Planning, shopping, cooking and eating healthy can be time-consuming enough, to say the least – but keeping up with the ever-changing vocabulary of the nutrition world can be a full-time job in itself! If you’re reading this super-kala-keto-genic blog, you’ve probably already heard of the term ‘net carbs’. But what are they? A sugary, digital treat downloaded from the interwebs? The caloric intake of the mesh in your daughter’s basketball hoop? Neither! Although the latter would likely provide more than your recommended daily allowance of fibre…
The simplest explanation is that ‘net carbs’ refers to the total amount of carbohydrates that are consumed by the body in any given meal or snack. This is a very important number to know if one is destined to stay on the righteous path to the Keto Kingdom. While it does take some figuring to estimate the net carbs in your meal, rest assured that you won’t need a Master’s degree in Calculus from Princeton to do so. In fact, it’s pretty simple!
To calculate the net carbs present in whole foods, simply subtract the amount of fibre from the total carbohydrate count. For processed foods (practically everything else at the supermarket that comes in a box or a can), subtract the amount of fibre AND certain sugar alcohols* from the overall carb count. It’s that easy! We, humans, process fibre and sugar alcohols differently than other carbohydrates. They leave our bodies in pretty much the same state that they enter, and for this reason, we can eat lots of ’em and still stay in ketosis. Wooo-woooop!!
Every gram counts when trying to reap the maximum benefits of the keto lifestyle. Which is why our above asterisk (*), while cute and unassuming at first glance, needs your utmost attention. While half of the sugar alcohols – erythritol, lactitol, mannitol and xylitol – cruise through your temple without impacting blood sugar, the other half count partially towards your net carbs. These include isomalt, glycerin, maltitol and sorbitol. Each gram of these bad boys counts as about 0.5g of carbs, so divide them by 2 and add them back to your total.
Example: NET CARBS = TOTAL CARBS – FIBRE – SUGAR ALCOHOLS + (SORBITOL/2)
Healthy eating is a science, but you don’t have to be a scientist to eat healthily! Subscribe to our newsletter below and we’ll be more than happy to hold your hand for every step of your keto journey.
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