Total Carbs Or Net Carbs: What Really Counts?
Disclaimer: You should consult any dietary changes with a health professional, especially if you have a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. You may need an adjustment to the medication you are taking. Critical thinking is key to separating facts from personal opinions and unproven theories. With the ever increasing amount of misinformation, it's easy for people to get confused and fall for a diet or lifestyle dogma. My advice is to always do your own research and learn what works best for you - no diet plan fits all and you always need to make small adjustments to fit your needs. Here's a couple of examples that are frequently discussed within the low-carb community: One of the myths is that if you follow a low-carb diet, you can eat unlimited calories, while losing weight and staying healthy. Although it's not common to overeat due to natural appetite control of low-carb diets, this belief results in overconsumption which is never beneficial no matter which diet you follow. A great example of a post questioning the effects of high cholesterol and saturated fat intake can be found at Low Carb Dietitian. About 25% of people following a low carb diet experience very high cholesterol levels. There is increasing evidence that cholesterol and saturated fat do not cause heart disease. Does this mean that very high cholesterol levels are completely safe and even desirable? Not necessarily - even if your C-reactive protein test shows that your inflammation is low, it doesn't mean that it's safe to have very high cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that low-carb diets are not just about eating foods rich in saturated fat found in butter or fatty meat. In addition to saturated fats, many experts, including doctor Jeff Volek, emphasise the importance of heart-healthy Continue reading >>
Counting carbs is easy to do. All you need is a source of information that gives the carbohydrate and fiber counts in grams of specific portions of foods. It can be a book, or a database or website on the internet.. I can recommend the following since I have them in my own library or use them frequently: Dana Carpender's Carb Gram Counter: Usable Carbs, Protein, Fat, and Calories - Plus Tips on Eating Low-Carb! by Gary Scheiner, MS CDE. FitDay or other food counting software Food labels; but be aware food manufacturers have a bad habit of not being truthful about how many carbs are in their products. And you have to remember to check serving sizes as well. If you are looking at a large container of yogurt, and it says 16 carbs per serving, make sure you check to see if there is more than on serving in the container. If there are two servings, than the total carb count for that container is 32, not 16. Total versus "Net" or "Effective" Carbs The most important part of counting carbs is to understand the difference between total carbohydrate measures, and the measure of usable, impact, effective or "net" carb carbs. Total carb is the count of all of the carbohydrate grams available in the food, including fiber, sugar alcohols, and other indigestible carbohydrate. Usable, impact, effective or "net" carbs are a measure of the total carb grams MINUS the indigestible carb grams. So in most carb counting books, you'll see a measurement of total carb grams, fiber grams and then the net or usable carb grams. To count carbs accurately, use the net or usable carb number when adding up your carb intake. Aww, Do I Have To? If you are eating a ketogenic diet for weight loss, and you are new to counting carbs, I recommend that you keep track of what you are eating in order to be to co Continue reading >>
The Easiest Way To Track Carbs On A Keto Diet
In this day and age, technology is at an all-time high and constantly improving our lives. An example of this is an easy way to count your daily calorie and macronutrient intakes. Calorie counting tools are a fantastic way to see just exactly what you are putting into your body on a daily basis. Counting your calories, carbs, fats, and proteins can be a huge hassle when you’re transitioning into a keto diet, but we’re here to help. There are tons of benefits to knowing exactly how many calories are going into your body, but there’s even more from knowing where the calories come from. Using a simple tool, we can track our daily intake of calories, carbs, proteins, and fats – and most importantly see how many left we have in the day. Now, you want the secret sauce don’t you? MyFitnessPal easily and effectively does this for you right at the disposal of your fingertips. I’ve been using their website and mobile app for a long time now, and I have to say it’s the best I’ve come across by far. They have a built in database of almost every food, so its cake walk to maintain a daily journal of your diet. Why Track Your Carbs? You might be asking me, “What’s the point of using a calorie counter?” Well, there are numerous reasons to, including: Portion Control: As you increasingly read nutrition labels, you’ll realize that serving sizes are tiny. Manufacturers do that on purpose to get their counts low, and to get more people to buy. This app can help you follow proper portion control, resulting in proper diet control. Ninja Carbs: Some labels show that their products have 0 carbs, but you’d be surprised at how many things actually have carbs in them. Remember, 1g of carbs can really add up over a day’s worth of eating! Splenda used to be one of my fav Continue reading >>
