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TOPIC: Total Carbs vs Net Carbs

 
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June 8, 2012 10:12 AM
I'm low carb-ing and its working nicely so I don't intend to change what I'm doing but I'm a little confused about net vs total carbs. I'm logging total carbs and am happy with that but it appears that Atkins looks at net carbs.... Can someone explain please?

Edited to add that I'm based in the UK
Edited by goldie3871 On June 8, 2012 10:45 AM
June 8, 2012 10:23 AM
Atkins does do net carbs. Fiber has little to no impact on blood sugar, so Atkins says that you can subtract your fiber grams from your carb grams. If you eat atkins products that contains sugar alcohols, you can also subtract those, as they do not mess with blood sugar either.


for example, I had an atkins meal bar as a snack. total carbs 29g
fiber 11g
sugar alcohols 15g
net carbs 3g


does this make any sense to you?
  9724253
June 8, 2012 10:26 AM
QUOTE:

I'm low carb-ing and its working nicely so I don't intend to change what I'm doing but I'm a little confused about net vs total carbs. I'm logging total carbs and am happy with that but it appears that Atkins looks at net carbs.... Can someone explain please?
In the USA the nutritional labels include Fiber as part of Carbohydrates. You can see the offset in the layout.

So flax seed for example might be 35g of carbohydrates of which 33g are fibre.

As the fibre passes straight through you and out the other end the "net carbs" or absorbable carbohydrates are 35 - 33 = 2g or which some (or all) will also be declared as sugars.

If you get a UK or EU label this doesn't happen (unless it's imported and not corrected) as Carbohydrates are measured separately to Fibre and don't appear next to each other on the label. Here the "Carbohydrates" are what the Atknis book would call "Net Carbs" without requiring any mathematics.
  18022302
June 8, 2012 10:28 AM
To me NO! to you, as long as you get it, great!
June 8, 2012 10:30 AM
Thanks, I'm UK based so I'll continue to look at carbs and log that as I normally do. Thanks for the info :) Does anyone know if Atkins bars in the UK are corrected or not? I dont have one to hand here to check the label...
Edited by goldie3871 On June 8, 2012 10:32 AM
June 8, 2012 10:34 AM
You should count your net carbs. I am low carbing as well and its working great. So much faster than just lowering calories, and now I am eating so much healthier (not much processed foods).

I try to stay under 50 NET carbs per day for sure. Some days I am under 30. Subtract the fiber (and the sugar alcohols if its atkins or similar) from the carbs to get the net carbs.
June 8, 2012 11:10 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I'm low carb-ing and its working nicely so I don't intend to change what I'm doing but I'm a little confused about net vs total carbs. I'm logging total carbs and am happy with that but it appears that Atkins looks at net carbs.... Can someone explain please?
In the USA the nutritional labels include Fiber as part of Carbohydrates. You can see the offset in the layout.

So flax seed for example might be 35g of carbohydrates of which 33g are fibre.

As the fibre passes straight through you and out the other end the "net carbs" or absorbable carbohydrates are 35 - 33 = 2g or which some (or all) will also be declared as sugars.

If you get a UK or EU label this doesn't happen (unless it's imported and not corrected) as Carbohydrates are measured separately to Fibre and don't appear next to each other on the label. Here the "Carbohydrates" are what the Atknis book would call "Net Carbs" without requiring any mathematics.


So in the UK they do the math for you... but in the US we need to subtract the fiber listed from the total carbs listed on the label. Is that right?
June 8, 2012 11:33 AM
QUOTE:

Thanks, I'm UK based so I'll continue to look at carbs and log that as I normally do. Thanks for the info :) Does anyone know if Atkins bars in the UK are corrected or not? I dont have one to hand here to check the label...
They put a flash on the front of packs with a net carbs claim. This isn't allowed on the nutritional label which shows carbohydrates by regulated methods.
  18022302
June 8, 2012 11:36 AM
QUOTE:
So in the UK they do the math for you... but in the US we need to subtract the fiber listed from the total carbs listed on the label. Is that right?
Nearly, the UK analyses carbohydrates and fibre separately and declares them, in the US you have to do the math.

In the US "carbohydrate" is everything that isn't protein or fat, and they analyse for fiber and declare that.

So a low carb vegetable in the UK might have 3g of carbs and 4g of fibre, in the US it would be 7g of carbs of which 4g is fiber. So the "net carbs" subtraction concept is based on US labelling.

If you get a UK label and start subtracting fibre from carbs the outcome will be misleadingly low, and possibly negative.
Edited by yarwell On June 8, 2012 11:36 AM
  18022302
June 8, 2012 11:40 AM
QUOTE:
for example, I had an atkins meal bar as a snack. total carbs 29g
fiber 11g
sugar alcohols 15g
net carbs 3g

does this make any sense to you?


They are assuming / hoping / claiming that the sugar alcohols are effectively fibre and pass right through you undigested. This is the case for a couple of them (erythritol for example) but not for the maltitol common in ersatz "low carb" products and many others. So go steady on such products.

20g a day is a recommended limit for sugar alcohols, to avoid "bowel issues". (Eat now, spray later).
  18022302
June 8, 2012 11:41 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
So in the UK they do the math for you... but in the US we need to subtract the fiber listed from the total carbs listed on the label. Is that right?
Nearly, the UK analyses carbohydrates and fibre separately and declares them, in the US you have to do the math.

In the US "carbohydrate" is everything that isn't protein or fat, and they analyse for fiber and declare that.

So a low carb vegetable in the UK might have 3g of carbs and 4g of fibre, in the US it would be 7g of carbs of which 4g is fiber. So the "net carbs" subtraction concept is based on US labelling.

If you get a UK label and start subtracting fibre from carbs the outcome will be misleadingly low, and possibly negative.


Thanks! Good to know Ive been doing it right.. was a little scared for a sec there. I do track fibre and often if Im over 100grams on carbs I'll remind myself to subtract from whatever total I have in the fibre column. I try to keep it under 100g of carbs daily but am thinking to maybe take it down to 50 for a bit... so looking at NET definitely helps!
June 8, 2012 11:48 AM
Thanks Yarwell, you've explained it beautifully. Its amazing how different countries have different regulations regarding what is on labels and how it is calculated.

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