Opting for a low-carbohydrate diet has its health benefits, such as potential weight loss and a reduced risk of diabetes. However, limiting the amount of carbohydrates you eat can also result in lowering your daily intake of fiber. Because of the many benefits associated with a high-fiber diet, it's important to choose low-carbohydrate foods that include fiber.
A high-fiber diet reduces irregularity and constipation. It also improves the health of your digestive system by lowering your risk for hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. According to the Harvard School of public health, research also suggests that a high-fiber diet can lower bad cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss. The Institute of Medicine recommends daily intakes for women of at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should strive for 30 to 38 grams.
Flaxseeds are packed with fiber while also being low in carbohydrates. A 2-tablespoon serving of flax provides 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, ground flax is packed with other health-promoting nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, several of the B vitamins, magnesium and manganese. Sprinkle it on top of salads and yogurt or add it to your baked goods.
Several vegetables provide a generous amount of fiber with low amounts of carbohydrates. A 1-cup serving of mustard greens has 3 grams of fiber and no carbohydrates. An endive head provides 16 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of carbohydrate. A cup of broccoli provides 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of carbohydrate, while a medium artichoke provides a whopping 10 grams of fiber with 13 grams of carbohydrates.
All fruits do not have to be avoided when going low carb, with several offering excellent amounts of fiber. One cup of blackberries has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of carbohydrates. The same serving of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of carbohydrates. A medium avocado provides 12 grams of fiber and 3 grams of carbohydrate.
Adding nuts to your low-carbohydrate diet is an excellent way to increase fiber without a big increase in sugar. A 1-ounce serving of almonds provides 3.5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Other high-fiber low-carbohydrate nuts include pistachios with 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of carbohydrate per 1-ounce serving. The same serving of pecans has 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of carbohydrate. Nuts can be added to salads or cereals or simply eaten plain as a snack.
Rose Haney received her joint doctoral degree in clinical psychology from San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego. Her clinical and research specialties are neuropsychology and neuroimaging. She has been published in several scientific journals and has presented her work at numerous national conferences. She has been freelance writing since 2008.