Net Carbs Vs Total Carbs And What Counts On Keto
Trying to define the carbs on nutrition facts labels can be thoroughly difficult to understand. There’s a figure for total carbs but also subheadings for dietary fiber, sugars, and sometimes sugar alcohols. You may have heard questions people ask such as, “how many carbs should you eat daily?” and “should you count net carbs or total carbs?“. Counting net or total carbs is a debatable topic with low carb dieters. People have different reasons for counting macros, calories, and net carbs. Usually to increase health, fitness and try to drop some pounds. People with diabetes particularly need to monitor carbohydrate intake. Whatever your reason and whatever diet you follow, we aim to increase your knowledge of calculating net and total carbs. Carbs For Health Carbs are a complex thing in the low carb world. People say there good and bad, make you fat or thin, healthy and unhealthy, the list goes on. For weight loss, it comes down to how soon your body can use the carbs. The more simple the carb, the faster your body can convert it to energy and the more likely it can be an obstacle to losing belly fat. The quick and simple carbs such as soda, white pasta, cereals, and rice produce insulin in the blood. You want to avoid these for sharp insulin spikes. Carbs aren’t always bad if eaten in moderation along with a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. The acquired insulin spike isn’t inevitably a bad thing. It can effectively help power you through workouts, and even promote fat burning. Save LowCarbAlpha How your Body Manages Carbs and How Many To Eat? The first thing you need to realize there is no such thing as essential carbs. Your body uses essential fats and proteins but does not need any carbohydrates at all. You could even eat no fruits and vegetables an Continue reading >>
In Keto Diets, Does Fiber Count Towards Your Carb Totals?
In Keto diets, does fiber count towards your carb totals? In Keto diets, does fiber count towards your carb totals? I've used the search function and found conflicting answers. I want to start a Keto diet to lean out for the summer, but want to make sure I do it right. I've pretty much figured out my diet, with the exception of this question. Also some processed foods (i.e. protien bars) count "net carbs", if I consume these products should I count the entire carb total or just the "net carb" total? Just the net carb total for your total carbs that day (don't include the fiber). The point of keto is to minimize glycogen stores and to train the body to burn fat for fuel. When usable carbs are present, the body has little desire to use fat. Fiber is a carb but it does not provide energy for the body. Hence, you do not count fiber as a carb while on this diet. But I think for simplicity of counting calories, some people count it as a calorie... but they still disregard its effects on metabolism (which is zero). Personally, I take all fiber out of my calorie calculations. If something is 100 grams of carbs with 99 grams of fiber, then you count 1 gram of carbs. I rep back 1K+ (please link to a post of yours) Continue reading >>
What Are Net Carbs? The Difference Between Effective And Non-impact Carbs
What are net carbs? Not all carbs are created equal. The word carbohydrate is just a conjunction of the words “carbon” and “hydrate.” Any molecule that contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a 2:1 ratio of hydrogen to oxygen (think H2O) is considered a carbohydrate. But the wide range of molecules that fit in this class have very different effects from your blood and your cells perspective. There’s a very big difference to understand. Some carbs are actually incredibly good for you. Carbohydrates in general, as an innocent nutrient source, are actually very good for you. This post is dedicated to what you need to know about net carbs in ketosis. This may be a little difficult to “digest,” considering most modern diet plans basically treat carbs like the devil. But it’s all about making the right choices: if you eat bad carbs, you’ll receive negative health effects as a result. Eat good carbs, though, and they’ll affect you positively! It’s really the media and the celebrity world that have helped to paint this hugely negative image of carbohydrates. Even when following the ketogenic diet, the idea isn’t to completely remove carbs. Rather, you want to ensure the body no longer relies on them as its primary fuel source. When people follow modern nutrition plans, they often make the mistake of thinking that because a plan is low-carb, it means carbohydrates are bad and should be avoided wherever possible. But that is misguided. In order to free yourself from this limiting pre-conception and enjoy a stress-free life of sensible nutrition, it’s important to learn the difference between carbohydrate types. Impact Vs Non-Impact Carbs There are two types of carbs to consider here: impact carbs and non-impact carbs. Impact Carbs An impact carb is b Continue reading >>
Net Carbs And Fiber: Are All Fibers Truly Ketogenic?
