What are the benefits of Whole Psyllium Husk and Psyllium Husk? Are they needed on the keto and low-carb diet? Are they allowed on the carnivore diet? Is there any gluten?
“Whole Psyllium Husk guide” Verified by: Dr. Karina Kim
No time to read?
- Whole Psyllium Husk is the husk of psyllium seeds from Asia. Do not confuse it with plantain weed seeds.
- Psyllium helps control blood sugar and cholesterol.
- On the keto diet, psyllium is NOT needed for health.
- Psyllium helps to diversify keto dishes and fasten pastries.
- Using psyllium? Drink plenty of water!
The magic of the humble Whole Psyllium Husk is studied in dozens of researches. It has been proven that psyllium successfully copes with problematic stools: softens in case of constipation and normalizes in case of diarrhea.
Can seriously help with weight loss and in the fight against children and teens’ obesity. Also, regular intake of psyllium husk can significantly lower cholesterol levels, however, no one is chasing low cholesterol on the keto diet.
It also improves the glycemic response in patients with type II diabetes.
All this shows that psyllium can be a useful supplement – both in solo performance and as an ingredient of keto baked goods. But there are important nuances to discuss.
What is psyllium husk
…scientifically, the seeds of Plantago ovata, or plantain ovoid, come from India. The seeds are covered with a shell – a husk. For ancient Greeks it looked like fleas, so they gave it the name “psulla” – a flea.
Psyllium is almost 100% soluble fiber: four out of five grams is an indigestible fiber.
What does “soluble fiber” mean? It absorbs water like a sponge and becomes like a gel though helping soften the stool. Also, it slows down digestion and gives a feeling of satiety. “Insoluble” means it ignores water, its fibers are coarser and they accelerate the movement of food bolus through the gastrointestinal tract.
Psyllium, depending on the processing method, can be:
- psyllium powder
- whole psyllium husk flakes
Capsules are used for medicinal purposes. Psyllium powder and flakes are more commonly added to baked goods.
In cooking, they behave completely differently. Whole psyllium husk is ideal when you want a fluffy and light dough. For example, for a biscuit. The powder is suitable for thinner, dense dough, like pancakes.
One tablespoon of the powder is equal in utility to two tablespoons of whole psyllium husk.
What do whole psyllium husk taste like?
They’re tasteless. A whole psyllium husk has got a slight grassy smell. Those who try to drink it with water to improve digestion, usually say: “Sickening!”, “The most disgusting, but rather not the taste, but the texture”, “I added lemon juice, it saved the situation a little”.
In baking, in most cases, the taste of psyllium is not noticeable at all.
Is Whole Psyllium Husk gluten-free?
Yes, they are 100% gluten-free. Therefore, suitable for a gluten-free diet. Psyllium husk perfectly substitutes gluten in baking.
What are the Benefits of Psyllium Husk?
- Relieve constipation
- Help with diarrhea
- Increase the feeling of satiety
- Help to lose weight
- Reduce blood sugar
- Reduce cholesterol
- May lower the blood pressure
- Relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Are a good prebiotic
According to studies, psyllium husk helps control blood sugar and lower levels of “bad” cholesterol – Low density lipoprotein, LDL.
Also, being a little less than a complete fiber, psyllium husk normalizes digestion. They cope both with diarrhea and constipation, making the feces less thick and greatly facilitating evacuation.
Psyllium seeds are not easily digested by intestinal bacteria, so you won’t be in danger of gassing unless you eat more than 15 grams per day.
Psyllium provides fast and long-lasting satiety without blood sugar spikes – according to the studies, up to 10 grams before breakfast or lunch will lead to a significant decrease in hunger and increase the feeling of satiety. And in the long run, to the weight loss.
Is Psyllium Keto?
Yes, but psyllium is not a vital food on keto. Although studies say that psyllium helps control blood sugar or improve digestive function. The keto diet alone can accomplish these goals without psyllium. Our gut bacterias need fiber, but on the keto diet, you need it less than on the Dukan one.
