Counting Carbs, Sugars and Fiber in foods

By NewSong53 Latest Reply 2015-02-24 18:57:35 -0600
Started 2015-02-22 19:11:26 -0600

I just looked up the carb count for 1 c. frozen blueberries. It has 19 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 13 grams of sugar. It has an estimated glycemic load of 4.

Could someone explain what this means? If I'm trying to figure out my carb count for this food item, do I just count carbs? Or does the sugar count as additional carbs? And I don't know what a "bad" glycemic load is. I don't know why, but I have difficulty understanding about counting carbs and sugars. It's easy to look up the numbers but not easy to determine what to count. Thanks!!

11 replies

Sopies Grandma
Sopies Grandma 2015-02-24 18:57:35 -0600 Report

what I was told is to count the carbs and not to worry about anything else except the calories. Included in the carbs is sugar and fiber and starch. Not sure what else is anything is included.

Pegsy 2015-02-24 08:12:50 -0600 Report

I am amazed at how this varies by the individual and yet is effective with those variations. I don't count the carbs in vegetables unless they are starchy/sugary vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, peas, etc. I do limit fruits to one or two 11-20 carb gram servings per day. I add fiber to smoothies and anything I bake without concern. I find that fiber helps lower my glucose. It is packaged foods where I am very careful to count the carbs and added sugars. I do subtract the fiber in packaged foods and I never consume more than 6 grams of sugar. Again, the sugar count applies to packaged goods such as chocolate, graham crackers, cereal, etc. I do not count the sugar in fruits or vegetables and that has never posed a problem for me.

NewSong53 2015-02-23 09:03:43 -0600 Report

Thanks! After considering all the advice here, think I'll use 1/2 c. berries for now and increase if I can get my daily BG level low enough. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has a trouble wrapping my head around all the info you need to know when planning meals. And thankful for sharing your experiences with me. I'll just count the gross carbs for now and not worry about the glycemic index to keep it as simple as possible til I learn more.

jayabee52 2015-02-23 05:23:18 -0600 Report

Howdy NewSong
I don't worry about the "net carbs" thing. If the info says it has 10 gm of carbs I count it as 10 gm even if it has the amount of fiber to subtract to do the net carbs thing.

However if I was on injected insulin, it might make a difference as I wouldn't want inject too much insulin and give myself a hypo.

But currently that is not the case for me.


Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-23 08:35:52 -0600 Report

I think how one counts carbs should be an individual thing…for some unkown reason I know people that MUST count total carbs…because they either affect their BG levels and/or knock them out of ketosis…I was very careful when I started adding fiber back into my diet…about a month after I started my low carb diet…I monitored myself very closely ..still do…and I am lucky…I can have my flax and my chia…and I am still good…if I had found that I could not eat these things…I too would count total carbs…but I do agree..when one first starts counting carbs they should count total carbs until they find out they can do otherwise..

GabbyPA 2015-02-23 12:54:20 -0600 Report

This is very important. I know that my "short cut" self would love to subtract the fiber from my carbs. I only will do it if the fiber amount is crazy high. Otherwise, I don't play the fiber game and I count total carbs. Sugar carbs are not additional, it's just how many of those carbs come from sugar. The rest come from other sources. So obviously, if you can find something where the carbs from sugar is a much lower number, generally the better on the the glycemic index it will be. That however, is also a whole 'nother story that you really have to research and experiment with.

There is also the issue of food types that just don't work for you as an individual. Some of my sticker foods are corn, oatmeal, and wheat products. They tend to ruin a good day for me no matter how little of it I consume.

The other thing that doesn't come up much, but was a huge topic when I first joined are the protein, fat, carb ratios in your meals. Now that I have been writing things down without trying to really balance those ratios, I am finding that when they are more balanced and my calories are under a certain number, I get the best results. I will be posting a discussion on that soon.

GeekonBoard 2015-02-23 02:03:03 -0600 Report

I subtract the fiber from the net carbs. I'm still trying to decipher all the books, diabetes education, endocrinology info given to me, & things I have read on this website. I sometimes have to take a step back because it can all start to feel as if it's crossing over & making a big dust storm in my head. ;)

lilleyheidi 2015-02-23 01:56:27 -0600 Report

a lot of people count the full amount of carbs, some like Jibber, count the net carbs by subtracting the fiber. I like my berries in the morning so i"m willing to use a full cup and use that many carbs in the morning. I use a lot of carbs in the morning and just a few with leafy greens and other veggies during the rest of the day. I have about 75-100 grams of carbs a day.

sweetslover 2015-02-22 21:41:48 -0600 Report

After 4 months, I am just now becoming comfortable with managing my carbs. I count total carbs, which includes the sugar. I like to count the highest number of carbs in case I underestimate my carb count during the day—it gives me a little leeway if I make a mistake. I just can't wrap my head around fiber and the glycemic index yet. If I want fruit that has a high carb count, I try to eat half a serving.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-22 20:51:15 -0600 Report

It depends on your method of counting carbs..some count total carbs…some subtract the fiber for net carbs…which is what I do…I have found that fiber has zero to very little affect on my BG levels and does not knock me out of ketosis…so I regularly add ground flax and chia to my meals and enjoy my flacker crackers with cream cheese on occasion…I would never eat an entire cup of many carbs…but they are health benefits to them so I do eat them in smaller amounts… When you read total carbs on a label…that includes the carbs from sugar…

haoleboy 2015-02-22 20:23:21 -0600 Report

For me, it means I would only eat a 1/2 cup and count the 10 grams of carbs. I do not consider the fiber or glycemic index of foods and the sugar is already represented in the carb total.