Net Carbs and Fiber: Are All Fibers Truly Ketogenic? The low carb boom has brands using fiber instead of sugar to add sweetness. Read more to learn about net carbs and the different types of fiber. B.S. Human Performance, M.S. Exercise and Nutrition Science, Ph.D. (c) Health and Human Performance Weve all seen it on the labels: 2 net carbs or low net carbs. But what does this truly mean? What are net carbs and why does this matter? Are all net carbs created equal or are we stretching those claims a bit too much? After reading through this article, I think that you will agree with me on the latter, such that there is a pressing need to educate on the precise definition of a net carb and what exactly constitutes a true fiber. This topic is very personal to me. I have family members who are severely overweight, some of which are diabetic, and others who are dealing with a multitude of autoimmune diseases. The only thing that upsets me more than misleading supplement facts (an article for another day) is misleading information that is placed on nutritional labels which can often leave the consumer unaware of the metabolic response that food truly has on the body. The purpose of this article is to help educate both companies and consumers on what truly constitutes a net carb and how different fiber sources impact critical biological responses involving glucose and insulin. Walk around any fitness expo or even down the snack bar isle at your store and you are bound to see numerous different types of low carb, high protein bars, cookies, candies, and everything in between. Protein bars are in the mainstream right now, and they seem to be everywhere from the local grocery store to the airport and even at gas stations. Companies have mastered the ability to create something tha Continue reading >>
The Three Golden Rules Of Net Carbs
There’s an important milestone in your Keto journey. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you find yourself asking, “What the heck are net carbs?” It turns out; not all carbs are created equal. And, while you will be eating low quantities of carbs, it’s a good idea to learn fully what a carbohydrate is, and how to tell the difference between a net carb and a total carb. This is especially important if you monitor your blood sugar, as total carbs have a stronger impact on your insulin response than net carbs do. Total carbs are what the name suggests; they are the total number of carbohydrates in a product. Very few items, except for some meat and cheese, are naturally low carb. This is where our friend fiber steps in. When fiber is present, your body uses the total number of carbohydrates less the number of fiber. Or, to put it another way, fiber acts like a buddy system and drives the carbs home (they’re still there, but they are no longer the responsible party). If you take the total carbs and subtract the total fiber (and, where applicable, minus sugar alcohols), you are left with net carbs. In Keto we want to keep net carbs low, not necessarily the total carbs. Note: you can’t add fiber to ice cream and suddenly call it low carb, the two must be exclusive in the same product. Also, you must only subtract sugar alcohols; not sugar. Sugar alcohols are sometimes used in snack foods, and are altered in the chemical process so they act differently from carbohydrates. Most are used to artificially sweeten foods, but some are good for you and others are not. Keep reading to learn the subtle nuances of carbs, and which sugar alcohols to avoid! The Three Golden Rules of Net Carbs The reason net carbs are so important is that they enable you to eat a much wider ran Continue reading >>
How Do You Count Carbs On A Ketogenic Diet?
If you are using the Keto Zone Diet for weight loss then you are probably paying a lot of attention to how many carbohydrates you are consuming. You are likely already aware of the myriad of benefits of a ketogenic. They include weight loss, improved energy, and enhanced cognitive performance. However, in order to reap the benefits, you need to keep your daily consumption of carbs below 20 grams per day, especially for the first 2-4 weeks. Keto Macros The macronutrient ratios (macros) of daily caloric intake for a successful ketogenic diet look like this: High healthy fat intake at 60%-80% of calories. Moderate clean protein intake at 15%-35% of calories. Low carbohydrate intake at 0%-5% of calories Many people initially scoff at these ratios as ridiculous or even impossible. The fact is, however, that it is not only possible, but once the body is adapted it is actually incredibly easy to maintain. This is because once the body has adapted to using ketones (fat) for fuel instead of glucose (sugar), hunger diminishes dramatically and cravings virtually disappear. But first, you must make it through the keto adaptation phase. Keto Adaptation The human body is designed to efficiently burn fat for fuel. That is actually why the body stores fat to begin with, as a backup fuel supply when no food is available. For those of us in the Western world, food is always available, so most of us never tap into our body fat reserves and instead pile on body weight from all the excess calories. The easiest way to access these fat reserves would be to simply not eat (i.e. fast), but that is simply too difficult for most people with busy lives. A ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates and protein to a degree that mimics the metabolic effects of fasting. This allows the body to remember ho Continue reading >>
Total Carbohydrates In Ketosis
