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What Are Net Carbs?

August 4, 2017

Net carbs refer to the carb count that has an impact on the body’s blood sugar levels. To calculate total net carb counts, simply subtract fiber and sugar alcohols from the carb count, and the remainder will be the net carb count. These types of carbs should be limited when following a low carbohydrate diet. Commonly found in processed products, reading the labels can help you identify these carbs.

Why should you track your net carbohydrates on a keto diet?

Some may say a carb is a carb, but for those who want to maximize weight-loss, tracking net carbohydrates can help. When following a keto diet, tracking your net carbohydrates will allow you to eat more nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits without impacting your weight-loss gains.Each body is different and the amount of carbs necessary to keep your body fueled may vary from one person to the next. Keeping track of your intake will allow you to find the right balance of net carbohydrates for optimal weight-loss.

Why do net carbs matter?

Tracking the amount of carbohydrates that your body takes in is important to a keto diet. In order to hit our fat, protein, and carbohydrate macros, we need to find out the numbers our body is absorbing. Total carbs are the number of carbohydrates our body takes in throughout the day. Net carbohydrates are the total carbs minus the amounts contributed by fiber.For example, let’s say we have a food day where we took in a total of 34 total carbs. Out of that 34 total carbs, 13 of which are non-digestible. We remove 13 from 34 to get the number 21--this is our net carbohydrates for the day. Some foods that may be high in carbs, may actually be not so bad once we’ve removed the nondigestible count from the carb count.

Why does fiber matter?

In order to understand the role this fibrous material plays on a keto diet, we need to understand the difference between soluble and insoluble. There is much debate swirling around the issue of whether or not to remove all or just the insoluble counts from our total carbs number in order to find out net carbohydrates. Most important to our bodies keeping our digestion system free and clear, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.The soluble fibrous material is a controversial subject in keto diets. Some doctors argue that soluble counts towards calories and must be tallied in the carb count. Soluble materials have been shown to absorb into the body, raising sugar levels and thus making the calories count.Insoluble fibrous materials are put into the body and removed from the body. No nutrients are absorbed and the blood sugar remains stable. Doctors say that these insoluble carbs can be removed from the total net carbohydrates with no hesitation.

What foods are higher in carbs, but low in net carbs?

Some foods may be found to contain a high number of carbs but, due to the fiber-content, may be low in net carbohydrates. Below is a list of foods that are higher in carbs but due to their terrific insoluble content makes them perfect for the keto diet.

  • Avocadoes
  • Pinto Beans
  • Shirataki Noodles
  • Blackberries
  • Chia Seeds

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