One of the ketogenic diet challenges is finding the best low-carb substitutes to satisfy your carb cravings.
Oat Fiber has become popular in keto recipes as it adds bulk to recipes without adding calories. Since it is insoluble fiber, your body cannot digest any nutrients from it, passing through the intestines undigested, giving it zero net carbs.
But what are the best substitutes when you run out of oat fiber or are simply looking for other options?
This post will cover the best substitute for oat fiber and other low-carb keto options.
The Best Keto Substitute for Oat Fiber
The best and most popular keto substitute for oat fiber is psyllium husk powder, as it also has zero net carbs per serving. Psyllium husk powder is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds.
Psyllium husk powder can act as a thickener, binding agent, and texture enhancer, all in one. One serving (1 tablespoon) of Psyllium Husk Powder has about 8 grams of total carbs. However, since it’s all-fiber, it comes out to net zero carbs per serving.
The rest of this post will cover the differences between oat fiber and psyllium husk powder and other gluten-free flours that may be used in keto foods, along with oat fiber or psyllium husk powder.
What is Psyllium Husk Powder?
Psyllium husk powder is made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It is a soluble fiber that is dissolved in water and is used to support digestive health, and it is the main ingredient found in Metamucil. It can also be used in cooking and baking.
Psyllium husk powder acts as a thickener, binding agent, and texture enhancer, all in one. It is commonly used alongside gluten-free flours in recipes or mixed with water to support digestive health. It has a composition similar to xanthan gum but can bind water even more effectively with proteins in gluten-free flours, making it a great option for gluten-free or low-carb bread.
One serving (1 tablespoon) of Psyllium Husk Powder has zero grams net carbs per serving. It does have about 8 grams of total carbs, but it’s all-fiber.
What is Oat Fiber?
Oat fiber is an insoluble fiber made from grinding the outer shell or hull of the oat grain, which is the shell of the oat grout. It is a manufactured byproduct that results from separating the oat groats from the inedible hull or husk.
Oat fiber can be used in baking recipes and cooking and is seen as a way to add bulk to a recipe and fiber intake without adding caloric value. It is typically used in small amounts alongside other gluten-free flours to add flavor and a smoother texture to the recipe.
Because oat fiber is fiber yet lacks the ability for the body to process it as calories, many see it as a great ingredient for low-carb baking. Many on a low-carb diet or keto diet have found oat fiber in place of sugar in a recipe to help add bulk in baking recipes.
Oat fiber is made up of pure insoluble dietary fiber, which leaves zero net carbs making oat fiber a keto-friendly ingredient.
Oat fiber is naturally gluten-free. However, when it comes to oats, there is often concerned around cross-contamination of gluten. Look for certified gluten-free products if you have gluten sensitivity.
Health Benefits of Oat Fiber
Technically, oat fiber has a few carbs, but because oat fiber is insoluble fiber, the body cannot process it, and it passes through the digestive system seemingly intact. This deems it as essentially having zero carbohydrates, fats, or protein and no real nutritional value.
The advantage of Oat fiber is that it is a rich source of insoluble fiber. If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, oat fiber may be helpful. Insoluble fiber, such as oat fiber, can help people who face chronic constipation by helping the body to move toxins out of the body. The insoluble fiber can help reduce constipation while helping you feel fuller for longer and may help reduce overall LDL cholesterol.
Other Keto Low Carb Flour Substitutes
A popular low-carb flour used in keto baking is super-fine almond flour, made from almonds ground into a fine powder. Almonds are naturally gluten-free and a great source of vitamin E, protein, fiber, and healthy fats; while also being very low in carbohydrates. Making almond flour a popular choice for grain-free, paleo or keto, or low carb recipes.
Note that almond flour is not the same as almond meal. Almond meal is whole crushed almonds, including the skin, making it a heavier flour and much more coarse.
Coconut flour is high in fiber, gluten-free, and grain-free flour that’s an excellent baking option for the ketogenic diet. Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat that has been ground into powder. When it comes to grain-free baking, coconut flour is often combined with almond flour and/or another low-carb flour to add texture to baked goods.
Flaxseed meal is made from finely ground flaxseeds. Similar to an almond meal, flax meal has a coarse texture. Flax meal performs well in cracker and bread recipes. You can also add flaxseed meal to smoothies for extra fat and fiber.
Flaxseed meal is a low-carb diet-friendly because, for every gram of carbs, there is a gram of fiber, giving it zero net carbs.
Ground Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another keto-friendly option. Chia seeds contain 42 grams of carb per 100 grams, along with 34.4 grams of fiber, resulting in only 7.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. Like oat fiber and psyllium husk powder, ground chia seeds are usually combined with another type of flour when used for baking. They can also be used as an egg substitute.
Hopefully, one of these powders or flours will work as a keto substitute for oat fiber for you.
Karla Kueber is a Certified Evidence Based EFT Practioner and Health Coach, with a double Masters Degree in Education. She works with people to overcome emotional eating, curb cravings, and overcome resistance to eating new healthy foods. You can learn more about coaching with her here.