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May 22, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Mobile, Alabama, USA

I am confused about how fiber fits into carbohydrate counting. In "Nutrition Facts" dietary fiber is included in the list of carbohydrates and is included in Total Carbohydrate. Is dietary fiber converted to glucose like other carbohydrates, or does it pass through undigested? I do not have diabetes but I have a four year old daughter who does. She likes All Bran cereal, and I would like to know how much carbohydrate she is actually eating.

ANSWER:

You have done a good job interpreting the information out there. The amount of fiber can be subtracted from the total carbohydrate, and it can make a difference in children especially. We normally suggest if the fiber content is five or greater, subtract that amount from the total carbohydrate. If your daughter is on a carb gram counting system this would be especially important. Those on a carb serving system might not be affected as much due to the carb ranges representing one carb serving. JM