14 Healthy High Fiber, Low Carb Foods
Research has shown that they're particularly effective at reducing hunger and aiding weight loss.
They've also been associated with decreased blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, as well as increased HDL (good) cholesterol.
What's more, low carb diets have been found to improve blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes.
Low carb diets typically provide less than 130 grams of carbs per day, while very low carb diets typically provide 20–50 grams of carbs per day.
However, some very low carb diets can be low in fiber, a nutrient that's important for digestive, heart, and gut health.
In fact, studies estimate that only 5% of American adults — independent of whether they eat low carb or not — meet the recommended 25–38 grams of fiber per day.
Fortunately, if you follow a low carb diet and are worried about your fiber intake, several tasty foods are both low in carbs and high in fiber.
Here are 14 healthy high fiber, low carb foods.
1. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are small oil seeds that are packed with nutrients.
In particular, they're good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They're also low in digestible net carbs — the total grams of carbs minus the grams of fiber.
Notably, flax seeds have a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 than most other oil seeds. This is important, as a lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio has been associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases.
Two tablespoons (14 grams) of ground flax seeds provide 4 grams of fiber and 0 grams of net carbs.
2. Chia Seeds
hough small in size, chia seeds are rich in several nutrients.
In addition to being high in fiber, protein, and several vitamins and minerals, chia seeds are one of the best-known plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds can be sprinkled atop salads and yogurt or added to smoothies.
They also absorb liquids well, turning into a gel that can be used as a vegan egg replacement or thickener for sauces and jellies.
Two tablespoons (30 grams) of chia seeds provide 11 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbs.
High in healthy fats, avocados have a unique buttery texture.
Technically a fruit, avocados are typically consumed as a vegetable and can be added to a variety of dishes.
One small (136 grams) avocado provides 9 grams of fiber and 3 grams of net carbs.
Almonds are among the world's most popular tree nuts.
As they're also a good source of fiber and protein, almonds may help increase feelings of fullness and aid weight loss.
One ounce (28 grams) of raw almonds provides 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of net carbs.
5. Unsweetened Coconut Meat
Coconut meat is the white flesh inside a coconut.
It's often sold shredded and can be added to desserts, granola bars, and breakfast foods for added texture.
Coconut meat is high in healthy fats and fiber, while being moderate in carbs and protein.
One ounce (28 grams) of shredded, unsweetened coconut meat provides 5 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbs.
Sweet and tart, blackberries are a delicious summer fruit.
They're also incredibly nutritious, with just 1 cup (140 grams) boasting more than 30% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.
Berries are among the most antioxidant-rich fruits. Regular intake has been associated with a reduced risk of chronic inflammation, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.
Additionally, a 1-week study in 27 men with excess weight or obesity on a high fat diet found that eating blackberries daily increased fat burning and insulin sensitivity.
One cup (140 grams) of blackberries provides 7 grams of fiber and 6 grams of net carbs.
Another sweet yet tart summer fruit, raspberries are best enjoyed shortly after purchasing.
Low in calories, they're also surprisingly high in several essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, just 1 cup (140 grams) provides more than 50% of the DV for vitamin C and 41% of the DV for manganese.
One cup (140 grams) of raspberries provides 9 grams of fiber and 8 grams of net carbs.
Humans have been eating pistachios since 6000 BC.
While technically a fruit, pistachios are culinarily used as a nut.
With their vibrant green color and distinctive flavor, pistachios are popular in many dishes, including desserts, such as ice creams and cakes.
Nutritionally, they're high in healthy fats and vitamin B6, an essential vitamin that aids blood sugar regulation and the formation of hemoglobin.
One ounce (28 grams) of shelled pistachios provides 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of net carbs.
9. Wheat Bran
Wheat bran is the hard outer coating of the wheat kernel.
While it's found naturally in whole grains, it can also be purchased on its own to add texture and a nutty flavor to foods like baked goods, smoothies, yogurt, soups, and casseroles.
Although, perhaps what it's best known for is its impressive amount of insoluble fiber, a nutrient that can help treat constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
A 1/4-cup (15-gram) serving of wheat bran provides 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of net carbs.
Cauliflower is a popular item on low carb diets, as it can be riced for a grain substitute or even made into a low carb pizza crust.
It's also a good source of choline, which is important for brain and liver health, as well as metabolism and DNA synthesis.
One cup (85 grams) of chopped cauliflower provides 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbs.
Broccoli is a popular cruciferous vegetable that's high in several important nutrients.
It also boasts more protein than many other vegetables.
While it can be enjoyed cooked or raw, research shows that steaming it provides the greatest health benefits.
One cup (71 grams) of raw broccoli florets provides 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of net carbs.
A popular springtime vegetable, asparagus comes in several colors, including green, purple, and white.
It's low in calories yet high in vitamin K, providing 46% of the DV in 1 cup (134 grams). The same serving also packs 17% of the DV for folate, which is vital during pregnancy and helps with cell growth and DNA formation.
While it's usually cooked, raw asparagus can add a pleasant crunch to salads and veggie platters.
One cup (134 grams) of raw asparagus provides 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbs.
Also known as aubergines, eggplants are used in many dishes around the world.
They add a unique texture to dishes and contain very few calories.
One cup (82 grams) of raw, cubed eggplant provides 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbs.
14. Purple Cabbage
Also referred to as red cabbage, purple cabbage is a nutritious way to add a pop of color to your dishes.
While it tastes similar to green cabbage, the purple variety is higher in plant compounds that have been linked to health benefits, such as improved heart and bone health, reduced inflammation, and protection against certain forms of cancer.
One cup (89 grams) of chopped red cabbage provides 2 grams of fiber and 5 grams of net carbs.
The Bottom Line
Whether you're interested in weight loss or lowering your blood sugar levels, eating fewer carbs can have numerous health benefits.
And despite what you might think, you can reduce your carb intake while getting enough fiber.
In fact, many low carb, high fiber foods are healthy and incredibly delicious.
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The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.
"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."
The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.
They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.
They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.
But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.
"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.
What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.
It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.
To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.
First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.
Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.
University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.
"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."
Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.
"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.
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