10 High-Fiber Low-Carb Foods to Eat Every Day

Photo: Stocksy / Nadine Greff
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you probably have heard someone going on about how they've cut back on carbs. While various low-carb eating plans (from keto to Atkins) continue to be trendy among certain members of the wellness sets, these diets typically lack in fiber. Fiber, defined by the Mayo Clinic as a plant-based carbohydrate that your body can't digest, is important for managing blood sugar, cholesterol, and digestive health. But when an eating plan calls for cutting back on whole grains, starchy vegetables, and even fruit (all of which are rich in fiber) and you don't find other sources of fiber...problems may ensue.

Experts In This Article

"Low-carb diets frequently cause constipation due to a lack of fiber and water-rich foods,” say Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, both registered dietitian nutritionists and creators of the Nutrition Twins. This class of eating plans is also typically high in animal protein and low in plant-based foods, they say, meaning that people may miss out on antioxidants and other important nutrients commonly found in fruits and vegetables.

“Fiber is key for proper digestion and supports a healthy balance of gut bacteria,” says Frank Lipman, MDbestselling author and the founder of Be Well. "It assists in the elimination of metabolic waste and toxins, and helps create regular bowel movements.” Dr. Lipman recommends eating high-fiber foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. Beans, lentils, and legumes are also great options, but they may cause some digestive issues for some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Fiber is one of the best things to keep things moving:

The current USDA dietary guidelines recommend that women age 19 to 50 eat between 25 and 28 grams of dietary fiber each day and men in that age group should eat between 31 and 34 grams of fiber. So you might be wondering: Is it possible to be low-carb and still include fiber in your diet? With these eight high-fiber, low-carb foods on your side, the answer is definitely yes.

High-fiber, low-carb foods to add to your grocery cart

1. Chia seeds

Fiber: 10 grams per ounce

Net carbs: 2 grams per ounce

Vandana Sheth, RDN, the author of My Indian Table - Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes, says it’s a no-brainer that this seed makes the list—just look at that fiber count! “They also provide omega-3 fats and are heart-healthy,” she says. “Enjoy them in a variety of ways including a simple chia pudding.”

2. Blackberries and raspberries

Fiber: 8 grams per cup (blackberries); 8 grams per cup (raspberries)

Net carbs: 6 grams per cup (blackberries); 7 grams per cup (raspberries).

Fresh berries with heavy whipped cream are a favorite dessert on a low-carb diet and now there’s even more of a reason to snack on them—the average cup of blackberries or raspberries packs eight grams of fiber, Sheth says.

3. Flaxseed

Fiber: 6 grams per two tablespoons

Net carbs: 0 grams per two tablespoons

Want a simple way to add high-fiber, low-carb foods to your arugula salad? Sprinkle on two tablespoons of ground flaxseed, says Sheth. “It provides little to no carb impact,” she says. “And comes with a lot of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”

4. Coconut

Fiber: 5 grams per ounce (shredded, unsweetened)

Net carbs: 2 grams per ounce

Coconut deserves more love outside of coconut oil. Not only is it “a great way to add some sweet flavor into your low-carb diet,” says Nora Minno, RDN, a dietitian and certified personal trainer in New York City, it's also impressively high in fiber. “Blend into sauces or eat plain,” Minno says.

Speaking of coconut, here's what an RD thinks of coconut oil: 

5. Pistachios

Fiber: 3 grams per ounce

Net carbs: 5 grams per ounce

According to the Nutrition Twins, you might want to make sure you also mix in a healthy dose of pistachios into your go-to trail mix snack. “Low-carbohydrate diets tend to be high in animal protein, and pistachios offer a plant-based alternative by providing protein and fiber for staying power,” Shames and Lakatos say. “Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free food and 90 percent of the fat in pistachios is the unsaturated type.”

6. Cauliflower

Fiber: 2 grams per cup (chopped)

Net carbs: 3 grams per cup (chopped)

Yet another reason behind our enduring passion for cauliflower: its inherent high-fiber, low-carb nature. “If you walk the aisles of a grocery store today, you'll be sure to find all sorts of different cauliflower products popping up—cauliflower pizza crusts, rices, chips, the list goes on,” says Minno. “That's because cauliflower makes a great low-carb substitute for traditional wheat-based foods.” Minno adds that cauliflower contains about 70 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and is rich in antioxidants.

7. Red cabbage

Fiber: 2 grams per cup (chopped)

Net carbs: 5 grams per cup (chopped)

Want to get a dose of fiber and heart-healthy nutrients? Look no further than red cabbage, say Shames and Lakatos. “Red cabbage—which is 92 percent water—is a great way to get both fluid and fiber to promote a healthy digestive tract and regularity, as well as the elimination of waste and toxins through stool," they say. Red cabbage is also rich in anthocyanins, which are known to help suppress inflammation and fight against cancer and heart disease.

8. Mushrooms

Fiber: 1 gram per cup

Net carbs: 2 grams

No matter the mushroom you favor—portobello, shiitake or crimini—they are a solid choice when you want a boost of fiber without a lot of carbs, says Scott Keatley, RDN, owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. They also boast a “whole host of vitamins and minerals that you may miss out on when you go low-carb," he says. Bonus? “They don't taste like they are high in fiber and go on everything," he adds.

9. Avocado

Fiber: 3 grams per serving

Net carbs: 1 grams per serving

Honestly, what can't avocado do at this point? The super fruit is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats (which is good for heart health) along with a decent amount of fiber per serving. (BTW, a whole avocado packs in a whopping 13.5 grams of fiber!) Time to get back into the avocado toast game...you know, for your gut health.

10. Collard greens

Fiber: 6 grams per cooked cup

Net carbs: 2 grams

Many leafy greens are excellent high-fiber, low-carb foods, but collard greens really take the cake. The delicious vegetable packs in a high dose of fiber, along with lots of calcium, vitamin B6, and a little bit of plant-based protein. Cook them like kale chips, sauté them and add into your omelet or serve with salmon, or braise them to impart tons of delicious flavor. The options are endless with this

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