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Eat more fiber, everyone says. But why?
Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient best known for relieving constipation.
It can also provide other health benefits, like weight loss and management, lowering your risk of diabetes, and more.
Can you eat too much fiber on keto?
Many people on the ketogenic diet ask this a lot because it is difficult to find food that is low in carbs yet high in fiber.
We talk about why you need fiber, how to add more to your diet, and whether you can eat too much fiber on keto.
And check out our list of high-fiber keto-friendly foods.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a type of carb that can be found in plant-based food. This food is not digestible in humans.
Some plant-based foods that are rich in fiber include:
- whole grains
These fiber-rich foods are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and other powerful nutrients for your health.
Because you cannot digest fiber, it moves through your digestive tract as other nutrients are being digested.
Fiber is listed as a nutrient of concern because Americans are getting less than half of the daily intake recommendation of 14g for every 1000 calories of food.
Why You Need Fiber on Keto
The keto diet is supposed to improve your health, but it often leads to a fiber deficiency because we reduce our intake of all carbs.
Fiber feeds good gut bacteria which, in turn, can result in greater health and wellbeing.
For example, good bacteria can help manage your weight and improve brain function.
Research shows that nutrients like fiber can play a major role in your body weight. High fiber intake helps reduce weight gain as you age.
It expands and bulks the food in your stomach to slow digestion, increasing your satisfaction with your food.
They do this by producing nutrients for the body, such as short-chain fatty acids that reduce and improve digestive disorders.
Fiber helps keep your food free from hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon. It also helps the food to keep moving through your digestive tract.
This is why many keto dieters usually experience constipation. Many keto dieters lack fiber because of their low-carb intake.
Including soluble fiber in your daily carb limit will result in smaller spikes in blood sugar. This is because high-fiber foods have a lower glycemic index than refined carb sources.
Foods high in fiber are lower in energy density, so they will help you feel fuller without consuming too many calories.
Lastly, some types of fiber can help you lose weight because they soak up water in the intestine. They help to reduce calorie intake by increasing satiety and reducing hunger.
Total Carbs vs. Net Carbs
If you are confused about the difference between total carbs and net carbs, here’s a quick explanation.
Net carb count is the total number of carbs minus the fiber.
If your food or drink also has sugar alcohols, you can also deduct those.
Net carb count is a popular metric among keto dieters and others on a low-carb diet to monitor your carb intake. However, the main confusion is which one to consider tracking when on keto.
Using net carbs can often give us an excuse to eat more carbs on keto. The recommended carb intake of 20 to 50 grams is very restricting for some.
If you are counting total carbs this can be very limiting for many people just beginning their keto diet.
However, there is not enough research on dietary fiber not affecting one’s ketosis.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber includes galacto-oligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and more.
Insoluble fiber is principally cellulose and lignin.
Only insoluble fiber is proven to be incapable of absorption by the body, meaning no effect on your blood sugar and ketosis.
If you follow the keto diet, counting net carbs is acceptable, although counting total carbs is a safer bet for success.
The choice is ultimately yours.
Focus on consuming low-carb vegetables and other wholesome low-carb foods with some fiber can help you to stay in ketosis while also getting the benefits of fiber in your diet.
Can You Eat Too Much Fiber on Keto?
Based on the proven claim that insoluble fiber is the fiber not being absorbed by the body, we will say that you still have to limit your fiber intake on keto.
Counting net carbs does not mean you can eat as many high-fiber, low-carb foods as possible.
Soluble fiber can be absorbed and used for intestinal gluconeogenesis, which increases blood sugar and affects ketosis.
But soluble fiber also lowers blood glucose. It can be used by the body for intestinal gluconeogenesis.
The overall impact of short-chain fatty acids is a decrease in blood sugar.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and includes plant pectin and gums.
Still, too much fiber on keto ultimately results in too many carbs.
The best way to consume fiber on the keto diet is by maximizing your daily carb intake.
For example, if your macro needs are 30g of carbs then you should use these grams on fiber-rich, nutrient-dense whole foods.
Instead of eating sweets, sodas, and alcohol, why not use it on beans, fruits, veggies, and whole grains?
While some of these foods are relatively high in carbs, limiting your intake to small servings and keeping to your carb limit won’t kick you out of ketosis.
How to Test Your Carb Limit
Another way to attempt to increase your fiber intake or carb intake, in general, is to test for your carb limit.
Once you have been in ketosis for more than three months, you can try to gradually increase your fiber intake to determine whether you can go over your current carb limit.
Remember that everyone has a different carb limit for ketosis. But we also have unique ways of being adapted to the keto diet.
Moderately Increase Carb Intake
You can test your carb limit by moderately increasing your daily carb consumption and testing your ketone levels.
