Saturday, November 24, 2012

Learn The Magic Fiber Formula For Your Low Carb Diet

Trying to figure out whether a carb is good or bad isn't difficult. We all can agree that eating white sugar and white flour in any form is eating bad carbs. But after that, it can get complicated.

If you're following a low carb diet, you know that you need good carbs in your diet. Good carbs come from many vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, brown rice, quinoa, beans, legumes, and whole grains. The confusion comes when you're trying to keep your carb consumption below a certain amount of grams per day and a food that's considered 'good carbs' also has a high carb count. What do you do then?

Fiber Carb Trick

Good carbs are not always low carb at first glance. For instance, if you look at a bag of legumes or beans, you may be surprised to see this 'healthy' food contains anywhere in the vicinity of 30 or 40 grams of carbohydrates in a serving. How can these foods be on a low carb diet? It's all about the fiber.

Plant foods that are nutritious and rich in fiber are an important part of the low carb diet. Slow burning carbs (good carbs) help give you energy without producing damaging blood sugar spikes, unlike fast burning carbs (bad carbs.) That's why good carbs are vital to your health. And that's why we can't avoid eating them even when we see 30 grams of carbohydrates on the nutrition label.

Here's where the fiber 'carb trick' comes in. When counting carbs for your diet, you need to take into account the fiber content. Simply put, you take the total grams of carbs, subtract the total grams of fiber, and arrive at a 'net carb' count. These 'net carbs' become the carbs you are actually ingesting.

Take for example a package of tortillas I found. Total carbs are 13 grams. Total fiber is 10 grams. Your net carbs end up being only 3 grams. See, you didn't have to avoid that tortilla after all!

In a cup of raw almonds you'll find around 20 grams of carbs, but you'll also find around 12 grams of fiber. That's going to result in about 8 grams of net carbs. That amount will almost certainly fit in your low carb diet, and the nutrition is indisputable.

Jicama is another surprise. Go online and check the nutrition data for jicama and you'll see the carbs are a little higher than you want; 11 grams in a cup of raw jicama. Doesn't look like you want to snack on jicama, now does it. But then you see the fiber; a whopping 6 grams! That's not only about a quarter of your recommended daily allowance for dietary fiber, but it brings that cup of jicama down to a diet-friendly 5 net grams of carbs. You just found yourself a new low carb snack!

More than Carb Counting

But, eating low carb and high fiber is not all about losing weight. Foods rich in fiber, and low in carbs, help protect the body from developing metabolic disease, diverticulitis, IBS, diabetes, other digestive disease. This same combination of low carbs and high fiber has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. This explains why following this kind of diet has been endorsed by The American Heart Association.

You may find foods that have fewer grams of carbs than other foods, but what about the fiber? The trick is finding foods that have good carbs and high fiber. You need both slow burning carbs and dietary fiber for your body to function well. We have so many excellent food choices if we just explore the possibilities. Start by avoiding processed and refined foods, and improve your eating habits to include fresh produce and proteins. Learn the 'net carb' formula to enjoy all the delicious foods at your disposal on your healthy low carb diet.

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