Truth About Carbohydrates- Not all carbs are created equal.

Posted by Daniel Patrick on

The truth about carbs begins with dietary fiber. There are 'good' carbs and bad 'carbs.'  Fiber is the good carb. Let's jump straight into it.

"Observational data suggested...

a 15% to 30% decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality and incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer in people who consumed the most dietary fiber relative to those who consumed the least, the authors found."

This reported by Rita Rubin, MA in a comprehensive perspective in JAMA on the topic of high-fiber diets protecting against a range of conditions.

If you are like many Americans then you may want to lose weight for summer, or because you are trying to reduce your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many cancers. High-fiber diets are associated with weight loss and weight loss with all of those risk reductions. However, fiber seems to go above and beyond for health.

Findings suggest that anyone who wants to reduce risk for a range of conditions including cardiovascular disease, and ovarian, pancreatic, liver, and colorectal cancer- wait for it... wait for it... should eat more carbs and not less. Though, those carbs should come in the form of fiber.

Yet the average fiber intake by adults in the US range from 15 to 18 grams while recommended daily intake is 33.6 grams for men and 28 grams for women 19 to 30 years old then slight decreases as we age.

Comparisons have been made with rural African communities who consume about 50 g of fiber and that of Western countries eating the Standard American Diet high in processed foods and added sugars. In the case of rural Africa, colon cancer is rarely seen.

Rita Ruben points out another fascinating study that swapped diets between African Americans and rural Africans for two weeks. Scientists observed inverse microbiome changes between the two groups associated with mucosal biomarkers of cancer risk.

For the entire Jama article on High-fiber Diets and Disease Prevention please click here.


According to Mayo Clinic, the benefits of a high-fiber diet include:

  1. Normalized bowel movements
  2. Maintain bowel health
  3. Lower cholesterol levels
  4. Helps control blood sugar levels
  5. Aids in achieving a healthy weight
  6. Helps you live longer

For more info on fiber from Mayo please click here.

Looking to add more fiber to your diet? Check this Mayo Clinic Fiber Food Chart 

Please click here for original source at Mayo Clinic.

Fruits Serving size Total fiber (grams)*
Raspberries 1 cup 8.0
Pear 1 medium 5.5
Apple, with skin 1 medium 4.5
Banana 1 medium 3.0
Orange 1 medium 3.0
Strawberries 1 cup 3.0
Vegetables Serving size Total fiber (grams)*
Green peas, boiled 1 cup 9.0
Broccoli, boiled 1 cup chopped 5.0
Turnip greens, boiled 1 cup 5.0
Brussels sprouts, boiled 1 cup 4.0
Potato, with skin, baked 1 medium 4.0
Sweet corn, boiled 1 cup 3.5
Cauliflower, raw 1 cup chopped 2.0
Carrot, raw 1 medium 1.5
Grains Serving size Total fiber (grams)*
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 1 cup 6.0
Barley, pearled, cooked 1 cup 6.0
Bran flakes 3/4 cup 5.5
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 5.0
Oat bran muffin 1 medium 5.0
Oatmeal, instant, cooked 1 cup 5.0
Popcorn, air-popped 3 cups 3.5
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 3.5
Bread, whole-wheat 1 slice 2.0
Bread, rye 1 slice 2.0
Legumes, nuts and seeds Serving size Total fiber (grams)*
Split peas, boiled 1 cup 16.0
Lentils, boiled 1 cup 15.5
Black beans, boiled 1 cup 15.0
Baked beans, canned 1 cup 10.0
Chia seeds 1 ounce 10.0
Almonds 1 ounce (23 nuts) 3.5
Pistachios 1 ounce (49 nuts) 3.0
Sunflower kernels 1 ounce 3.0

*Rounded to nearest 0.5 gram.

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release



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