If you are close to getting pushed out of ketosis, you should stop increasing your carb intake and maintain that limit for a few weeks.
Wait until your ketosis levels are stable again. Then you can try increasing your carbs again.
Exercising can also help enhance your ketosis and increase your carb intake once you have become adapted to the keto diet.
Focus on using exercise to deplete glycogen stores with low-intensity exercises to enhance fat burning.
Remember to increase the intensity gradually because high-intensity workouts can overwhelm the body and impair your ability to stay in ketosis.
However, if you are an athlete, you may benefit from the cyclical ketogenic diet.
There are many ways to carb cycle, but one way is to introduce 1 or 2 carb re-feeding days where you eat more carbs than usual on those days.
Then the rest of the week is your usual low-carb keto diet. Carb cycling is best for those who have been on keto for a while and are already fat-adapted.
Ketone salts are scientifically proven to boost your ketone levels without restricting your carbs too much.
They come in powder form which consists of ketone bodies and minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, or calcium.
This does not mean that you should lower your carb intake. Ketone salts simply increase your ketone levels more rapidly.
Pick a ketone salt for keto that fits your needs. Many people lack magnesium, so a magnesium-containing ketone salt can be good for you.
High Fiber Keto Foods
Including keto-friendly fiber sources in your diet help improve your lipid profile. Some high-fiber, low-carb foods include the following.
Avocado is technically a fruit that is high-fat and high-fiber.
This creamy fruit has a mild flavor and is low in net carbs. With 9 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber in a 100 gram serve, avos are a great keto-friendly food to help increase your fiber intake.
They are awesome in salads and omelets, as well as the star ingredient in guacamole.
Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie that provides important vitamins and minerals.
A cup of broccoli only has 5g of carbs and 2.6g of fiber.
This nutritious fiber source is tasty when you sauté it in butter or olive oil. You can replace rice, potatoes, and other starchy foods with this low-carb food!
A medium-sized artichoke contains about 7 grams of fiber that feeds good bacteria in the body.
Aside from fiber, artichokes also contain vitamin C, folate, potassium, and magnesium.
Lupini beans are a type of yellow legumes that also come in snacks.
It’s becoming a trendy nibble for people trying to eat clean for a healthy lifestyle.
100g of cooked Lupini beans has 10g of carbs, 2.8g of fiber and 2.9g of fat. They are one type of bean that is acceptable on the keto diet.
Chia seeds form a gel when you combine them with liquid. This keto-friendly seed provides a lot of fiber for an extremely low net carb count, specifically 10 grams per one-ounce serving.
Try stirring chia seeds in water or other drinks and let it stand for about 15 minutes.
How to Avoid Constipation on Keto
Aside from eating high-quality carbs that contain plenty of beneficial fiber, there are some other ways to avoid constipation on keto:
- Gradually ease into the keto diet if you are a first-timer.
- Drink more water.
- Go for a brisk walk after eating.
- Make sure that you are eating plenty of good-quality fats.
- Monitor your protein intake.
FAQ Ketosis and Fiber
What is the Best Fiber Supplement for Keto?
The best fiber supplement for keto is natural and low in carbs. It should also be as close as possible to a whole food source of fiber.
This nutrient is important to keep your gut and bowel movement healthy. Many keto dieters lack fiber as they eliminate a lot of grains from their diet.
Find out our top fiber supplement recommendations for the keto diet!
Does Sugar Kick You Out of Ketosis?
Aside from fiber, carbs also provide sugar to the body. This means that sugar consumption will likely affect your ketosis levels.
Although there are healthy types of sugar, all of these can kick you out of ketosis if you go over your daily carb limit. Not to mention sugar usually makes you want to eat more.
Too much sugar also poses other health risks like diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, acne, and depression.
Check out how sugar affects your ketosis now!
What Else Kicks You Out of Ketosis?
Foods that are high in sugar may affect your ketosis, such as sodas, chocolates, ice cream, and more.
Aside from high sugar foods, many grains can also kick you out of ketosis. These include pasta, rice, bread, and oats.
Even some fruits and vegetables which offer vitamins and minerals will kick you out of ketosis.
Educate yourself now on the different foods and drinks that kick you out of ketosis.
Consume Fiber in Moderation!
When you drastically cut back on carbs, you also cut back on fiber, an essential nutrient that maintains and improves gut health and bowel movement.
Counting your net carbs instead of your total carbs may lead you to believe that you can eat as much fiber as you want. But this is not true.
Eat high-fiber, low-carb foods, and good quality whole-food fat sources, and stay hydrated to maximize your results on keto!
One way to stay hydrated is by taking an electrolyte supplement. Find out the best electrolyte supplement for the keto diet now.