What the Low Carb-ers Have Right: New Information about Diabetes, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and the New Buzz Word: Whole Foods

Topics: Wellness and Health

In a very smart study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, my colleague Simon Liu analyzed data from 1909 to 1997. He found first that diabetes rises with calorie intake…which was known.

But what was not known is that those people eating the same number of calories daily, who ate and drank more foods with high fructose corn syrup, and foods with less fiber, developed diabetes more.

High fructose corn syrup is cheaper and sweeter than sugar. See Fat Land for a thorough, popular history. Fructose raises triglyceride levels, and perhaps raises LDL (lousy) cholesterol too. Our program to lower cholesterol is here.

The contribution of Atkins and the low carbers is to call attention to highly processed, nutrient-depleted carbohydrates–like high fructose corn syrups, and many packaged and processed foods. Our job is now to make easy to eat carbs that are high fiber—actual whole foods, ranked in order, top down, for total fiber level. Feast!

What are whole foods? Any fruit with skin on. Any vegetable with skin on. (Yes, it includes potatoes and corn. No, they’re not the first choice). Any legume or bean. Aim for 35 grams of fiber daily. Every day, alphabetical fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals ratings and fiber readings below. Click MORE.

Common servings of foods containing dietary fiber are shown below. Increase your intake by including fiber from all sources. (Foods from meat and dairy groups are not good sources.) Foods that are good sources of fiber are also typically low in fat.

Food Serving Size Fiber (gm)
Cereals:
All-Bran
1/3 cup 8.5
Bran Buds
1/3 cup 7.9
Bran Chex
2/3 cup 4.6
Cheerios
1 1/4 cup 1.1
Corn Bran
2/3 cup 5.4
Corn Flakes
1 1/4 cup 0.3
Cracklin’ Bran
1/3 cup 4.3
Crispy Wheats n’ Raisins
3/4 cup 1.3
40% Bran
3/4 cup 4.0
Frosted Mini-Wheats
4 biscuits 2.1
Graham Crackos
3/4 cup 1.7
Grape Nuts
1/4 cup 1.4
Heartland Natural Cereal
1/4 cup 1.3
Honey Bran
7/8 cup 3.1
Most
2/3 cup 3.5
Nutri-Grain, barley
3/4 cup 1.7
Nutri-Grain, corn
3/4 cup 1.8
Nutri-Grain, rye
3/4 cup 1.8
Nutri-Grain, wheat
3/4 cup 1.8
100% Bran
1/2 cup 8.4
100% Natural Cereal
1/4 cup 1.0
Oatmeal, (cooked regular, quick, or instant)
3/4 cup 1.6
Raisin Bran-type
3/4 cup 4.0
Rice Krispies
1 cup 0.1
Shredded Wheat
2/3 cup 2.6
Special K
1 1/3 cup 0.2
Sugar Smacks
3/4 cup 0.4
Tasteeos
1 1/4 cup 1.0
Total
1 cup 2.0
Wheat Chex
2/3 cup 2.1
Wheaties
1 cup 2.0
Wheat n’ Raisin Chex
3/4 cup 2.5
Wheat germ
1/4 cup 3.4

Food Serving Size Fiber (gm)
Vegetables (cooked):

Asparagus, cut
1/2 cup 1.0
Beans (string, green)
1/2 cup 1.6
Broccoli
1/2 cup 2.2
Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup 2.3
Cabbage (red, white)
1/2 cup 1.4
Carrots
1/2 cup 2.3
Cauliflower
1/2 cup 1.1
Corn, canned
1/2 cup 2.9
Kale leaves
1/2 cup 1.4
Parsnip
1/2 cup 2.7
Peas
1/2 cup 3.6
Potato (with skin)
1 2.5
Potato (without skin)
1 1.4
Spinach
1/2 cup 2.1
Squash, summer
1/2 cup 1.4
Sweet potatoes
1/2 1.7
Turnips
1/2 1.6
Zucchini
1/2 cup 1.8

Food Serving Size Fiber (gm)
Vegetables (raw):

Bean sprouts
1/2 cup 1.5
Celery, diced
1/2 cup 1.1
Cucumber
1/2 cup 0.4
Lettuce, sliced
1 cup 0.9
Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup 0.9
Onions, sliced
1/2 cup 0.9
Pepper, green, sliced
1/2 cup 0.5
Spinach
1 cup 1.2
Tomato
1 1.5

Food Serving Size Fiber (gm)
Fruits:

Apple (with skin)
1 3.5
Apple (without skin)
1 2.7
Apricot
3 1.8
Apricot, dried
5 halves 1.4
banana
1 2.4
Blueberries
1/2 cup 2.0
Cantaloupe
1/4 melon 1.0
Cherries, sweet
10 1.2
Grapefruit
1/2 1.6
Grapes
20 0.6
Orange
1 2.6
Peach (with skin)
1 1.9
Peach (without skin)
1 1.2
Pear (with skin)
1/2 large 3.1
Pear (without skin)
1/2 large 2.5
Pineapple
1/2 cup 1.1
Plums, damson
5 0.9
Prunes
3 3.0
Raisins
1/4 cup 3.1
Raspberries
1/2 cup 3.1
Strawberries
1 cup 3.0
Watermelon
1 cup 0.4

Food Serving Size Fiber (gm)
Legumes:

Baked beans/tomato sauce
1/2 cup 8.9
Dried beans, cooked
1/2 cup 4.7
Kidney beans, cooked
1/2 cup 7.3
Lentils, cooked
1/2 cup 7.3
Lima beans, cooked
1/2 cup 4.5
Navy beans, cooked
1/2 cup 6.0