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The Question
Sun Mar 09 22:54:19 UTC 2014

Does adding fiber in the way of flax seed, chia seed or nuts lower the total carbs when added to foods?
Asked By: musicity  

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I enjoy oats for breakfast, which for one cup is about 30 carbs. I add chia and flax seeds, nuts, either apples pieces, strawberries or blueberries. Because flax and chia have a lot of fiber, will this counter the 30 carbs in the oats? I know I have to count carbs for the fruit and the oats, just wondering if this would lower the total carbs? Say the oats are 30grams, fruit is 15-20grams, seeds would be very low carbs and has a lot of fiber. I would bolus for about 50 carbs, but would I deduct more for the added fiber? I am 65 yrs old with type 1 diabetes due to a Whipple surgery, 11/08. Caught the pancreatic cancer just in time. I had breast cancer 10/10, I wear a Enlite CGM but am a brittle diabetic. I have CAD also..... Thanks for you time, Marsha
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Expert Answers (1)
2014-07-01 22:41:19.0

Dear musicity,

Thank you for writing dLIfe!

Previously the general rule for fiber and carbohydrate applied if there were 5 or more grams of fiber in a serving of food. For example, if your oatmeal with the flax seeds, chia seeds, and strawberries has more than 5 grams of fiber, you would subtract half the fiber from the total carbohydrate grams.

However, the new American Diabetes Associations’ Nutrition Recommendations for the Management of Adults With Diabetes, published in 2013, say for most people it is not necessary to subtract the amount of dietary fiber, or sugar alcohols, from total carbohydrates when carbohydrate counting.

Keeping a detailed food diary and monitoring your blood glucose level 2 hours after breakfast, will help you determine whether or not you benefit from subtracting half the fiber.

Accreditations: MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN
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Community Answers (2)
2014-07-22 16:27:54.0

Something that might help is to use steel cut oats instead of regular oatmeal. I find that the plain steel cut oats, not the quick cooking type, have minimal impact on my glucose levels and they taste so much better too. I cook them al dente which may give them a lower GI.
Answered By: vivianeagleson

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2014-06-10 13:38:14.0

Remerbering each person is different, my experence I found that Flax seed (nornally have 3x day to total 3/8 cup) does not cut the carbs & is additive. I find that it does slow the carb "burn " rate of high carb items like your oat meal. The only way you can know is to test 3X with out it & 3x with it. Once before, 1X at 1 hour after & 2 hr after.
Answered By: auto1355999827645

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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