Does low carb mean low fiber?
The Lancet study, which was published on January 10th 2019, was presented as such a definitive nail in the coffin of low carb diets that it deserves a complete rebuttal. Last week we noted that prospective cohort studies and meta-analyses of these studies have compared people who consume whole grain carbs with people who consume refined carbs. These population studies have not compared whole grain consumers with real food/low-carb consumers, not least because the latter way of eating is a recent phenomenon and the population studies that we rely on today date back to 1968.
One of the claims, which requires a full rebuttal, is the assertion that a low carb diet is a low fiber diet. A zero carb diet is a zero fiber diet, but there are so few people eating zero carb, that this will probably never be possible to assess in any population study.
The Guardian headline – “Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease risk” (Ref 1) – has been very interesting to examine more thoroughly:
Is a low carb diet a low fiber diet?
Back to the diagram from last week:
Box A contains food groups high in fiber and low in carbohydrate.
Box B contains food groups high in fiber and high in carbohydrate.
Box C contains food groups low in fiber and low in carbohydrate (with the exception of some carbohydrate in dairy, these foods are essentially zero fiber and zero carbohydrate).
Box D contains food groups low in fiber and high in carbohydrate. Box D also contains foods that don’t fit into natural food groups, because they aren’t natural foods – all junk is in Box D.