1

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"Dietary Fiber" Carbs vs. "Sugar" Carbs...whats the difference?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Ive seen it mentioned a few times that:

total carb count in a food - dietary fiber carbs = net carbs (this is what counts in your macro ratios)

Does this mean that "dietary fiber" carbs (as in Artisana Coconut Butter? 7 g. carbs total but 5 g. are dietary fiber, 2 sugar carbs) are irrelevant in carb count? Or is this just total nonsensical?

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on February 01, 2012
at 01:51 PM

I don't think that link shows me what you wanted it to. It talks about Australopithecus "foraging for fruit, seeds, and leaves, both in and around trees." If there's anything about these herbivores or their descendants magically switching to a completely carnivorous diet, Google reader doesn't want me to see it without paying!

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on February 01, 2012
at 12:48 AM

http://tinyurl.com/3jqbmuo

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on February 01, 2012
at 12:47 AM

No, we're not omnivores, not pre-neolithically. No evidence of eating plants. Pure carnivorous hunters and scavengers and scroungers, lords of the midday hours when other critters overheated because their horizontal posture absorbed too much sun. We have all the earmarks of occupying a unique niche in the heat for millions of years. That's what shaped us. That's what we have to go back to, once we develop carb-induced disorders.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:09 PM

I suppose I'd ask what you mean by "count". I mean I'd say that any and all edible things that you consume would contribute to your caloric intake for the day. Unless you're having rampant diarrhea and just swooshing everything out as soon as you eat it.

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on January 31, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Don't believe the bunk about subtracting sugar alcohols, though. I follow Atkins, which recommends subtracting SAs, and I still consider that to be inaccurate marketing hype.

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5 Answers

3
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 31, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Fiber carbs generally do not affect your blood glucose levels which is why LC diets often mention this concept of "net" carbs. Keep in mind that fiber carbs have other effects on digestion, including the generation of an important fatty acid in the colon.

2
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 01, 2012
at 05:45 AM

I wonder if the 'net carbs' term is something used more commonly in North America than the rest of the world. With regards to food labelling anyway.

Products produced in Australia and the UK (& expect other places around the world) that have fibre (non American spelling), list the fibre info separately (not as a sub-line beneath carbohydrates). So the listed carb number is already 'net carbs' no need to subtract fibre.
example UK nutritional information label on a pack of Basmati rice (image from wikipedia).

This labelling difference is also reflected in different nutrition databases. ie. an Australian site http://www.calorieking.com.au/ versus (i assume) a US site http://nutritiondata.com

And if you're interested in calorie counting wikipedia lists dietary fiber as 2 kcal/g (approx) compared to the usual 4 kcal/g (approx) for carbs. & Ethanol (alcohol) is noted as 7 kcal/g (approx). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy#Nutrition_labels

2
76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

on January 31, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Only sort-of what Huey said. As Beth notes, the thinking is that fiber doesn't spike your blood sugar, so it won't give you the insulin/leptin/hormone-of-the-week issues that help contribute to fat retention.

Whether that's the correct reasoning or not--and scientists are having a field day arguing the whole insulin hypothesis mess--subtracting the fiver seems to work for me (and for the other low carbers I meet online).

As to whether we need the fiber or not: we're omnivores. Maybe meat is superior to veggies, and maybe not, but we survived for millenia by eating both. And if that's what you need to do to survive in the modern world, I say go for it. Veggies--healthy fiber--can really help stretch a food budget!

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on January 31, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Don't believe the bunk about subtracting sugar alcohols, though. I follow Atkins, which recommends subtracting SAs, and I still consider that to be inaccurate marketing hype.

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on February 01, 2012
at 12:48 AM

http://tinyurl.com/3jqbmuo

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on February 01, 2012
at 12:47 AM

No, we're not omnivores, not pre-neolithically. No evidence of eating plants. Pure carnivorous hunters and scavengers and scroungers, lords of the midday hours when other critters overheated because their horizontal posture absorbed too much sun. We have all the earmarks of occupying a unique niche in the heat for millions of years. That's what shaped us. That's what we have to go back to, once we develop carb-induced disorders.

76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

(1098)

on February 01, 2012
at 01:51 PM

I don't think that link shows me what you wanted it to. It talks about Australopithecus "foraging for fruit, seeds, and leaves, both in and around trees." If there's anything about these herbivores or their descendants magically switching to a completely carnivorous diet, Google reader doesn't want me to see it without paying!

2
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on January 31, 2012
at 05:16 PM

Yes, you can subtract fiber carbs and consider it pure bulk that goes right through you. But if you ask me, you don't need that either.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 01, 2012
at 03:09 AM

Soluble fiber slows the absorption of glucose and helps to burn the sugar for energy instead of storing it as fat. On Puristat.com you can search for dietary fiber and find additional information.

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