Can I Eat Psyllium Husk on a Keto Diet?

  • Date: May 26, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

If you are new to eating a keto lifestyle, you may be coming across a host of different ingredients that you have not heard of before. Psyllium husk is no doubt one of those. Don’t worry though, we will take you through everything you need to know about psyllium husk on a keto diet. Read on to find out more.

What is Psyllium Husk?

Psyllium is a form of fibre made from the husks of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata. Psyllium husk can also be known as ispaghula.

The husk (the bit surrounding the seed) of the Plantago ovata is a very rich source of soluble fibre.

Soluble Fibre

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance. Soluble fibre can help in reducing blood cholesterol. Furthermore, it can help improve and control blood sugar levels [1]

Insoluble Fibre

Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water. Instead, it attracts water into your stool, this makes it softer and therefore easier to pass, which can improve bowel health.

How many Carbs are there in Psyllium Husk?

One tablespoon (approx 18g) of psyllium husk contains 15 grams of carbs and 13.5 grams of fibre, meaning it has approximately 1.5 grams of net carbs per tablespoon serving.

Nutritional Values of Psyllium Husk per 18g tablespoon

  • Carbs: 15 grams.
  • Protein: 0 gram.
  • Fat: 0 grams.
  • Fibre: 13.5 grams.
  • Sugar: 0 grams.
  • Calories: 53 cal

Psyllium husk can be bought in husk form, or in a ground powder form. Ground psyllium husk is more commonly used in baking. If you have whole psyllium husk, you can soon grind it down to be powdered by using either a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.

The ratio of whole to ground husk is 1:2. One tablespoon of ground husks would equate to two tablespoons of whole husk.

What are the Health Benefits of Psyllium Husk?

There are a number of health benefits of psyllium husk, largely due to the high fibre content. 

The main benefits are;

  • Improve Digestive Health
  • Prevent/ Assist Constipation
  • Prevent Diarrhoea
  • Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
  • Lowering (LDL) Cholesterol Levels

Due to its digestive benefits, psyllium husk can be eaten by those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Chron’s disease, in order to keep bowel movement regular or to avoid painful stools.

Can Psyllium Husk help weight loss?

Yes and no! Psyllium husk will not directly help you lose weight, however, it can assist with weight management.

How?

Some people will stir two teaspoons of psyllium husk powder into 250ml of water and drink it. It is best to drink the mix before the husk turns into a gel. As the water and husk turn into a gel in your stomach; it promotes a feeling of being full and therefore preventing you from overeating.

A lot of people, whether they eat a keto diet or not, will do this prior to eating a meal.

What are the Side Effects of Psyllium Husk?

As long as you do not consume more than a tablespoon a day, you are unlikely to experience any side effects.

If you eat more than a tablespoon a day, you run the risk of bloating and being gassy.

Another thing to note is that you should ensure that you consume plenty of water if you are going to be eating psyllium husk. If you do not drink enough water, you run the risk of being constipated.

Hydration is key on a keto diet.

What is an alternative to Psyllium Husk?

If psyllium husk is not for you, you can always try substituting it with ground chia seed. This can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio.

Xanthan gum is another option, but you will only need around a quarter of xanthan gum to husk.

The best option here is to have a play around with some recipes and see what quantities work for you.

Keto Recipes that use Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk powder is used a lot in keto and low-carb baking. For a lot of people, giving up bread and related products, like pizza, would be a step too far. 

That is where psyllium husk comes into its own; it is great for making baked goods, such as bread, pizza bases, scones, bagels etc. It gives baked goods the elasticity that you need in order to shape the dough.

Another good use for psyllium husk is as a replacement for bread crumbs when they are used as a binding agent. A great example of this is in our Italian Meatballs, instead of using flour to bind the meat, we have used psyllium powder to bind the dry ingredients and meat together. 

Final Thoguhts

Psyllium husk is great if you are eating a keto or a low-carb diet. It is a great way to enjoy all of your bread-based favourite meals at the same time as reaping all of the health benefits.

Let us know in the comments below what your favourite recipe is that uses psyllium husk so we can all try it!

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