A large bowl of spinach.Photo Credit: baibaz/iStock/Getty Images Grey Evans began writing professionally in 1985. Her work has been published in "Metabolics" and the "Journal of Nutrition." Gibbs holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from Ohio State University and an M.S. in physical therapy from New York University. She has worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and currently develops comprehensive nutritional and rehabilitative programs for a neurological team. While you must limit your total carbohydrates when using a ketogenic diet, certain carbohydrates are allowed. Most of your carbohydrates should come from fibrous sources, such as vegetables, which do not count toward your total carbohydrate count. Limit your non-fibrous carbohydrates to no more than five percent of your total daily caloric intake. Certain exceptions to this rule do exist. Consult a health care professional before beginning any dietary plan. Dietary fiber counts as a carbohydrate, but your body has difficulty breaking it down into glycogen, or sugar. Consuming dietary fiber has no effect on your ability to stay in ketosis, and so you do not need to worry about it affecting your diet in any negative way. Vegetables are the most common source of dietary fiber, and should be consumed regularly, for both fiber and vitamins and minerals. Leafy green vegetables are solid choices for most dietary plans. Simple sugars, many grains, lactose and fructose are all carbohydrates that must be avoided, fructose in particular. Fructose is primarily metabolized by your liver, and the longer your liver is burning sugar, the longer you will be out of ketosis. Milk contains lactose, or milk sugar, and is not allowed, nor are cereals or starches. If you are consuming a 2000 kcal/day diet, your total intake Continue reading >>
What Is The Difference Between Grams Of Carbohydrates And Net Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are food macronutrients that the body converts to glucose to fuel itself. If you consume more carbohydrates than your body needs, it stores some of those carbs as glycogen in the liver and muscles and the remainder as fat. Followers of low-carb diets count grams of carbohydrate rather than calories and are ultimately concerned only with net carbs -- those that actually have an impact on blood sugar and insulin levels. Net carbs are simply the grams of total carbohydrates in a portion of food minus its grams of fiber. Because fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, it does not raise your blood sugar levels or trigger an insulin response. The presence of fiber in the digestive tract also slows the absorption of any other carbohydrates, mitigating blood sugar spikes and insulin release. For low-carb dieters, fiber carbs don't really count as carbs. For example, a 1-cup serving of cooked broccoli contains 11 grams of total carbohydrate and 5 grams of fiber. That means that broccoli has a net carb content of 6 grams -- 11 grams minus 5 grams. Manufacturers of products marketed to low-carb dieters often do the math for you, proclaiming net carb counts on the package front or prominently on the nutrition label. Low-carb Theory Insulin is critical to fat storage. As your body digests carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise, which triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin's job is to transport glucose in the blood to the cells that need it. When the cells are satisfied, insulin next uses glucose to replenish glycogen stores in your liver and muscles, where it's easily available for energy. After the glycogen is topped off, any remaining glucose is converted to fat. Low-carb diets are based on the premise that limiting insulin rele Continue reading >>
Do You Need Fiber On A Ketogenic Diet? The Benefits Of Resistant Starch
Do You Need Fiber on a Ketogenic Diet? The Benefits of Resistant Starch Whilst I do not follow a ketogenic diet most of the time, I do like to go keto every once in awhile. This helps to reset my insulin sensitivity and I get the brain benefits from the beta hydroxybutyrate . I stock up on the usual keto diet supplements such as MCT oil, then I begin my keto reset. Information such as this paper however, leaves me asking how does ketosis affect gut health? Fiber is said to be a key player in keeping your microbiome healthy, but when we think fiber, we think carbs. Keen to learn more about the information out there on this topic, I dug into the research. Here is what I found. We should take a brief look at what fiber actually is and what role it plays in our health. When we speak of fiber in relation to diet, we are talking about plant fiber that we get from food. There are two types of fiber, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves into water and is fermented by our good bacteria in the colon. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve into water and acts as a bulking agent in our poop and helps keep us regular. You may even be taking psyllium husk as one of your keto diet supplements now. Many who experience keto diarrhea may take the hit of the carbs that come with psyllium for gut benefits it infers. Psyllium husk contains mostly soluble fiber. Plant based foods contain both soluble and insoluble fibre in varying amounts. Here are some common keto diet foods and estimated insoluble (%I), and soluble (%S) fibre content as an example- When digested soluble fibre is mixed with the liquid in the digestive tract which gives it a gel like consistency. This helps with feelings of satiety after a meal by slowing down digestion, which in turn helps to maintain a he Continue reading >>
Carbs From Fiber: Are They Keto-friendly?