If you switch to the keto diet or LCHF diet and do not limit yourself to greens and vegetables growing above the surface of the earth, then you will perfectly feed your microbiome. It makes no sense to specifically introduce psyllium husk into your diet. For example, making vegetable smoothies with psyllium for better digestion.
On the carnivore diet, only animal products are eaten. That is, obviously, psyllium does not meet its requirements. This strict diet is often chosen by people with severe bowel problems such as IBS. Studies show that psyllium fiber does not relieve symptoms of IBS.
Psyllium husk allows you to diversify keto nutrition. Especially at the transitional stage, when it is difficult to immediately switch to new nutrition habits without bread or desserts.
What are the negatives of psyllium?
It would be incorrect to say that psyllium is harmful. But, as always, it is a matter of quantity.
Firstly, if you eat it often, then it will be more difficult for nutrients to absorb in the right amount.
Secondly, too much psyllium can cause gas in the intestines and heaviness in the stomach. Psyllium has the ability to swell in water. So if you ate a keto or LCHF pastry, and it got across your throat, the problem is most likely in the small amount of water with that.
Thirdly. Allergy to psyllium is extremely rare, but it does occur.
How to use psyllium?
Keto adepts most often use it to make a sticky dough. Nut flour (coconut, almond, hazelnut) does not contain gluten, which helps the bread not to fall apart.
Psyllium for baking – how to use?
Actually, psyllium mimics the properties of gluten: psyllium husk absorbs water and form a sticky gel that holds the structure of low-carb baked goods. Plus, psyllium works great in keto cutlets and meatballs, helping them keep their shape as well.
Where to buy psyllium?
The keto diet is great for both blood glucose and cholesterol levels without psyllium. For these purposes, taking psyllium capsules makes sense only for those who adhere to a carbohydrate diet. Psyllium capsules can be bought at the pharmacy.
If you plan to use psyllium in baking, you can order it from:
You can buy at once a large volume of psyllium in the form of a powder, which is usually used in cooking.
You can ground whole psyllium husk in a coffee grinder. For many recipes, this is not critical, but keto buns may not work out with whole husk.
Pay attention, often psyllium powder for smoothies (usually with some flavor, for example, orange), contains sugar substitutes, which are not allowed on keto – maltitol, fructose.
Our best recipes with psyllium
To recreate the flavors of a past carbohydrate life, keto gurus have created tons of psyllium pastry. It does not fall apart, looks like its carbohydrate counterparts, and is not inferior in taste. Here are the recipes with psyllium:
Psyllium – review
Olena Islamkina, leader of the keto sect and creator of the Rebels diet project:
“Over the years, I have exhausted quite a lot of psyllium of various brands. I liked Now Food Psyllium Husk Powder and Source Naturals, Psyllium Husk Powder (buy on iHerb). Also, I bought the whole husk from Golden Pharm in Ukraine and used it for simple recipes: cheesecakes, cutlets, and meatballs. For such dishes, the whole husk is quite suitable.”
What can replace psyllium in gluten-free pastry?
The task is not easy, psyllium loves the accuracy of use and does not like being replaced. You can try these:
- Flaxseed meal. Use the same amount as the psyllium in the recipe.
- Fiber. You may need a little more than psyllium. Watch the consistency of the dough. And remember that fiber does not have such a mild effect on digestion.
- Xanthan gum. On the contrary, you’ll need it less. If there is a tablespoon of psyllium in the recipe, then a teaspoon of xanthan gum is enough.
If you’ve switched to keto, you don’t have to try to recreate your usual meals – with buns and cookies for tea, but with low-carb flour.
Keto dieters eat simple, delicious, and satisfying meals. Pancakes, cakes, muffins, and pies with psyllium are great and cool. But first, you need to learn how to eat whole, natural food. Therefore, you do not need to order a year’s supply of psyllium and bake tons of buns in the first weeks of keto. When you learn how to use the energy of fats and comprehend keto zen, you can safely expand your menu.
*Links to scientific studies mentioned in the article:
- Systematic Review: The Role of Fibre in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome