Adding fiber to reduce net carbs

etompkinsdickey's Avatar


01 Oct, 2011 08:21 AM

Dear Dr. Rosedale,
I would like to know if adding a fiber supplement such as psyllium when eating carbohydrates such as fruit or starchy carbohydrates, will reduce the net carbs being eaten at the meal. For example, if you made a smoothie that had a banana or apple in it but also drank a psyllium drink before the smoothie, would that reduce the carbohydrates of the banana by the fiber in the psyllium drink? Would adding fiber be a way of helping to manage carbs to allow a greater daily allowance or permit one to offset the effect of the carbs when a person finds himself in a situation where he doesn't have a lot of control over the food that is being served?

Thank you.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Fiona on 01 Oct, 2011 08:31 AM

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    The short answer is no. You will still have the same amount of sugars/fructose actually been a worse kind of sugar. Funny, many many years ago bananas were Dr. Ron's favorite food, but once knowing the science of health he has not touched one since.
    So, if you have 15 grams of a type of sugar, and you add 20 grams of fiber, you will still be left with the same amount of sugar/fructose. Or if that alcoholic, I will have just a little bit of whisky but mixed in with my tea in the morning, that would be ok right! It is really hard for sure if you are with others, as food is such an act of giving, someone makes you a wonderful dinner (full or carbs) what do you do? It is hard, very hard. Try to not get in those situations as best you can, or fill up your plate with whatever veggies are there. When we travel we always have protein powder and almonds in our bag, or if we have nothing, we have gone for that egg sandwich and left most of the bread, though that is easier to do when someone is doing it with you ;-)

  2. 2 Posted by etompkinsdickey on 01 Oct, 2011 03:55 PM

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    Thank you for your reply. However, if we can't reduce the net carb load with an additional fiber supplement, then, I'm not sure why the fiber contained in a food itself reduces the carb load. To me, it is not logical. For example, 1 cup of wild blueberries has 19 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber for a net carb load of 13 grams. It now has 13 grams of usuable carbs/sugar to the body instead of 19. So, why wouldn't adding an additional 7 grams of fiber through a fiber supplement such as psyllium reduce the net carbs to 6 grams? To me, it seems that the total carbohydrates of all the food one eats at a sitting minus the total fiber one consumes at the same sitting should be the net carbs one is consuming at that particular meal. Before knowing about the Rosedale diet, while trying to moderate my own sugar cravings and get into a fat burning mode, I found if I added a fiber supplement once or twice a day, that I stayed satisfied longer and it reduced my cravings for carbs or sugar. I believed that the extra fiber helped moderate the spike in blood sugar and the corresponding release of insulin. Therefore, It is important for me to understand your rationale and the science behind what you say. Please be so kind as to explain further.

  3. 3 Posted by trishamihira on 25 Nov, 2011 03:10 PM

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    Fiber is also counted as carbs.

    So, if label 1 cup of wild blueberries says 19 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fiber, it means that 6 grams of the 19 grams of carbs is fiber. Since only non fiber carb is converted to sugar by our body, the 6 grams can be subtracted from the 19 grams to get a total net carbs of 13 grams.

    So, if you had 15 grams carbs and you add 15 grams fiber, then the label would say 30g of carbohydrate of which 15 grams is fiber.... Hence if you add fiber, the net carbs does not reduce. Hope this helps!

  4. 4 Posted by trishamihira on 25 Nov, 2011 03:56 PM

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    Fiber is also counted as carbs.

    So, if label 1 cup of wild blueberries says 19 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fiber, it means that 6 grams of the 19 grams of carbs is fiber. Since only the non-fiber carb is converted to sugar by our body, the 6 grams of fiber can be subtracted from the total carb to get a net carb of 13g.

    So, if you had 15 grams carbs and you add 15 grams fiber, it would be 30g of carbohydrate of which 15 grams is fiber.... Hence if you add fiber, the net carbs does not reduce. Hope this helps!

