T Nation

Is Fiber Still a Carb?


Could someone clarify to me if fiber is still considered are carb....if I'm counting carbs (which i'm not really)do I include fiber in the total amonunt of carbs in that meal or subtract fiber from the total amount of carbs in that meal?



if you are eating a piece of bread that has 15 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber. the total carb count is 10grams, therefore the calorie count is 40grams (if there is no protein and no fat)


Fiber is made of the same stuff that carbohydrates are, so to speak, but your body will not use them for calories. You do not need to count them towards your carb count.


Yes fibre is carbs but your body doesnt process them for eneregy so they dont count towards your carb/calorie intake.

However if you use fitday I do believe on the basic Fat/carb/protein breakdown the fibre is included in the total.

Just so you know


actually, fiber DOES contribute some energy to the body, on the order of 2-3 calories per gram. However, this isn’t exactly significant and can be ignored in most cases. I would suggest simply ignoring fiber, this way you’ll be able to eat lots of veggies without worry.


This is a huge fucking debate on this.

Theres a lot of coaches who advocate counting and a lot who don’t.

Thibs for example counts everything except the fiber in green veggies.

SOLUBLE fiber DOES count towards your calorific intake… its broken down by bacteria in the body and converted to short chain fatty acids where it is absorbed through the gut wall and used by us. However the effect on blood sugar is virtually nil and may be ignored.

Not only that but actual quantities of fatty acids are miniscule.

However if anyone could provide an average number of calories per gram of soluble fiber that would be interesting.


From Wikipedia:

[edit] Fiber and calories
Calories or kilojoules (as used on nutrition labels) are intended to be a measure of how much energy is available from the food source. This energy can be used immediately, for example allowing the body to move during exercise, or to make the heart beat. Energy that is not used immediately is stored as sugars in the short term and later converted to fats, which act as energy reserves.

Energy is extracted from food in a chemical reaction. Because of the principle of conservation of energy, energy can only be extracted when the chemical structure of food particles is changed. Since insoluble fiber particles do not change inside the body [2], the body should not absorb any energy (or Calories/kilojoules) from them.

Because soluble fiber is changed during fermentation, it could provide energy (Calories/kilojoules) to the body. As of 2009 nutritionists have not reached a consensus on how much energy is actually absorbed, but some approximate around 2 Calories (8.5 kilojoules) per gram of soluble fiber.[1]

Regardless of the type of fiber, the body absorbs less than 4 Calories (16.7 kilojoules) per gram of fiber, which can create inconsistencies for actual product nutrition labels. In some countries, fiber is not listed on nutrition labels, and is considered 0 Calories/gram when the food’s total Calories are computed. In other countries all fiber must be listed, and is considered 4 Calories/gram when the food’s total Calories are computed (because chemically fiber is a type of carbohydrate and other carbohydrates contribute 4 Calories per gram). In the US, soluble fiber must be counted as 4 Calories per gram, but insoluble fiber may be (and usually is) treated as 0 Calories per gram and not mentioned on the label.[1]

[edit] Short-chain fatty acids
When soluble fiber is fermented, Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are produced. SCFA are involved in numerous physiological processes promoting health, including:[44]

stabilize blood glucose levels by acting on pancreatic insulin release and liver control of glycogen breakdown
stimulate gene expression of glucose transporters in the intestinal mucosa, regulating glucose absorption[45]
provide nourishment of colonocytes, particularly by the SCFA butyrate
suppress cholesterol synthesis by the liver and reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides responsible for atherosclerosis
lower colonic pH (i.e., raises the acidity level in the colon) which protects the lining from formation of colonic polyps and increases absorption of dietary minerals
stimulate production of T helper cells, antibodies, leukocytes, cytokines and lymph mechanisms having crucial roles in immune protection
improve barrier properties of the colonic mucosal layer, inhibiting inflammatory and adhesion irritants, contributing to immune functions
SCFA that are not absorbed by the colonic mucosa pass through the colonic wall into the portal circulation (supplying the liver), and the liver transports them into the general circulatory system.

Overall, SCFA affect major regulatory systems, such as blood glucose and lipid levels, the colonic environment and intestinal immune functions.[46][47]

The major SCFA in humans are butyrate, propionate and acetate where butyrate is the major energy source for colonocytes, propionate is destined for uptake by the liver, and acetate enters the peripheral circulation to be metabolized by peripheral tissues?

2 cals per gram of soluble, none for insoluble.