If you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you know that a balanced diet is key to getting the right mix of daily nutrients you need. However, many of the hot diets currently circulating are low-carb, high-fat dietary plans for weight loss. Though many people are finding success on these diets, it’s important to understand how to maintain optimal health when you drastically reduce your carb count.
Carbohydrates, in general, provide a world of nourishment to the body. And the right carbs – ones that aren’t full of harmful, refined sugars– will help you get the daily dose of dietary fiber that you need. And fiber is the main focus of this article, today; When you don’t get enough of it, your body simply doesn’t run properly, and weight loss becomes close to impossible.
The problem with many current low-carb diets is that fiber (along with many vitamins and minerals) often get tossed to the curb – traded in for a variety of yummy, appealing high-fat foods. Today, we’re going to look at why dietary fiber is so incredibly essential and how you can get enough on a daily basis, no matter what dietary plan you follow.
What is Fiber?
There are different types of dietary fiber, but as a whole, it’s a type of carbohydrate that your body does not break down. Instead, it passes through the body undigested, fulfilling a number of important tasks along with way.
Benefits of Dietary Fiber
The two main types of fiber (soluble and insoluble), have unique purposes in your body. You’ll also find them in different food sources, while some foods contain both.
Soluble fiber – This type dissolves in water, and helps to lower your blood cholesterol as well as glucose levels. Some places you’ll find it include in oatmeal, lentils, apples, blueberries and beans.
Insoluble fiber – This type doesn’t dissolve in water, but it promotes optimal digestive health – helping to move food through your system and prevent constipation. Some places you’ll find it include in whole wheat bread, whole grains, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.
High Fiber Foods
The less processed and more natural a food item, the more fiber it will contain. If it comes from the earth, then chances are it’s packed with fiber. Therefore, simply increasing your fruit and veggie intake is a great start to getting more fiber. Other great sources of fiber include whole grain foods, beans, legumes and nuts.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Chia seeds
- Split Peas
- Dark Chocolate
How Much Fiber Do You Need Per Day?
If you constantly struggle with digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, indigestion, cramping, constipation or stomach aches, there’s a good chance you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet. A low fiber diet is likely to leave you feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and fatigued. The right amount of fiber to get each day is at least 20 to 30 grams (for children and adults).
It’s easy to tell if you’re getting enough fiber. If you do, your digestive system runs smoothly, your bowels are regular, and you’re satisfied from one meal to the next. This is because fiber bulks up in your system, so it promotes satiety.
Fiber and Weight Loss
As mentioned, dietary fiber helps control your blood sugar – preventing uncomfortable spikes and drops. When your blood sugar is stable, you have more control over your diet. You’re less likely to reach for sugary foods out of hunger, or to bring your blood sugar back up when you’re tired.
Basically, high-fiber foods last you longer after eating them. They sustain you and therefore they’re ideal for weight loss. A lot of high fiber foods (like veggies for instance) are also low in calories, and this can also help with your weight loss process.
Getting Enough Fiber on Low-Carb Diets
As shown in the list of foods that are good sources of fiber, above, you can see that many are high-carb foods. This fact often makes it difficult to get enough fiber on certain dietary plans, like low-carb Atkins or the Keto Diet.
However, research shows that low-carb, high-fat diets such as Keto can be very effective for people who’re trying to drop pounds and maintain a healthy weight. So, if you’re going to adopt one of these diet plans, the key to success is to eat as many wholesome, real foods as possible – in order to get the nutrients you need, including fiber.
A great way to get enough fiber on a low-carb diet is to eat plenty of nutritious, low-carb yet high-fiber foods. Some of these include…
- Leafy greens
- Brussel Sprouts
Nuts and Seeds
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Macadamia nuts
Take a Fiber Supplement or Shake
Finally, whether you’re on a low-carb diet or not, high-quality meal replacement shakes are an amazing way to get your daily dose of fiber on-the-go. Even if you eat a healthy diet, having a meal replacement shake that’s jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, superfoods, and even probiotics is an excellent way to boost your wellness.
Plus, many of these shakes are low in calories, so automatically assist with weight loss. In addition, you want to choose a shake that has no sugar, sufficient protein, abundant nutrients, and obviously good fiber.
If you’re on a low-carb diet, simply look for a shake that’s low in both overall carbs and net carbs (the total carb amount minus the fiber). Then, just add in a source of healthy fat to satisfy your hunger even more (like MCT oil or coconut oil).
We hope all of these tips help you get the right amount of fiber into your diet each and every day. To find a meal replacement shake that can help you meet your daily dietary fiber goals, check out our top-rated meal replacement shakes! Or skip ahead to our top rated rated shake,