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4 - Nutrition labelling and fibre

The increasing requirement for nutrition labelling of foods in countries around the world is already making the low carber's life easier. However, it is important to be aware that labelling practice varies in respect of fibre.

In the US and some other countries dietary fibre is shown as a sub-category of carbohydrate. Since non-digestible types of fibre can be disregarded by those counting carbohydrates for insulin control purposes, US low carbers have to subtract the fibre figure from the total carbohydrate value to arrive at the 'net carbs'. In the UK, the rest of the EU and many other countries fibre is shown as an entirely separate category and the carbohydrate value is in effect the 'net carbs'.

This difference in labelling practice accounts for some of the apparent discrepancies between the values for individual foods given by carbohydrate counters and sometimes results in incorrect or confusing labelling where foods are imported/exported. It must of course also be taken into account if looking up carbohydrate values in the US Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database.

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