While a diet low in carbs does help in weight loss and improving one’s health, recklessly cutting back on carbs may mean you might miss on fiber as well. Fiber is a plant-based carbohydrate that has a role in maintaining stable energy levels, regulating blood sugar, controlling hunger, and managing digestion. So, sure, stick with your low-carb diet but you may want to aim for high fiber low carb foods.
Carbs having a bad rap can be an understatement – thanks to so many fad diets nowadays. Although carbs are oftentimes viewed as the culprit in many health issues, the truth though is that we do need carbs to function properly. And remember, that there are actually three types of carbohydrates. Sugar, starch, and fiber. While we definitely want to limit those sugars and starch, fiber on the other hand is an essential component of a healthy diet.
Yes, we love fiber – you should if you haven’t yet. There are two types of fiber, soluble fiber, and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers as the name suggest dissolves in water, and insoluble fiber simply does not. Either of these two is beneficial to our health, as we’ve mentioned above. We do need about 20-30 grams of fiber a day and as is, it seems that for some it’s quite a feat to meet that requirement. It’s even more challenging for those who are too quick to cut back on carbs without regard to their fiber needs.
That is of course not to say that attaining a low-carb diet with fiber intake still in check is impossible – with a little planning and researching, it is absolutely attainable! You can begin by checking out these high-fiber low-carb foods. This will set you off to a good start learning more about which food is low-carb diet-friendly and yet still high in fiber. See also some tips on how to stick to a healthy diet at the end of the article.
High Fiber Low Carb Foods
Although artichokes are oftentimes steamed, braised, or sauteed, they can be eaten raw as well. You can simply slice it thinly and then dressed it with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can also add a handful of arugula or parmesan shavings if you want.
Artichokes aside from fiber are also rich in folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins C and K. It’s known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and aid in reducing bloating, promoting regularity, combating oxidative stress, and boosting the immune system.
Red cabbage is great for salads, coleslaw, soups, and stews. It can be steamed, sauteed and even fermented, however, it’s most nutritious when eaten raw. You can simply shred it with carrots or apples, and you already have yourself a colorful salad in the making.
Red cabbage is high in antioxidants particularly anthocyanins. These are beneficial plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Red cabbage is also rich in vitamins C and K that help in maintaining healthy bones. It also contains small amounts of calcium, manganese, and zinc.
Although hazelnuts are oftentimes eaten as a snack or an ingredient in baked goods, they actually also go well with savory dishes. Try pan-fried halibut with crushed hazelnut crust. Or you can also make pesto or hazelnut butter. It’s also a great way to add crunch to salads and pizzas.
Hazelnuts are high in omega6 and omega9 fatty acids. It’s also a great source of vitamin E, copper, and manganese. It’s good for lowering cholesterol, improving insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, protecting against cell damage, and supporting healthy bowel movements.
Collard greens are closely related to cabbage, kale, and mustard greens. They can be eaten pretty much the same way, too. You can eat it raw in salads, smoothies, wraps, or sandwiches. You can also saute, braise, or boil it.
Collard greens are an excellent source of calcium, and vitamins A and C. It also contains vitamin K, iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and choline. They’re good for improving bone health, preventing birth defects, and boosting immunity.
Eggplant or aubergine is a plant species that belong in the nightshade family – yes, that family some people are not too keen eating when in fact they’re great sources of nutrients! Anyway, back to eggplant. A simple way to enjoy eggplant is by roasting it. Grilling is a great option, too. You can also try sauteing, panfrying, or baking it! I mean, eggplant parmesan, right?
Eggplants are high in antioxidants that aid in protecting against cell damage. It also contains manganese, folate, potassium, and vitamins K and C. It may help reduce the risk of heart disease, promote blood sugar control, boost weight loss, and protect against certain types of cancer.
Flaxseed is a welcome addition to hot or cold breakfast cereals. Even a tablespoon of it does wonders to yogurts as well. And you can even bake it into cookies or muffins! But first, of course, you have to ground it. You can use a spice mill, a coffee grinder, or your good old mortar and pestle.
Flaxseed is known for its omega3 fatty acid, lignans, and fiber contents. It’s good for improving digestive health, regulating bowel movements, and lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Blackberries have a sweet and slightly tart taste with earthy undertones. It is oftentimes part of breakfast – in cereals, pancakes, or yogurts. But this soft, succulent, and juicy fruit also makes for an awesome addition to salads, smoothies, and even sauces.
Blackberries contain high levels of antioxidants that reduce the damage of free radicals. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins K, C, and A that can boost the immune system and support bone health.
Macadamia nuts can be eaten raw or roasted. While some prefer to eat it raw to get its maximum nutritional content, roasting nuts does draw out its natural subtle sweetness and creamy texture. They’re great to add in baked goods and even in ice cream.
Macadamia nuts are a good source of vitamin A, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and protein. It also contains selenium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. It’s good for lowering the risk of heart disease, improving metabolic syndrome and diabetes, protecting the brain, staving off hunger, and may even prevent weight gain and cancer.