  5. 5 Posted by etompkinsdickey on 17 Jan, 2012 02:16 AM

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    THANK YOU!!! This is the explanation that I have been waiting for. It now makes sense to me.

    However, it does seem that adding a fiber rich product like oat bran or psyllium to my diet keeps me full longer and keeps my blood sugar more stable. Is that a myth? Since you are adding some additional net carbs, does that mean it will still have a negative impact on blood sugar and insulin levels?

    Thank you again for responding to my question; I appreciate it so much!


  6. 6 Posted by trishamihira on 22 Jan, 2012 05:44 PM

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    Fiber is bulk.. So, it would definitely make you feel full longer and the non fiber carbs you have eaten with the fiber will be converted to Sugar slowly compared to eating carb without fiber..... Due to this you will not have the insulin spikes you would have had if you ate just Non Fiber carbs...

    BUT, even with fiber, all the Non fiber Carbs are eventually converted to Sugar and according to Dr Rosedale, even a small amount of Sugar will cause some damage to your body (aging) in a linear fashion and hence not recommended.... So, if you just avoid non fiber carbs, your blood sugar will be Stabler than it would be if you ate carbs with lot of fiber...

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Dr. Rosedale on 24 Jan, 2012 10:46 AM

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    trishamihira, very well said, thank you.

    Best of health to both of you.

  8. 8 Posted by Justin on 06 Feb, 2015 07:46 PM

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    I see some crackers advertised as "net carbs 1" per serving (flackers for example). I dont know if they are, BUT if they were just adding fiber to the product mixture that was straight fiber, would this be false advertising?


  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by Ken on 06 Feb, 2015 08:12 PM

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    Hi Justin

    While we are aware that false advertising exists - our focus is on the "total amount of each" of the ingredients in the product and what they are.

    • We ask ourselves, Are the ingredients harmful?

    Ken/ Rosedale Support Team

  10. 10 Posted by Justin on 06 Feb, 2015 08:23 PM

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    Here is a list of the ingredients. Are these likely to have only 1 net carbs?

    Organic flax seeds, organic apple cider vinegar, vegetable protein from non-GMO soybean and purified water, organic garlic, organic onion, organic chili pepper, organic basil

    100 calories, 7g fat, 8g carb, 7g fiber

    Thanks Ken


  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by Ken on 06 Feb, 2015 08:30 PM

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    Total 8g carb minus 7g fiber = 1g of carb that will covert to sugar

    Total Carbohydrate is the: 
    dietary fiber and non-fiber combined
    Non-fiber will convert to sugar
    Fiber - is a carb, that does not convert to sugar
    Sugar - is a non-fiber carb
    Sugar Alcohol - is sugar
    Starches - converts to sugar


    Ken/ Rosedale Support Team

  12. 12 Posted by Justin on 06 Feb, 2015 08:41 PM

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    Good Stuff!

  13. Support Staff 13 Posted by Ken on 06 Feb, 2015 08:51 PM

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    Thanks for visiting Justin - don't be a stranger, we enjoy hearing from folks.

    Ken/ Rosedale Support Team

  14. 14 Posted by Lisa on 20 Jul, 2016 08:34 PM

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    I read the first answer to you question, all I have to add is my husband sprinkled Benefiber to all his meals and he without even trying he lost 30lbs. I didn't change the things I cooked and he ate the same amount only added the powder fiber and yes, he did lose weight. I would at least try it and see for yourself.

  15. Support Staff 15 Posted by Ken on 21 Jul, 2016 01:18 AM

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    Thank you Lisa for your interest and your input.

    Ken/   Rosedale Support Team

  16. 16 Posted by Moe on 19 Oct, 2016 03:43 AM

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    ?????...Interesting Dr. Rosedale, are you by chance an Endocrinologist, because your info you espoused sounds contradictory to everything I've learned about fiber and carbs, just today I went to a Diabetic Nutrition class and asked the very same question about supplementing with fiber, but the question stunned her and she didn't know and couldn't even speculate...I just know how my blood would be less stable with fiber free carbs, fiber free carbs would more likely spike your blood and that's not good...She also said that that you don't subtract the whole number of the fiber against the carbs, you cut the fiber number in half first then subtracted from the carb number to get the real amount of carbs...There's sure is a lot of misinformation out there!...

