Technically, fiber is a carbohydrate. Does that mean you should avoid fiber on a low carb diet? Not at all! Fiber is a CRITICAL component of every healthy diet.
It's important to understand that carbohydrates are a group of food types. They include sugars and starches, which generally are too abundant in our daily menu. They also include fibers - which are GREAT for your health and which are not digested by your body.
So while eating sugars and starches cause you to gain weight, eating fiber can NOT get you to gain weight. When you eat fiber, it takes up space in your stomach, then slides down through your intestines and right out again. It doesn't add weight. It cleans out your intestinal system. It helps you to feel full when you're eating.
When you're following a low carb diet, you are always instructed to watch your net carb intake. Net carbs are the carbs that your body actually can turn into fat. So sugars and starches are countable carbs. Fiber is a NONcountable carb. If the label says it has 30g total carbs, with 8g of fiber, that means the net carbs are 22g.
Your daily fiber intake should be:
Women < 50 = 25g
Women > 50 = 21g
Men < 50 = 38g
Men > 50 = 30g
These numbers are pretty hard to hit with a standard daily diet! If you aren't eating this many fiber grams per day, look into fiber capsules. These can make a huge difference in how full you feel and how your body processes and digests food.
As a side benefit, eating proper amounts of daily fiber will help you flush your intestines out! Have you seen all those TV commercials for colon flushers and other digestive cleansing systems? Fiber does that naturally! Fiber sweeps down through your small intestine, large intestine and colon, sweeping them all clean. It's great for keeping your digestive system in healthy shape. This means no more constipation!
For extra benefits, as if you needed more, fiber is shown to help fight hemorrhoids, colon cancer, breast cancer, lower blood sugar and even reduce LDL levels.
Make sure you get your daily fiber amounts!
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books