If Fiber Is Not Digested, Then Why Do We Count The Calories And Carbs In It?

Filed under: Health — @ May 28, 2009

Do fiber calories and carbs from foods like broccoli count?

If you are looking for support and encouragement in your healthy low-carb lifestyle, then you could not do much better than to join in on the conversation with all the wonderful members over at my “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Discussion” forum. The people who frequent there are some of the kindest, most helpful, and enthusiastic supporters of low-carb living that I’ve ever met and I’m honored to call many of them my virtual friends. Although we may not have ever met in person, the common bond we share with the use of low-carb for weight and health improvements makes it seem like we’ve known each other for years. I’d like to personally invite YOU to jump right in and make yourself at home there.

One of the benefits that people enjoy on my forum is the ability to ask questions about livin’ la vida low-carb that they are most concerned about. We all have our collective wisdom from this way of eating and are able to offer opinions and insights that you may not hear elsewhere. However, there are also several low-carb doctors, nutritionists, and others who linger on the board to offer feedback to the more difficult questions and I’m always watching out for new ones that may warrant a more detailed explanation.

Last week I noticed a very thought-provoking question about fiber from one of my very active members there that, quite frankly, I’d never really thought about before. We know that those of us who follow a low-carb regimen do not generally count dietary fiber in our total carbohydrates, so my reader asked the following questions regarding the caloric value of fiber:

If fiber is not digested (i.e., not metabolized into simple sugars), then why do we count the calories in it? If it “just passes through” then we should not count either carbs or calories. Alternatively, if we DO get energy (calories) from it, then it IS digested, right?

Click here to see what low-carb nutrition experts Jacqueline Eberstein, RN and Dr. Jonny Bowden have to say in response to my forum member’s question.


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