterol, and digestive health—but when an eating plan calls for cutting back on whole grains, starchy vegetables, and even fruit (all of which are rich in fiber) and you don’t find other sources of fiber…problems may ensue.

“Low-carb diets frequently cause constipation due to a lack of fiber and water-rich foods,” say Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, both registered dietitian nutritionists and creators of the Nutrition Twins. They’re also typically high in animal protein and low in plant-based foods, they say, meaning that people may miss out on antioxidants and other important nutrients commonly found in fruits and vegetables.

So you might be wondering: Is it possible to be low-carb and still include fiber in your diet? With these eight high-fiber, low-carb foods on your side, the answer is definitely yes.

1. Chia seeds

Fiber: 10 grams per ounce

Net carbs: 2 grams per ounce

Vandana Sheth, RDN, the author of My Indian Table – Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes, says it’s a no-brainer that this seed makes the list—just look at that fiber count! “They also provide omega-3 fats and are heart-healthy,” she says. “Enjoy them in a variety of ways including a simple chia pudding.”

2. Blackberries and raspberries

Fiber: 8 grams per cup (blackberries); 8 grams per cup (raspberries)

Net carbs: 6 grams per cup (blackberries); 7 grams per cup (raspberries).

Fresh berries with heavy whipped cream are a favorite treat on a low-carb diet and now there’s even more of a reason to snack on them—the average cup of blackberries or raspberries packs eight grams of fiber, Sheth says.

3. Flaxseed

Fiber: 6 grams per two tablespoons

Net carbs: 0 grams per two tablespoons

Want a simple way to add fiber to your arugula salad? Sprinkle on two tablespoons of ground flaxseed, says Sheth. “It provides little to no carb impact,” she says. “And comes with a lot of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”

4. Coconut

Fiber: 5 grams per ounce (shredded, unsweetened)

Net carbs: 2 grams per ounce

Coconut deserves more love outside of coconut oil. Not only is it “a great way to add some sweet flavor into your low-carb diet,” says Nora Minno, RDN, a dietitian and certified personal trainer in New York City, it’s also impressively high in fiber. “Blend into sauces or eat plain as a post-meal treat,” Minno says.

5. Pistachios

Fiber: 3 grams per ounce

Net carbs: 5 grams per ounce

Is it even a low-carb diet if you haven’t thrown together a DIY trail mix to stash in your bag for hunger emergencies? According to the Nutrition Twins, you might want to make sure you also mix in a healthy dose of pistachios while you’re at it.

“Low-carbohydrate diets tend to be high in animal protein, and pistachios offer a plant-based alternative by providing protein and fiber for staying power,” Shames and Lakatos say. “Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free food and 90 percent of the fat in pistachios is the healthy, unsaturated type.”

6. Cauliflower

Fiber: 2 grams per cup (chopped)

Net carbs: 3 grams per cup (chopped)

Yet another reason behind our enduring cauliflower mania: its inherent low-carb, high-fiber nature. “If you walk the aisles of a grocery store today, you’ll be sure to find all sorts of different cauliflower products popping up — cauliflower pizza crusts, rices, chips, the list goes on,” says Minno. “That’s because cauliflower makes a great low-carb substitute for traditional wheat-based foods.” Minno adds that cauliflower contains about 70 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and is rich in antioxidants. Win-win.

7. Red cabbage

Fiber: 2 grams per cup (chopped)

Net carbs: 5 grams per cup (chopped)

Want to get a dose of fiber and heart-healthy nutrients? Look no further than red cabbage, say Shames and Lakatos. “Red cabbage—which is 92 percent water—is a great way to get both fluid and fiber to promote a healthy digestive tract and regularity, as well as the elimination of waste and toxins through stool,” they say. Red cabbage is also rich in anthocyanins, which are known to help suppress inflammation and fight against cancer and heart disease.

8. Mushrooms

Fiber: 1 gram per cup

Net carbs: 2 grams

No matter the mushroom you favor—portobello, shiitake or crimini—they are a solid choice when you want a boost of fiber without a lot of carbs, says Scott Keatley, RDN, owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. They also boast a “whole host of vitamins and minerals that you may miss out on when you go low-carb,” he says. Bonus? “They don’t taste like they are high in fiber and go on everything,” he adds.

Looking for more nutrient-rich foods? Check out these low-sugar fruits and iron-rich foods.

Read more: wellandgood.com

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