The daily intake of dietary fiber is well below the recommended levels in the US. The effect of adopting a low-fat vs. a low-carbohydrate weight loss diet on fiber intake is of interest but not well-documented, especially when both approaches promote high-quality food choices. The objective of this paper is to compare the quantity and sources of dietary fiber between a healthy low-fat (HLF) vs. healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet group when consumed over 12 months in a weight loss diet study. In this secondary analysis of the Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) study, the amount and sources of dietary fiber were examined in generally healthy adults, 18–50 years of age, Body Mass Index (BMI) 28–40 kg/m2, randomized to HLF or HLC for 12 months, who had available 24-h recalls at 0 (n = 609), 3 (n = 549), 6 (n = 491), and 12 (n = 449) months. The dietary intake was estimated by the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDS-R). The sources of fiber were determined for the major food groups. Significantly more total dietary fiber was consumed by HLF at every post-randomization time point, and, at 12 m, was 23.04 ± 9.43 g vs. 18.61 ± 8.12 g for HLF vs. HLC, respectively, p < 0.0001. In both diet groups at 12 months, the highest amount of dietary fiber came from non-starchy vegetables (4.13 ± 3.05 g and 5.13 ± 3.59 g). The other primary sources of fiber at 12 months for the HLF group were from whole grains (3.90 ± 3.13 g) and fruits (3.40 ± 2.87 g), and, for the HLC group, were from plant protein and fat sources, such as nuts and seeds, their butters, and avocados (2.64 ± 2.64 g). In the DIETFITS study, the difference in the total fiber intake for the HLF vs. HLC groups was more modest than expected. The HLC group consumed reasonably high amounts of fiber from high-protein and high fat plant-based sources.
National Institutes of Health
Clinical trial, Dietary fiber, Healthy low-carbohydrate diet, Healthy low-fat diet, Weight loss
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Public Health and Recreation
Lisa C. Offringa, Jennifer C. Hartle, Joseph Rigdon, and Christopher D. Gardner. "Changes in quantity and sources of dietary fiber from adopting healthy low-fat vs. Healthy low-carb weight loss diets: Secondary analysis of dietfits weight loss diet study" Nutrients (2021). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103625