The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet. As carbohydrates are limited, it can be challenging to get dietary fibre.
Why is fibre important?
Fibre, also known as roughage, is important for maintaining a healthy gut and preventing issues such as constipation. Constipation is a common side effect of the ketogenic diet influenced partly by the low fluid intake in many children with associated neurological feeding problems and a low dietary fibre content of the ketogenic diet1-4.
A safe range of dietary fibre intake for children is suggested to be the age of the child plus 5-10 grams of fibre per day so for example, it is recommended that a 5-year-old eat between 10 and 15 grams of fibre every day4 and adults are advised to consume approximately 30 grams of fibre everyday5. The richest sources of fibre are fruits, vegetables and grains, but these can only be eaten in small quantities on the ketogenic diet.
Tips for getting more fibre on the ketogenic diet.
As well as increasing fibre intake, it is also important to ensure that you are getting adequate fluid intake, as this can also be the cause of gastrointestinal issues.
Here are some good sources of fibre which may be suitable on your ketogenic diet. Always speak to your dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
Flaxseeds are a great source of fibre, with around 2g of fibre in every tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Ideal for both sweet and savory snacks. Try our breadsticks recipe, adapted for both modified and MCT ketogenic diets. Our Sweet flaxseed biscuits also make a great on the go snack.
Cauliflower is a vegetable which is low in carbohydrates, but high in fibre. Cauliflower is also a great alternative to rice and can be the perfect side dish for keto curries and other tasty meals. Cauliflower rice is easy to make, see our step-by-step recipe video and cook along!
There are so many more options to create delicious high fibre, low carb vegetable-based recipes. Have a look at some of the soup recipes such as Minestrone soup and winter vegetable soup both packed with lots of high fibre veggies.
Psyllium husk is a type of fibre which is commonly used as a gentle, bulk-forming laxative. With 3.5g of fibre per tablespoon serving, it can be a great way to get fibre into your ketogenic diet. Psyllium husk is used in many of our bread recipes, including our keto bread rolls and naan bread. The naan bread recipe has been adapted for both the classical and modified ketogenic diet.
Chia seeds are not only a rich source of minerals, but in a 25g portion, there is 8.6g of fibre. Chia seeds can be sprinkled over meals, added to smoothies, or even used in desserts. Why not try our delicious chocolate and strawberry chia dessert?
- Neal E, editor. Dietary treatment of epilepsy: practical implementation of ketogenic therapy. John Wiley & Sons; 2012 Jul 3.
- Kossoff EH, Zupec‐Kania BA, Auvin S, Ballaban‐Gil KR, Christina Bergqvist AG, Blackford R, Buchhalter JR, Caraballo RH, Cross JH, Dahlin MG, Donner EJ. Optimal clinical management of children receiving dietary therapies for epilepsy: updated recommendations of the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. Epilepsia open. 2018 Jun;3(2):175-92.
- Cervenka MC, Wood S, Bagary M, Balabanov A, Bercovici E, Brown MG, Devinsky O, Di Lorenzo C, Doherty CP, Felton E, Healy LA. International Recommendations for the Management of Adults Treated with Ketogenic Diet Therapies. Neurology: Clinical Practice. 2020 Oct 30.
- Williams CL, Bollella M, Wynder EL. A new recommendation for dietary fiber in childhood. Pediatrics. 1995;96(5 Pt 2):985-8.
- NHS. How to get more fibre into your diet. (Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/). (Accessed: 13th July 2021