  17. Support Staff 17 Posted by Ken on 19 Oct, 2016 08:51 AM

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    Hi Moe,

    (Q) There's sure is a lot of misinformation out there!...

    (A) There sure is

    • From my own experience, fiber free carbs will indeed raise BS

    • To get total amount of sugar in a product is: subtract fiber from total amount of carbs such as:

    Total Carbohydrate = 12g

    Fiber = 3g

    Sugar = 2g

    Total Sugar would be 9g

    Ken/   Rosedale Team

  18. 18 Posted by Susan Thomas on 10 Mar, 2017 11:40 AM

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    I disagree. Adding fiber reduces the net carbs. By reducing net carbs the impact to blood sugar and therefore insulin production and body fat is reduced. There is a difference between simple and complex carbs and how the body responds to them. Eat all the low glycemic carbs you want. Add protein and you're a fat burning machine. Search "LTL weight management and coaching" on facebook. I am the founder. You can't argue with supported fact.

  19. Support Staff 19 Posted by Ken on 10 Mar, 2017 08:38 PM

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    Hi Susan, thank you for your interest in Dr. Rosedale's work. At present he is finishing up some new material for publication, we will be posting an announcement on this site and our main site when the new material will be available.

    • Below are some links to further information, along with a little info that you may find interesting.

    Rosedale on Twitter Great information - just close any pop-up there may be.

    Rosedale: Videos, Writings, PDF files, text info

    • A potato no more then lump of sugar.

    • Health and lifespan is determined by the proportion of fat versus sugar one burns over a lifetime.

    • We get fat and diabetic, not by eating fat, but by not being able to burn it, thus being dependent on glucose for fuel.

    • Diabetes is defined as a disease of blood sugar. To reverse the disease, don't eat sugar or foods that turn into it.

    • The worst diet to be on is one that is both high in carbohydrates and fat, the sugar formed from carbs prevents the fat from being burned.


    • Insulin increases cellular proliferation. What does that do to cancer? It increases it.

    • Known for some time that aggressive cancer out paces its blood supply and is therefore anaerobic and must feed off sugar.

    • There are two things that cancer cells require to keep going: protein & sugar.

    Calorie Restriction

    • It is not calorie restriction that extends lifespan. It is carb and protein restriction such that fat becomes burned as the primary fuel.


    • Carbohydrates should be defined as fiber or not fiber. Any carb that is not a fiber will turn to sugar and will cause harm.

    • Lowering glucose by raising insulin is doing one no favors; just trading 1 evil for 1 even worse.

    Fat for Fuel

    • Fat is a great fuel, the best fuel, furnishing fatty acids, ketones, and glycerol (that the body can turn into glucose if necessary), to burn.

    • Though necessary in body, glucose/starch should not be eaten. Far better to let the body make as necessary, like cortisol & many other biomolecules.

    • Eating glucose “safe starches” will spike insulin & will temporarily prevent one from burning fat.

    • There is a tipping point where a high fat diet goes from not so good to great as non fiber carbs and protein are further lowered.

    • The more sugar you burn as fuel the more diseased you will be & the shorter will be your life.

    • It is not low Blood Glucose that determines health; it is what happens to keep the glucose low that is much more significant.

    High Protein

    • High protein accelerates aging & therefore all the chronic diseases associated with aging. Excess protein actually increases damage and reduces our ability to repair it, so it’s a double whammy.

    • The more sugar you burn as fuel the more diseased you will be & the shorter will be your life.

    • The more fat you burn as fuel, the healthier you will be.

    • Health & lifespan is determined by the proportion of fat versus sugar people burn throughout their lifetime.