Carbs from Fiber: Are they Keto-friendly? Fiber is necessary for a lot of digestive processes. One of the major downsides to the ketogenic diet is having to actively look for sources of soluble fiber. Soluble, or Insoluble. That is the question... There are two primary types of fiber we eat, soluble and insoluble. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are heavy in insoluble fibers. Such fibers are super hard for your body to digest, considering the fact that they don't dissolve in water. They, therefore, tend to pass right through your digestive tract. Because of this, insoluble fibers are believed to have little to zero caloric load. These fibers promote healthy bacterial growth, remove toxins and waste from the digestive tract, and result in better...uh... "movements". They are found in things such as legumes, grains, nuts/seeds and some vegetables. Soluble fibers are partly digested due to being a bit easier on the gut to deal with. However, they are digested only partially, since they are too difficult of a carbohydrate to breakdown. As a result, these carbohydrates only account for roughly 2 calories per gram, of which do not effect blood sugar. Think about that, they're carbs that don't count against your ketosis. Plus, they make you regular, and are super beneficial health-wise. So, now that our preliminary science lesson is done, let's talk about where fiber fits in on a Keto diet. If you didn't eat any leafy greens on a keto diet, your body would probably become really deficient in the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs to function normally. So, sorry, but being "keto" is not a pass to eat nothing but full-fat bacon all day... Furthermore, you'd get... errr.. "clogged"... by the lack of materials eaten to create a "movement". Without any sort of carbohyd Continue reading >>
All You Need To Know About Carbs On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
When it comes to ideal carbs intake, I've discussed it in my post here: How Many Carbs per Day on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? However, daily carbs intake is not the only aspect you should focus on. Does our body need carbs? It's a common misconception that our body, especially our brain needs carbs. In fact, the brain can either use glucose or ketones. When you restrict the intake of carbohydrates, your body will switch to using ketone bodies instead of using glucose. Not only that, ketones are a better fuel for our body and brain than glucose, even for highly active individuals. Once you get keto-adapted (3-4 weeks), you will experience improved energy levels. Although a small amount of glucose is still needed, our body can produce glucose on demand via gluconeogenesis. Dr Volek and Dr Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (2012): "Ketone bodies are an important lipid-based fuel, especially for the brain, when dietary carbohydrates are restricted." It has been estimated that about 200 grams of glucose can be generated daily just from protein (Dr Briffa, Escape the Diet Trap, 2012). Our body needs some glucose (e.g. for the thyroid health) but according to Dr Volek, it's a very small amount. As I said in my post here, there is no need for everybody to follow a very low-carb / "zero-carb" diet and you may need to adjust the level of carbs to fit your needs. Types of carbs in ketogenic diets Generally, you should avoid any sugary or starchy foods. The best measure to represent "good" and "bad" carbohydrates is their Glycemic Load (GL), which measures how much insulin will be released by your body for a given food measured in standard portions. This is different to Glycemic Index (GI), which doesn't take the serving size into account. As a result, some Continue reading >>
How To Find Your Ketogenic Diet Carb Limit
There is no legitimate carb limit for keto. The keto gods won’t banish you to burn in sugar hell forever if you eat an extra blueberry. The truth is that every person has a different carb limit that they should stick to so that they can trigger ketone production. This “carb limit” also changes depending on the day. Whether your body achieves ketosis or not — the main reason why you are limiting carbs in the first place — depends on many factors. Some people may be able to get into ketosis with a slightly higher carb intake while others need to restrict their carbs below 35 grams per day. So, what does this mean for you? How can you find your very own keto carb limit? Finding Your Keto Carb Limit Although everyone may need to restrict their carbs to slightly different amounts to get into and stay in ketosis, there is a carb limit that almost anyone can use to achieve results. This keto carb limit is 35 grams of total carbs and 25 grams of net carbs. (Net carbs are found by subtracting the grams of the fiber from the total grams of carbs.) If net carbs are further limited to less than 20 grams, then most people will get into ketosis even more quickly. Keeping your carbs consumption at this level and rarely going above it is a reliable way to stay in ketosis (as long as you eat the right amount of protein — more on that later). To figure out how to track your carbs and stay below the carb limit, here’s a guide you can use to keep it as simple as possible. And here is a brief list of what you should and shouldn’t eat to achieve ketosis: Do Not Eat Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc. Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc. Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc. Tubers – potato, yams, etc. Do Eat Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc. Lea Continue reading >>