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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By Victoria Masterson
Using one of the world's problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up's mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.
Sustainable Homes<p>UN-Habitat says an <a href="https://unhabitat.org/un-habitat-aims-to-use-plastic-waste-to-support-housing-for-all" target="_blank">estimated 60% of people living in urban areas of Africa are in informal settlements</a>. At the same time, between 1990 and 2017, African countries imported around 230 metric tonnes of plastic, "which mostly ended up in dump sites creating a massive environmental challenge," the agency adds.</p><p>UN-Habitat deputy executive director, Victor Kisob, said the aim of the partnership with Othalo was to "promote adequate, sustainable and affordable housing for all."</p>
Artist's impression of an Othalo community, imagined by architect Julien De Smedt. Othalo<p>Othalo's process involves shredding plastic waste and mixing it with other elements, including non-flammable materials. Components are used to build up to four floors, with a home of 60 square metres using eight tons of recycled plastic. A factory with one production line can produce 2,800 housing units annually.</p><p>Following successful laboratory tests, Othalo's factory in Estonia has started producing components to build three demonstration homes for Kenya's capital, Nairobi; Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon and Dakar, the capital of Senegal.</p><p>Othalo founder Frank Cato Lahti has been developing and testing the technology since 2016 in partnership with <a href="https://www.sintef.no/en/" target="_blank">SINTEF</a>, a 70-year-old independent research organization in Trondheim, Norway, and experts at Norway's <a href="https://en.uit.no/startsida" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">University of Tromsø</a>.</p>
Othalo founder Frank Cato Lahti. Othalo<p>Almost <a href="https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html" target="_blank">seven out of every 10 people in the world are expected to live in urban areas by 2050</a>. More than 90% of this growth will take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.</p><p>"In the absence of effective urban planning, the consequences of this rapid urbanization will be dramatic," UN-Habitat warns.</p><p>Lack of proper housing and growth of slums, inadequate and outdated infrastructure, escalating poverty and unemployment, and pollution and health issues, are just some of the effects.</p><p>Mindsets, policies, and approaches towards urbanization need to change for the growth of cities and urban areas to be turned into opportunities that will leave nobody behind, UN-Habitat says.</p>
Pioneers of Change<p>Reimagining cities and communities for greater resilience and sustainability was a key topic at the<a href="https://www.weforum.org/events/pioneers-of-change-summit-2020" target="_blank"> World Economic Forum's Pioneers of Change Summit 2020</a>.</p><p>The digital event brought together innovators and stakeholders from around the world to explore solutions to the challenges facing enterprises, governments and society.</p><p>Opening the summit, <a href="https://www.weforum.org/events/pioneers-of-change-summit-2020/sessions/opening-plenary-8f731cbc65" target="_blank">Stephan Mergenthaler, the Forum's Head of Strategic Intelligence and a member of the Executive Committee</a>, said: "We need to change the way we produce, the way we live and interact in our cities to make this transition to net-zero emissions a reality…</p><p>"And as this year has illustrated so dramatically, we need to make every effort that we keep populations healthy, if we want to avoid jeopardizing all this progress."</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/un-africa-recycled-plastic-housing/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649069252#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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By Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian
John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America's reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as U.S. climate envoy.
Energy Is at the Center of the Climate Challenge<p>The <a href="https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/1/" target="_blank">effects of climate change</a> are already evident across the globe, from <a href="https://theconversation.com/100-degrees-in-siberia-5-ways-the-extreme-arctic-heat-wave-follows-a-disturbing-pattern-141442" target="_blank">extreme heat waves</a> to <a href="https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/12/" target="_blank">sea level rise</a>. But while the challenge is daunting, there is hope. Solar and wind power have become the <a href="https://www.irena.org/publications/2020/Jun/Renewable-Power-Costs-in-2019" target="_blank">cheapest forms of power generation globally</a>, and technology progress and innovation continue apace to support a transition to clean energy.</p><p>In the U.S. under a Biden administration, long-term national climate legislation will depend on who controls the Senate, and that won't be clear until after two run-off elections in Georgia in January.</p><p>But there is no shortage of <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-biden-climate-change-advice/" target="_blank">ideas for ways Biden</a> could still take action even if his proposals are blocked in Congress. For example, he could use executive orders and direct government agencies to tighten regulations on greenhouse gas emissions; increase research and development in clean energy technologies; and empower states to exceed national standards, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions-california/defying-trump-california-locks-in-vehicle-emission-deals-with-major-automakers-idUSKCN25D2CH" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">as California did in the past with auto emission standards</a>. A focus on a just and equitable transition for communities and people affected by the decline of fossil fuels will also be key to creating a sustainable transition.</p><p>The U.S. position as the world's largest oil and gas producer and consumer creates political challenges for any administration. U.S. forays into European energy security are often treated with suspicion. Recently, France blocked <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/frances-engie-backs-out-of-u-s-lng-deal-11604435609" target="_blank">a multi-billion dollar contract</a> to buy U.S. liquefied natural gas because of concerns about limited emissions regulations in Texas.</p><p>Strengthening cooperation and partnerships with like-minded countries will be critical to bring about a transition to cleaner energy as well as sustainability in agriculture, forestry, water and other sectors of the global economy.</p>
Creating a Global Sustainable Transition<p>How the world recovers from COVID-19's economic damage could help drive a lasting shift in the global energy mix.</p><p>Nearly one-third of Europe's US$2 trillion economic relief package <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-21/eu-approves-biggest-green-stimulus-in-history-with-572-billion-plan" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">involves investments that are also good for the climate</a>. The European Union is also strengthening its 2030 climate targets, though each country's energy and climate plans will be critical for successfully implementing them. The <a href="https://joebiden.com/clean-energy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Biden plan</a> – including a $2 trillion commitment to developing sustainable energy and infrastructure – is aligned with a global energy transition, but its implementation is also uncertain.</p><p>Once Biden takes office, Kerry will be joining ongoing <a href="https://www.un.org/en/conferences/energy2021/about#:%7E:text=The%20overarching%20goal%20of%20the,2030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development.&text=Accelerate%20delivery%20of%20United%20Nations,related%20issues%20at%20all%20levels." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high-level discussions on the energy transition</a> at the U.N. General Assembly and other gatherings of international leaders. With the U.S. no longer obstructing work on climate issues, the G-7 and G-20 have more potential for progress on energy and climate.</p><p>Lots of technical details still need to be worked out, including international trade frameworks and standards that can help countries lower greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global warming in check. <a href="https://www.carbonpricingleadership.org/what" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Carbon pricing</a> and <a href="https://www.csis.org/analysis/how-can-europe-get-carbon-border-adjustment-right" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">carbon border adjustment taxes</a>, which create incentive for companies to reduce emissions, may be part of it. A consistent and comprehensive set of national energy transition plans will also be needed.</p><p>The global shift to <a href="https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/Jan/A-New-World-The-Geopolitics-of-the-Energy-Transformation" target="_blank">clean energy will also have geopolitical implications for countries and regions</a>, and this will have a profound impact on wider international relations. Kerry, with his experience as secretary of state in the Obama administration, and Biden's plan to make the climate envoy position part of the National Security Council, may help mend these relations. In doing so, the U.S. may again join the wider community of countries willing to lead.</p>
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By Maria Caffrey
As we approach the holidays I, like most people, have been reflecting on everything 2020 has given us (or taken away) while starting to look ahead to 2021.