When browsing new products online or at the store, I like to look at the ingredients list generally. When a product says it's “keto-friendly” or “keto-approved,” they sometimes fill them with all sorts of ingredients may have never heard of.
More and more “keto” products come out with different sugar sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and dietary fibers. In particular, oat fiber is becoming more prevalent in many of the low-carb goodies you may see on the store shelf, but is it keto-friendly?
Is oat fiber keto-friendly? Oat fiber is made up entirely of insoluble dietary fiber, which leaves 0 net carbs. This makes oat fiber a keto-friendly nutritional ingredient.
Can You Have Oat Fiber On A Ketogenic Diet?
With the rise of more and more ready-to-eat products and keto recipes swarming the internet, a variety of ingredients you once would never have heard of are making their way into the mainstream.
Oat fiber, in particular, can be found in many keto-friendly products such as baked goods.
Oat fiber is entire, as the same implies, a fiber. Fiber is generally subtracted from your total carbohydrate count and isn't considered a net carbohydrate.Oat fiber is perfectly acceptable as an ingredient while following a ketogenic diet.
Does Oat Fiber Have Carbs?
Oat fiber is technically a carbohydrate, but it falls entirely under the umbrella of dietary fiber.
To explain this further, an ounce of oat fiber (28g) has 27.1 grams of total carbohydrates, but the entire 27.1 grams are dietary fiber, thus leaving 0 grams of net carbohydrates. 1
In general, one only counts net carbohydrates when tallying their total carbohydrate for the day related to getting in and maintaining a state of ketosis.
Oat fiber is what's considered an insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as whole grains and vegetables. Additionally, it's an insoluble fiber that adds bulk to stool.2
Since your gut bacteria do not metabolize insoluble fiber, this also means that oat fiber technically has 0 calories as well.
What Is Oat Fiber?
You might be asking, what exactly is oat fiber? And that'd be a valid question to ponder.
Oat fiber is technically the hull or husk of the oat grain. I guess you can say that oat fiber is the fibrous husk of the oat that is mechanically separated to give us oatmeal.
And yes, oat fiber is considered gluten-free, FYI.
And no, oatmeal IS NOT keto-friendly.
Here's a fun little video showing how oatmeal is made.
Oat Fiber Vs. Oat Bran
You now may be wondering, what's the difference between oat fiber and oat bran? Oat bran is made from the edible covering of the oat, just under the husk.
Oat bran contains more fiber than oatmeal and includes carbohydrates, fat, and protein, unlike oat fiber.
One ounce (28g) of oat bran contains 69 calories and 18.5 grams of total carbohydrates, with 4.3 grams from dietary fiber. Therefore, an ounce of bran contains 14.2 grams of net carbs.3
How Is Oat Fiber Made?
As mentioned previously, once an oat plant is harvested. The oat hull or husk (shell) is separated from the oat groat.
Once the husk is separated, it's then ground to make oat fiber.
The oat groat that is left is what is made to use the different varieties of oats.
From least processed to most processed, you have:
- Oat Groats
- Steel-Cut Oats
- Rolled Oats
- Instant or Quick Oats
Benefits of Oat Fiber
The benefits of oat fiber stem from the beneficial properties of insoluble fiber, which are:
Healthy digestion and bowel movement
Insoluble fiber helps promote food movement through your digestive tract and adds to the bulk of your stool. Insoluble fiber may help those who struggle with constipation or irregularity.
Increasing dietary fiber increases the size and softens the stool, decreasing the chance of constipation. If you normally have loose or watery stools, fiber may help add bulk and solidify them.4
May aid in healthy weight loss
Increasing fiber tends to be more filling, thus leading to greater satiety. During any diet, hunger is one of the biggest reasons people abandon their weight loss efforts. 56
Additionally, increased dietary fiber was a significant component in successful dietary interventions and weight loss maintenance. 78
Certain studies suggest increasing dietary fiber is associated with a reduced risk of death from different cancers and cardiovascular disease. 910
Uses For Oat Fiber
Oat fiber is used in a variety of baking and cooking applications.
Using oat fiber can be a great way to increase fiber intake without increasing your calories, which is excellent for weight loss. Here are a few ideas off the top of my head that I've used oat fiber for:
- Thicken gravies
- Make protein pudding
- Add fiber to shakes and smoothies
- Used in baked goods (cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc.)
Oat Fiber Keto Recipes
Here are a few of my favorites if you're looking to incorporate oat fiber into some of your keto recipes.
Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies
These delicious cookies from Keto Cooking Christian used almond flour combined with oat fiber for a slightly chewy cookie with crisped edges.
Oat Fiber Buttermilk Pancakes
These keto-friendly oat fiber pancakes only take a few minutes to prep and cook (my kind of recipe).
Oat Fiber Fathead Pizza Dough
By replacing the regular almond flour and using oat fiber, this pizza dough has significantly fewer calories while holding onto all the flavor.
Oat Fiber Keto Bread
Missing bread on your keto diet? This keto bread, courtesy of Low Carb No Carb, might do just the trick.
Alternatively, SOLA bread (another keto-friendly bread) is also made using oat fiber for those less daring or prefer something ready to go.
- Purchase SOLA bread here
Want a delicious keto-friendly pasta? Check out this video from The Keto King (a.k.a The Banting Boss)
Keto Substitute For Oat Fiber
There is no need to substitute oat fiber while following a ketogenic diet unless you simply want to use something else.
Oat fiber contains 0 net carbohydrates, making it a perfect ingredient to use in your keto cooking and baking.
If for some reason you do not wish to use oat fiber, psyllium husk may be worth using as an alternative, though not precisely the same. Psyllium husk is the main ingredient in products such as Metamucil, which is keto-friendly.
Oat Fiber and Keto Takeaway
Oat fiber is becoming increasingly popular in the low-carb and keto space. Oat fiber has 0 net carbohydrates. It effectively has 0 calories due to being indigestible.
Next time you see a recipe that calls for oat flour, almond flour, or any other type of flour, try using oat fiber instead. While oat fiber doesn't exactly substitute at a 1-1 ratio, you can mix it with other keto-friendly flours to reduce the carbohydrate content.