Low carb... and high fiber?

Sep 15, 2008 at 6:57 p.m. ET

Say "low carb," and immediately visions of steak and eggs dance in your heads. Folks somehow have this notion that your mouth will never again chomp into a sandwich or that your diet will devoid on anything fiber-filled. It doesn't have to be that way. You can have your low carb and get fiber too! Here's how.

Fiber won't make you fat!

There is a simple math equation that you need to do to understand how this works. Fiber is a non-nutritive substance that aids in digestion. It isn't processed in your body like say, a donut would be (which is completely fiberless and filled to overflowing with sugar).

Donuts, when eaten in any kind of quantity, will tend to grow you a rather large posterior. While fiber, eaten in any kind of quantity, will improve your digestion without getting you fat.

Take vegetables for example. Potatoes, corn and a few others aren't going to be too low carb friendly, but check out broccoli. With a carb count of 1.9 grams per 1/2 serving, the fiber content is 1.1 grams. That means the net carb value is only 0.8. Not too shabby!

Artichoke hearts have 7.8 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup and yet the fiber count is 6 grams. It's easy to see why donuts do what they do now, isn't it?

Fiber is also easily obtained through certain seeds like flax and flaxmeal, which makes a great hot cereal. As a matter of fact, 1/4 cup of flaxmeal hot cereal has 13 grams of carbs, but 6 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 7 grams. Compared to the same amount of oatmeal with 18 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 15 grams. See the difference?

So can you do a low carb diet and still get in the fiber you need! You bet - you just might have to do it a little differently! Here's a low carb fiber-full recipe to get you started.

Chicken with a Ginger Cream Sauce

Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves -- pound to 1/4-inch, if necessary
2 teaspoons butter
Salt and pepper -- to taste
2 Tablespoons white wine -- or use white grape juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half (half cream and half milk)

1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute quickly, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the pan and keep warm.

2. Add wine and lime juice to pan; deglaze the pan using a wire whisk and working quickly. Bring it to a boil; now add the chicken broth, half and half, ginger and cayenne.

3. Lower heat immediately (or sauce will break) and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. When sauce has reduced and thickened, taste it and correct the seasoning, if necessary. Serve chicken with sauce over the top.

Per Serving: 205 Calories; 9g Fat (40.3% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 73mg Cholesterol; 204mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat.

Low carb serving suggestions:

Sauteed green beans (throw some garlic in there); a big green salad (watch the carb count on your salad dressings. Higher fat dressings usually have lower carb counts)

Serving suggestions:

Follow LC Suggestion above and add brown rice.