You can simply blanch and toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil. And if you haven't, you should try roasting them, too! It really gives the dish more character and appears more appetizing. You can also try sauteing Brussels sprouts with some herbs and toasted nuts and then simply finishing it with lemon juice and some feta cheese. Yum!
Brussels sprouts are particularly rich in vitamin K which aids in blood clotting and bone health. It’s also rich in vitamin C which boosts immune function. It also contains vitamin A, folate, and manganese. Brussels sprouts may also reduce inflammation, promote heart health, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and protect against cancer.
For healthy snacks, how about raw cauliflower florets dipped in hummus? If you’re not too keen about eating it raw, you can also saute, steam, boil, stir fry, roast, or grill it. It’s great in soups and casseroles, too. You can even make cauliflower rice from it. Pizza crust? Yes, for sure. See here what else can you do with cauliflowers by simply using different spices.
Cauliflowers are actually rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K. It also contains potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It contains a substance called glucosinolates which are then broken down into compounds that help protect cells from damage, have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral effects, and may even help prevent cancer.
Pecans have a sweet, nutty, and buttery flavor. They are great additions to oatmeal, yogurt, and salad. It’s great for making pancakes, muffins, and bread as well. And of course, trail mix – throw some in there for additional flavor and a load full of nutrients.
Pecans contain monounsaturated fats which help reduce the risk of heart disease. Aside from fiber it also contains magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and zinc. Pecan helps improve digestion, help with weight loss, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Coconut meat is the white flesh that you see inside a coconut. You can eat it raw as a light snack. You can also cut it into chunks and add it to stews or stir-fries. It’ll make for a delicious addition too in smoothies and desserts.
Coconut meat aside from fiber also contain manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium. It may help boost heart health, aid digestion, support weight loss, stabilize blood sugar, improve immunity, and benefit your brain.
You can enjoy broccoli raw with a dip or in a salad. But of course, you can also cook it, florets and all, by sauteing, roasting, grilling, or pan-frying it. Yes, its stem or stalk is edible, too. In fact, broccoli stems are one of the best vegetables to spiralize.
Broccoli is a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, selenium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B. It helps boost immunity, reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar levels, and promote heart health.
Chia seeds are seeds of a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family. It is usually added in smoothies and juices. But since it’s quite versatile, it can also be used in salad dressings, puddings, energy bars, popsicles, and baked goods.
Aside from fiber, chia seeds contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and decent amounts of zinc, niacin, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin B2. It can aid in weight loss, support bone health, boost immunity and may reduce blood sugar levels, reduce chronic inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease.
Green beans are definitely one of the household favorites. It’s easy and quick to cook. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, too. So really, green beans, right? You can simply blanch them and then season with salt and pepper and you already have yourself a decent side dish. So imagine the green beans dishes you can make playing with just a few spices.
Green beans contain iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamins A, C, and K. It may be good for boosting immunity, managing diabetes, regulating digestive function, preventing bone deterioration, and reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Wheat bran has a sweet and nutty flavor. It's actually the hard outer coating of the wheat kernel that is stripped away during the milling process. It’s quite versatile so it’ll be great in baked goods, smoothies, yogurt, casseroles, and soups.
Aside from its impressive fiber content, it also contains potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, iron, thiamine, and vitamin B6. It helps in promoting digestive health, and may also lower cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent certain types of cancers, and promote heart health.
How to Stick to a Healthy Diet
Shifting to a healthier eating habit, whatever diet you chose to adapt, will take dedication. And time. Things will not improve overnight. In some cases, not even after a few weeks. Remember that embracing healthy eating is like embracing a new lifestyle. Be patient. Be realistic.
It’s time to do some spring cleaning. Remember out of sight, out of mind. Rid of your pantry with the unhealthy stuff. It’ll be torturous to eat your healthy plate while you know very well that something mouthwatering but sinister is sitting behind the pantry wall. Or the fridge. Like seriously, it’s time to clean up!
No matter how you restrict your diet if you’re not going to start exercising, it will be all in vain. A healthy lifestyle involves healthy eating and exercising. Start moving. It could be a simple walk around the block or a quick run in the morning. Or perhaps some stretching routines or breathing exercises before you begin your workday.
It is absolutely important to have a meal plan in place. So, really, spend some time and start meal planning. You’ll see how things can be a lot easier if you have one. Shopping will be a breeze because you know what you need. You’re less likely to get tempted by unnecessary purchases because you know exactly what to expect. Simply put, you are guided, you have a goal, you know what to do.
Start practicing mindful eating. Enjoy every meal. Don’t rush into it. Like seriously, eat slowly. Avoid all destruction like TV or yes your phone, put down your phone. Pay attention to what you are eating. Appreciate every bite. Savor the taste. It will take some time before you get used to it, but really, you should really try it. Mindful eating is a great way of developing a healthy relationship with food in general.