It’s easy to get caught up in different diet fads, but making sure you’re still getting enough of all the right nutrients while following a specific diet can be a bit more tricky. The keto diet is no exception, especially when it comes to getting enough fibre. But, don’t fret! You can still follow the keto diet AND meet your daily fibre needs!
The Key to Keto
In case you’re new to the ketogenic diet (keto for short), here’s a brief summary of how it works. Normally, your body burns mostly carbohydrates to get the fuel it needs to function. The goal of the keto diet is to get your body in a state of ketosis, which is when your body burns fat (instead of carbs) for energy. This is achieved by drastically limiting the carbs in your diet, and getting most of your calories from fats instead. There are several versions of the keto diet, but the most basic one is the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD). This diet typically contains
- 70% of calories from fat
- 20% of calories from protein
- 10% of calories from carbs 
So, ideally, most of your calories on the keto diet would come from healthy high-fat foods such as nuts, meat and fish, cheese, eggs, and healthy oils, such as olive oil. After changing your diet so that most of your calories come from fat, it generally takes between 2-4 days for your body to reach ketosis .
Although it may not be right (or sustainable!) for everyone, following the keto diet offers several benefits, including helping with weight loss, slashing hunger levels and increasing satiety, lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, and stabilising blood sugar levels , , . Because the keto diet helps you lose excess fat, it can also help mitigate or reduce the risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome , , .
That being said, following the keto diet is not without risk. Specifically, one of the main issues with keto is that it tends to be very low-fibre, especially when it’s poorly planned. This is because high-fibre foods are often high-carb foods—and these are severely restricted in the keto diet. For example, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes are all excellent sources of fibre, but these are the very same foods that the keto diet limits.
Not getting enough fibre can be an uncomfortable experience, and indeed, one of the top complaints of people on keto is constipation . Beyond discomfort, too little fibre can also lead to poor gut health and is even associated with the development of various diseases , . So, the key to following the keto diet without compromising your health in the process is to ensure you’re getting enough fibre at the same time.
At this point, you might be wondering how to get enough fibre on the keto diet when most high-fibre foods are also high-carb. And what counts as “enough fibre” anyway? According to the NHS (the UK’s National Health Service), adults should consume at least 30g of fibre per day . The best way to make sure you get those daily 30g on keto is to consume enough high-fibre foods that are also low in carbs (yes, they do exist!). Some examples include:
- Broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, and leafy greens
- Nuts, especially pecans
- Seeds, especially chia seeds and ground flaxseed
- Coconut, blackberries, and raspberries
Here’s a handy visual of the fibre content in a single serving of different keto-friendly high-fibre foods:
If you find that you’re still struggling to meet your daily fibre needs on the keto diet, you may want to consider taking a fibre supplement with your meals. Alpinia offers a high quality, specially formulated acacia gum supplement called Acazen that consists of 89% soluble fibre. It’s also 100% plant-based, gluten-free, odourless, and tasteless, making it a great choice for almost any diet!
Sliced avocado: https://unsplash.com/photos/8KvlX53rlnI