What are Net Carbs?

Ever look at a Quest or ONE bar and wonder what are NET CARBS? The term "Net Carbs" are defined as the total carbs minus dietary fiber and sugar alcohol. Different types of carbs have various effects on your blood sugar levels. Some may cause a huge rise, while others have little effect. Net carbs only count the carbs that have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels such as sugar.

For example, if a packaged food contains 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 15 of which come from fiber and 8 of which come from sugar alcohols, then the net carbohydrates would be 3 grams: 25-(15+8)=3.

Carbohydrates such as the fiber found in whole grains, fruit, and vegetables are absorbed slowly in the body and much of it is not digested at all. The American Diabetes Association condones subtracting grams of fiber from a food’s total carb count when it contains 5 or more grams of fiber.  Studies show that soluble fibre can be absorbed easily and used for intestinal gluconeogenesis, which was thought to increase blood sugar and therefore affect ketosis.

Sugar alcohols are artificial sweeteners that have less of an impact in the blood stream and also contain about half the calories compared to regular sugar. Too much sugar alcohol can cause gastrointestinal upset and headaches. 

Tracking net carbs can be an effective way for weight loss and those who want to improve their overall health. If you choose to follow a low-carb diet, make sure you are getting in all your micronutrients.

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