When finding a healthy eating plan that works for you, it’s often a fine balance (eat more of this and less of that, and so forth). Up until a few years ago, I was personally able to eat most of what I wanted without gaining weight—but that meant I wasn’t eating anywhere near as healthily as I should have been (aka chips for dinner). I’m actually thankful that my metabolism finally caught up with me and my poor eating habits, so now I’m always on the hunt for powerhouse items to add to my diet like high-fiber low-carb foods that will keep me in shape and feeling good.
“Following a low-carb diet tends to promote weight loss at a faster rate,” explains Juliana Shalek, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of The Nutrition Suite. “Cutting carbohydrates reduces blood glucose and insulin levels, which in turn minimizes fat storage in the body.” Shalek says that it can be very motivating for those who have tried and been unsuccessful using other weight-loss methods like calorie-counting in the past.
So the low-carb part makes sense, but where does fiber come in? Registered dietician nutritionist Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Maya Feller Nutrition, says that the daily fiber recommendation for women is 25 grams (although women over 50 should aim for 21 grams instead) “Most Americans are not meeting their daily fiber needs,” the expert explains. “Low-fiber diets can have a negative impact on both gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health.”
Since fiber is neither digested nor absorbed, it actually takes up space in your intestine, giving you a feeling of fullness (and making it easier to minimize snacking and overeating). So now that you know that the reason high-fiber, low carb foods are good for you, it’s time to learn more about them including which you should add to your diet ASAP—and how to plan a healthier daily menu.