    Brain, Fat, Glucose, Calories

    Calories are important as to their effects on hormones that relate to hunger and how much one will eat. In other words, outside of being in cages and being fed by lab technicians, people are driven to eat what and when they crave, and that is controlled by hormones, specifically leptin.

    By far, the major benefit of a high-fat diet is that one eats less by not craving carbs and putting one into a fat burning metabolism. One will then continue to burn fat when not being fed, thus “eating” their own fat and therefore not requiring further food to obtain fuel and thus being satiated without having to eat extra.

    It has been known for decades that eating carbohydrates is more thermogenic than fat, such that more energy than fat is released as heat rather than retained as fat. One might think that's good, but not necessarily. You would never put a thermogenic fuel in your car such that it would run hotter. Nor should you do that to yourself.

    The brain not only can burn, but works better burning ketones from fat, and 90% of its energy needs can (and should be for best health) be met by ketones and glycerol from fat and other substrates, rather than glucose. The brain only has “high glucose demands” when that is what the brain is mostly being fed.


    Ken/   Rosedale Team

    My Journey - Rosedale Diet   and   More of my journey

  20. 20 Posted by Jerry on 12 Mar, 2017 03:50 PM

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    Dear Dr. Rosedale,
    Is organic grass fed pork from Good Earth Farms from WI ok to add to our diet including eating the fat?

  21. Support Staff 21 Posted by Ken on 13 Mar, 2017 05:10 PM

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    Hi Jerry,

    Response from Dr. Rosedale when asked about pork a few years ago - and this response from Fiona way back in 2011


    Ken/   Rosedale Team

    My Journey - Rosedale Diet   and   More of my journey

  22. 22 Posted by Shelia on 04 Apr, 2017 05:05 PM

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    Oh dear... I just added an avocado and all natural almond butter (fiber) to my tuna salad in hopes of lowering the net carbs from the crackers I ate with it. After reading this forum, I think I just added more Carbs to my meal!!!!

  23. Support Staff 23 Posted by Ken on 04 Apr, 2017 05:18 PM

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    Hi Sheila,

    Adding a fiber carb will not negate the non-fiber carb


    Ken/   Rosedale Team

    Rosedale Diet - My Journey   and   More of journey

  24. 24 Posted by southforkjm on 05 Apr, 2017 01:12 PM

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    The only carbs we eat are those from veg's and nuts. Try doing away with crackers or any products made with some type of flour. 1 Tablespoon of almond butter on celery is a better method for weight loss.

  25. Support Staff 25 Posted by Ken on 06 Apr, 2017 04:39 PM

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    Thanks South :)


  26. 26 Posted by Sable Bearchild on 06 Oct, 2017 10:40 AM

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    Can you please comment on how both insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome) and more importantly to my own life LIPEDEMA effects the patient. Is there a protocol for living with one or both of these, as they often run concurrently... Any help is appreciated, thank you.

  27. 27 Posted by Aimee on 22 Oct, 2017 01:26 PM

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    Can you explain when there is more fibre than sugars?

    For example I have started following a low carb diet (which is awesome!)

    And part of my breakfast is a few strawberries blended in almond milk, and I add 30g of almond meal to help thicken the drink so it's a bit more satisfying.

    The nutritional value of my almond meal per 30g is as follows

    Carbs 1.5g
    Fibre 3.7

    Does this mean that my carbs are 0?

  28. 28 Posted by SableBear Chand... on 22 Oct, 2017 03:50 PM

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    Can you answer the questions about LIPEDEMA &/ LIPOLYMPHEDEMA?

    Sent from my Windows 10 phone

  29. Support Staff 29 Posted by Ken on 24 Oct, 2017 08:19 AM

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    Hi Aimee

    using your carbs and fiber comment:

    carbs 1.5g plus fiber 3.7g equals 5.2g of total carbs -- of which 3.7g is fiber carb, that leaves 1.5g of non-fiber carb.


    Ken/   Rosedale Team

  30. 30 Posted by ANNETTE on 11 Apr, 2018 03:20 PM

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