Going keto doesn’t have to mean skimping on fiber. Though the diet restricts high-carb, fiber-rich foods like grains, fruits and legumes, you can choose from many other keto high-fiber foods.
“You likely already know that fiber helps you move your bowels,” says Kelly Roehl, MS, RDN, a ketogenic diet expert and co-author of The Deliciously Keto Cookbook. “A lesser-known benefit is that fiber helps keep your microbiome in check by giving ‘good’ bacteria a fuel source.”
For these and other reasons, experts say you need 14 grams (g) of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat. That’s around 25 g fiber for women and 38 g for men, daily. “Unfortunately, most Americans fall short of fiber recommendations—regardless if they follow a low-carb diet or not,” Roehl says.
Luckily, getting fiber is easier and tastier than you might think. Ahead are 10 of the best hacks for boosting your fiber intake on a keto diet (or any eating plan). Tip #9 might surprise you.
How to Get More Fiber on the Keto Diet
1. Roast non-starchy veggies
Enjoy non-starchy roasted vegetables often, advises Roehl. Cut veggies into bite-size pieces, spread them on a baking sheet, drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle them with spices. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tender.
Here are the fiber and net carbs* in 1 cup of non-starchy roasted vegetables:
- Asparagus: 3.5 g fiber, 4 g net carbs
- Broccoli: 5 g fiber, 6 g net carbs
- Cauliflower: 3 g fiber, 2 g net carbs
- Mushrooms: 3 g fiber, 5 g net carbs
- Yellow summer squash or zucchini (with skin): 2.5 g fiber, 5 g net carbs
*Net carbs = Total carbohydrate minus fiber
2. Favor fiber-packed fruits
Most fruit can be challenging to fit within your daily keto carb limit, which is generally 20–50 g net carbs. Selecting high-fiber fruit is a win-win since you’ll get fewer net carbs, plus the roughage you need.
Roehl says berries are your best bet for keto-friendly fruit. A 1/2-cup serving of either blackberries or raspberries has 4 g fiber and 3 g net carbs. Strawberries are also a good choice at 1.5 g fiber and 4 g net carbs per 1/2-cup.
Plus, don’t forget that an avocado is technically a fruit—though you may think of it as a vegetable or a fat. Half an avocado provides 7 g fiber and 2 g net carbs.
3. Bake with almond and coconut flours
Baking isn’t off-limits when you follow a keto diet—you just need to use keto-friendly flours. Two kinds that Roehl recommends are almond and coconut.
Coconut flour has 10 g fiber (8 g net carbs) per 1/4 cup. Almond flour has 2 g fiber (4 g net carbs) per 1/4 cup. (These numbers vary a bit with the brand.) Use these flours to make keto bread, muffins and more.
If baking isn’t your thing, you can buy keto-friendly wraps made with coconut flour. Use them to make sandwiches, fajitas or breakfast wraps. You can also buy keto bread made with almond flour.
4. Enjoy dark leafy greens
Kale, spinach and similar greens are nutritious ways to get fiber since they also provide plant compounds that support brain health, Roehl says. Per 1 cup of loosely packed raw greens, you’ll get 1 g fiber and 1 g net carbs.
The greens cook down significantly, so you can easily add a cup or two to a serving of scrambled eggs or other hot dishes.
Roehl suggests blending spinach into keto sauces or smoothies. “When eaten on its own, spinach may taste bitter,” she says. “But when blended into recipes, you may not even notice the flavor of the leafy greens.”
5. Make your own mixed nuts
Most nuts are keto-friendly snacks. “Try making your own ‘mixed nuts’ blends,” Roehl says. “That way you can choose nuts that are higher in fiber and lower in net carbs, such as almonds, walnuts and pecans.”
Here’s how 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) of the most keto-friendly nuts compare:
- Almonds: 3.5 g fiber, 2.5 g net carbs
- Brazil nuts: 2 g fiber, 1 g net carbs
- Hazelnuts: 3 g fiber, 2 g net carbs
- Macadamia nuts: 2.5 g fiber, 1.5 g net carbs
- Pecans: 2.5 g fiber, 1.5 g net carbs
- Walnuts: 2 g fiber, 2 g net carbs
On the other hand, use cashews sparingly. They pack 8 g net carbs per ounce but have less than 1 g fiber.
6. Sprinkle on fiber-filled seeds
Roehl suggests topping keto-friendly salads and whole-milk Greek yogurt (unsweetened) with chia seeds. The seeds have 3 g fiber and 0 g net carbs per tablespoon.
7. Try kohlrabi and jicama
Kohlrabi is a crisp veggie in the same plant family as broccoli. Peel away the thick skin and eat it raw as a snack or add it to a salad. A 1-cup serving of kohlrabi has 5 g fiber and 3.5 g net carbs.
Jicama is similar in flavor and texture to kohlrabi but has a rough brown skin that must be peeled. A 1-cup serving of raw jicama has 6 g fiber and 5 g net carbs.
In Central America, it’s popular to sprinkle raw jicama with lime juice and chili powder. Or, make jicama fries: Slice the jicama into sticks, toss them with oil, season them and bake about 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Spread on some nut butter
Eating whole nuts isn’t the only way to get their fiber. Nut butter—whether creamy or crunchy—packs fiber, too.
Spread nut butter on a keto tortilla, toasted keto bread or keto pancakes. You can also use nut butter as a base for sauces or stir it into keto hot cereal.
9. Get your chocolate fix (without sugar)
If you like dark chocolate, try unsweetened cacao nibs. Just 1 tablespoon of these crunchy bits of fermented, dried cacao beans packs 3 g fiber and just 2.5 g net carbs.
Combine cacao nibs with nuts, pumpkin seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes for a keto-friendly trail mix. Or, sprinkle cacao nibs on celery sticks stuffed with unsweetened almond butter.
Another option is unsweetened cacao (cocoa) powder, which has 2 g fiber (1 g net carbs) per tablespoon. Roehl suggests adding the powder to keto smoothies, shakes, yogurt and nut butter.
10 Add extra fiber when baking
Or, use psyllium husk powder or whole psyllium husks in keto bread and other baked goods. A teaspoon of psyllium husk powder packs 4 g fiber (and has 0 g net carbs).
If necessary, you can also take a psyllium husk supplement. “Just realize that a fiber supplement can’t cancel out the carb impact of starchy foods like bread and pasta,” Roehl cautions. “Fiber has to be part of the food to subtract it from the carb count.”