Net carbs

By pat3 Latest Reply 2010-12-14 19:04:52 -0600
Started 2010-12-14 01:31:04 -0600

I will not gab so much later, but someone mentioned net carbs, and I have tried to do some research on it & did not find much that explained it. Any help would be appreciated.
Hugs, Pat

7 replies

GabbyPA 2010-12-14 18:34:22 -0600 Report

I have found that most companies use the formula incorrectly to "sell" products. The dietitian explained it to me this way:

Let's say you have a low carb tortilla that has 13g of carbs per tortilla and also has 7g of fiber. The formula I was taught is if the fiber is OVER 3g you can deduct 1/2 of the total from the carbs. So....if you have 7g of fiber, you can subtract 3.5 g from your carbs giving you 9.5g of carbs. Now when I buy these tortillas, they say on the front of the package that there are only 6 Net Carbs! Well, that is not true. So you have to do the math for yourself.

13 -(7 / 2 = 3.5)=9.5 net carbs

EmiliaK 2010-12-14 18:06:27 -0600 Report

The concept of net carbs is based on the principle that not all carbohydrates affect blood sugar the same way. Some carbohydrates, like refined starches and sugars, are absorbed rapidly and cause high blood sugar levels.

Other carbohydrates, such as the fiber found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, move slowly through the digestive tract and much of it is not digested.

When you look at a food label, you will see fiber listed under the carbohydrate group, along with sugar. Food manufacturers, in an effort to sell more products, subtract the total fiber carbs from the total carbohydrates listed in the food label. They also subtract any sugar alcohols the product may contain (xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, etc.) and they call this number “net carbs”.

The term “net carbs” is not used by the FDA.

Have a great day,

Emilia Klapp, R.D., B.S.

pat3 2010-12-14 19:04:52 -0600 Report

Thanks Emilia & GAbby for the additional information. I am seeing that I have to consider the source, and the food industry may not be the one to use! lol

Happy and healthy day to all.
Hugs, Pat

kdroberts 2010-12-14 10:12:52 -0600 Report

Net carbs is really a marketing term. The science bit is that in the US, and a handful of other countries, fiber is counted in the number of carbs even though it is not digested like a carb. Most dietitians will tell you to deduct some amount of fiber from the total carbs (there are several different opinions) to get net carbs. Manufacturers use it to market products that are actually high in carb but they want to sell to diabetics. They will deduct all the fiber and all the sugar alcohols from the carb count, some companies will use it because they have tested their products and think it affects blood sugar differently. For instance, dreamfields pasta claim that even though there are 42g of carb per serving their testing shows that blood sugar only raises like it would if you ate 5g of carb and therefore label it as 5g net carbs.

It's a stupidly complicated issue that could be pretty much eliminated if the US calculate and label nutritional values like most other countries.

pat3 2010-12-14 12:57:06 -0600 Report

Thanks for the info. "Online searches did not explain it well. I was hoping I could eat more carbs! lol

jayabee52 2010-12-14 03:26:42 -0600 Report

I don't really understand this well either. There have been discussions on this topic here on DC.

Here's one:

Here's another:

And another:

If you're still not satisfied with these 3 discussions you can do your own search by clicking the "discussions" link above on the left. A general discussions page will load. There is a blue rectangular button shich says "start a discussion" on the top right of the page. Directly below that is a rectangular text box with a small square green icon of a looking glass. enter your search term(s) and click on the icon. You'll find several pages of results where that word (or words) occurs in the discussions. You can generally find what you may be looking for in that way.
In fact, if I have a question I'd like to have answered, I go to the search discussions page and look there for a while before I post a discussion question.

I pray this has been helpful



pat3 2010-12-14 12:59:40 -0600 Report

Thanks for the discussion links. This will help me get around the site better. Pat