One of the main concerns for people starting a low carb diet is the apparent lack of fiber in the diet. I say “apparent” because it’s really a misconception. One of those accepted “truths” that keeps on being repeated over and over again.
The FDA recommends 28 grams of fiber for a 2,000 cal diet. Using their other recommendations for servings, I fall just short of that. For example:
- 4 servings of fruit (2 cups)
- 5 servings of vegetables (2.5 cups)
- 6 oz grain (6 slices of bread)
- 5 oz meat
- 3 cups milk
add up to only 24 grams of fiber. And this is only because I used “100% whole grain wheat” for the grain servings. Whole grain bread was introduced to help increase fiber intake so it can really be compared to a fiber supplement in my opinion. If I replace it with white bread, the total fiber ends up being 15 grams.
On a low carb diet, staying at induction level carbs (<20 when subtracting fiber) I can easily achieve the same 15 grams of fiber as on the “normal” diet. My sample menu included 2 cups cooked cabbage, 1 cup cooked green beans, three cups lettuce and one tomato.
So do I need to be worried about just getting half the recommended daily fiber intake? No, I do not. Why would I need more fiber?
The FDA fiber myth claims:
- Lack of fiber causes colon cancer. This “fact” was never proved in the first place and has been shown not to be true.
- Lack of fiber causes constipation. This is just not true. Lack of fat causes constipation.
But, IF you don’t want to try a low carb diet with just these 15 grams of fiber, the problem is easily solved by fiber supplements that do not add much to your net carb count. I routinely eat Wasa rye crackers and the Bran Crispbread I order from Netrition. But that isn’t because I think I need more fiber. I just happen to like them. Actually, I have to be careful with the bran crispbread as too much fiber will give me diarrhea.
However, a NO fiber diet that is also LOW FAT is bound to cause constipation. Look at the K/E menu below. The plate has the food for ONE FULL DAY, i.e. 3 meals.
K/E is short for Kimmer’s Experiment. It was a diet devised by Kimmer/Kimkins to produce heavy ketosis (or as she calls it, “real” ketosis) and quick weight loss. Lean meats and eggs only. No vegetables. Originally suggested for 3 days to jump start weight loss, the time limit was soon removed and it was recommended for long term use.
The problem with this diet is not really related to fiber. It is LOW calorie and LOW fat. This particular menu, based on Kimkins recommendations, provides just 376 cals (only 12 grams of fat) for ONE DAY!
Kimmer, or Heidi Diaz, does not recommend fiber supplements. They are bulking and a negative reflection on scale weight before the “bulk” has been eliminated is to be avoided. Instead, she suggests laxatives. On a daily basis.
Beware of the Kimkins Diet! Don’t be fooled by its claim to be a low carb diet. It’s low everything. Low carb, low fat, low calorie.