In the past 2-3 years the ketogenic diet has quickly become one of the fastest growing health trends in the world.
Some of you reading this would say the answer is obvious. And yet, the fact remains, not everyone knows about the merits of the ketogenic diet.
The primary reason the ketogenic diet is practiced is because eating “keto” (short for ketogenic) helps many people finally get rid of stubborn fat.
However, it’s certainly not the only reason people are eating keto. Nutritionists as well as medical professionals have discovered healthy plant and animal fats don’t just help with weight loss, they’re also instrumental in improving blood sugar levels, improving cardiovascular health, making our brains function better and helping relieve inflammation.
Not surprising is many of the people hopping on the bandwagon for keto aren’t doing it right.
They mistakenly believe they can eat all kinds of fat, some protein and minimal carbs and be fine.
Sorry, if you do that and you don’t get enough fiber you’re asking for trouble.
Fiber, which comes from the carbohydrates in your diet, is an essential nutrient many people on the ketogenic diet don’t get enough of.
And while I recommend getting your fiber from vegetables and low-sugar fruit sources, I do have a little trick to helping get your intake of fiber up into the recommended range.
Use this in your keto recipes and they’ll taste better than you dreamed possible while helping up your fiber intake.
Mystery Ingredient Helps Enhance Keto Recipes And Increase Fiber Intake
Like I said, if you’re eating the ketogenic diet you should be getting most of your fiber from fruits and vegetables.
Of course, you’ve probably been advised to “eat enough fruits and vegetables” all your life and still struggle to hit the recommended daily value.
Add the fact many fruits aren’t always an option in the ketogenic diet (thanks to high sugar) and the thought of eating 3-5 servings of vegetables simply to hit your fiber goals may be hard to stomach.
Literally and figuratively.
It’s for this reason I recommend having psyllium husks on hand. Psyllium husks come from the seeds of a small shrub called the Plantago ovata plant. The plant produces roughly 15,000 seeds and the husks of those seeds are converted into the psyllium husks which are offered as a supplement.
More often than not psyllium husks are thought of as a natural laxative.
You can thank Metamucil for that.
And while the role of fiber in bowel movements is well-established, and is why psyllium husks are used to relieve constipation, that’s not the reason I’m featuring them in this article.
Instead, psyllium husks help to make many ketogenic recipes better while helping establish a healthy cardiovascular system, increasing the health of your gut and more.
The aim of this article is to show you how adding psyllium husks into recipes can help reduce the fiber deficit many people develop while eating keto while also making some of your ketogenic recipes better than you thought they could be.
How Psyllium Husks Make Ketogenic Recipes Taste Better Than You’d Expect
One big issue with many ketogenic recipes is high ratios of fat to low ratios of carbs make for foods that don’t really resemble what a normal recipe would produce.
Enter psyllium husks.
When psyllium husks are incorporated into low-carb recipes you’re able to sidestep the problem where many keto recipes cause food to fall apart.
When psyllium becomes wet it forms something resembling a glue and this glue helps to bind all of your ingredients together.
Interestingly enough that’s the role gluten serves in many recipes. Fortunately psyllium replaces gluten, which is great for those with Celiac Disease as well as anyone who is going full low carb.
Psyllium husks added to batters help them become thicker so they don’t crumble after baking. You can add it to sauces, gravy, and soup too.
If you’re eating a ketogenic diet and want to enhance your experience and eat foods more closely mimicking “real food” then my suggestion is to research recipes with psyllium husks as an ingredient.
One thing I would like to note is while psyllium is a useful ingredient for those who’ve adapted to a low-carb diet, you want to make sure you’re adding enough water to recipes with psyllium.
Even though it’s fiber, if you don’t add enough water to recipes, (in addition to drinking enough fluids throughout the day), psyllium can actually act like glue in your digestive system and cause constipation. I know, it may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s something to be aware of.
Like I said though, enough water mixed with psyllium at the time of baking as well as enough fluids during the day will fix this issue.
Psyllium Husks Maintain Essential Aspects Of Health When You’re On a Ketogenic Diet
Provided you get enough fiber while eating a ketogenic diet, the ketogenic diet is one of the healthiest ways you could ever eat.
Many of the observed health benefits associated with “going keto” are when a person consumes the recommended amount of fiber.
However, many people who make the switch over to a ketogenic diet don’t get enough fiber.
Which is why adding psyllium husks into recipes (or even drinking it with water) will help you maintain essential aspects of health.
Here are a few benefits associated with psyllium husks consumption.
1 – Keep probiotic levels healthy:
Psyllium husks are known as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that probiotics (the beneficial bacteria in your gut) feed on. By nourishing probiotics you’re helping maintain healthy probiotic levels which gives your gut the support it needs to digest food properly.
2 – Assists in maintaining normal blood sugar:
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is something that can help with weight management and the prevention of many known health conditions. Studies show that fiber-like psyllium husks are good for normalizing blood sugar.
A study published in “The Annals of Pharmacotherapy” supports the use of psyllium husks for blood sugar. In the study, people who were known to have occasional issues with blood sugar managed to reduce their post-prandial blood sugar levels significantly by adding 5.1 grams of psyllium husks fiber to their lunch and dinner.
3 – Useful for cholesterol level modification:
One thing that can happen when you eat a ketogenic diet devoid of much fiber is cholesterol levels may take temporary trips into the unhealthy range.
Psyllium husks have been shown to help improve cholesterol levels.
Medical News Today has a good write up on how psyllium husks affect cholesterol levels.
“Psyllium is able to bind to fat and bile acids, which promotes their excretion from your body.
In the process of replacing these lost bile acids, the liver uses cholesterol to produce more. As a result, blood cholesterol levels decrease.
One study reported an increase in bile acid synthesis and lowered LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in 20 individuals treated with 15 grams of psyllium daily for 40 days.
In another study, 47 healthy participants experienced a 6% reduction in LDL cholesterol after taking 6 grams each day for six weeks.
Furthermore, psyllium can help increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
For instance, taking 5.1 grams twice a day for eight weeks resulted in a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol, as well as an increase in HDL levels in 49 patients.
Lastly, one study treated 125 patients with 5-gram doses of psylliumthree times a day for six weeks. Participants experienced increases in HDL cholesterol up to 45.7%.”
4 – Helps suppress appetite:
One of the main benefits of eating a ketogenic diet is eating fat helps to blunt appetite. That’s because fat is a satiating substance, i.e. it makes you feel satisfactorily full.
Fiber does the same thing.
And since psyllium husks are all fiber, consuming them raw or mixing them in with high fat recipes will help keep you full, which may help you lose weight.
Be Sure to Select This Kind of Psyllium Husks
If you’re honest with yourself chances are you could probably use more fiber in you diet (ketogenic diet or not).
That’s why it’s not a bad idea to add psyllium husks to your kitchen cabinets.
If you do purchase psyllium husks make sure they’re organic.
Since psyllium husks are derived from the husks of the seeds it means conventional psyllium has tons of harmful pesticides on them. Because they’re so small there’s no way to wash them.
Which is why organic is better.