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"Net carbs" calculations-anyone else have a problem with this?

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  • "Net carbs" calculations-anyone else have a problem with this?

    I see this "net carbs" idea sometimes, like today it came up in a post on another site about so-called low carb bread, which I'm not so sure about.

    The CW on this, if I understand it right, is that net carbs = carbs minus fiber.

    So if you have 35 g carbs, but 30 of those are fiber, net carbs is 5g, so eat up!

    I dunno. Something about that just doesn't seem too precise.

    If I am minimizing carbs for a good reason, like insulin resistance, does my body really go "oh, this one is fiber, cool!"

    What am I missing?

    (Apologies if this was covered already. I did some searching and didn't find much worthwhile. It seems like this would have come up before.)

  • #2
    Yeah, it feels like cheating to me. I've seen a product at my local Real Foods store where the fiber was actually greater than the carbs. If you ate that all day, you'd be EARNING carbs. WHAAAT?!
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I’ve been wondering about this myself- whether it’s for real (i.e. your body only “sees” the net carbs) or if it’s just a cop-out so food labels look better and dieters can squeeze more carbs in every day.

      Hopefully someone knowledgeable (hint hint, hey MARK- you listening? ) will weigh in on this…

      Comment


      • #4
        I guess it's not just me. That's good.

        What's happened, in practical terms, is that food companies jumped on this to exploit it right away in their labeling.

        Now you can sell bread or crackers with "No Net Carbs!" Yee Haw.

        Add some carpet fibers to the dough, and pretty soon you have negative carbs. Eat the bread, it magically makes you thinner. I just don't think so.

        It seems like someone would have picked this apart and de-bunked it by now, wouldn't they?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by O_O
          You can't have more CHO's than fiber.
          Soooo... the nutritional label was wrong then? It had 4g carbs and 5g fiber. I will go look at the label again tomorrow if you like
          --Trish (Bork)
          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            So net carbs don't count in North America? *so confused*

            The label specifically said carbs 4, and the next line was the fiber and it was 5. I'll take pics tomorrow. It'll help me get my walk in to hike over to the store
            --Trish (Bork)
            TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
            http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
            FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
              Soooo... the nutritional label was wrong then? It had 4g carbs and 5g fiber. I will go look at the label again tomorrow if you like
              No the labeling isn't wrong, it's clever and misleading.

              They add fiber to the product, but net carbs/gross carbs doesn't work like this. You can't eat a banana split with bran sprinkled on top and then deduct the fiber g and get a net carb level. You could however calculate the fiber in an apple and deduct it from the gross carbs of the apple. *Shrug* sounds like WAY too much work to me.
              The more I see the less I know for sure.
              -John Lennon

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              • #8
                The label might be wrong, I've certainly seen that. Just putting that out there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can't remember what the product was, but pretty sure it was a coconut product. Will go look at it tomorrow morning (store closes in 1/2 hr and we're sitting down to dinner, otherwise I'd go tonight)
                  --Trish (Bork)
                  TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                  http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                  FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The problem is that the net carb thing gets used to artificially "disappear" the carbs in food. By adding fibre and other weird stuff that supposedly acts like fibre, the maker can then make something "zero net carb" when there's actually a fair bit of carbohydrate in it. It's similar to the WW thing where you could earn extra points by adding fibre to stuff. Adding junk filler sure is a good way to sell a "diet" product, even if it's probably crap for your body.

                    On the other hand, if you're eating whole foods, counting net carbs might be more reasonable since you're not artificially tweaking the ratio, just eating foods that have very little digestible carbohydrate as a portion of the whole.
                    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                    Owly's Journal

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                    • #11
                      Hey, do whatever works for you. I get tangled up enough in tracking as it is without trying to do net carb math too ; )
                      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                      Owly's Journal

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                      • #12
                        I haven't tracked in a while but I'm doing a tracking week on Fitday to see where I'm at--that's a handy tip!
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I loathe fit day. IMO, dailyburn is more user friendly. It's a pain to find the specific foods on fitday. I cringed when I saw in Mark's new cookbook that he used fitday to calculate the nutrition. How does he know he's finding the EXACT item? Dailyburn seems to have a better database. It has pie charts, too
                          --Trish (Bork)
                          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by O_O
                            Anyway "net carbs" is an Atkins thing. At one time total carbs were counted with Atkins.

                            Counting total or net is fine. Whatever the person is comfortable with. Fibre isn't digested.
                            I usually agree with "whatever works for you," but this isn't going to help people who don't understand what food companies are doing just so they can label something "zero (or low) net carbs."

                            I picked up on this on a thread where someone was doing just that. They were convinced that the "low net carb" bread they are buying is just fine, because the label says so! Heck, maybe it is just fine, I just don't know. That's why I was asking what people think.

                            If I have a valid medical reason to be minimizing carbs (insulin resistance), what confidence should I give such a calculation? My gut feeling is that the answer (for me) is none at all and I should just pass on it entirely, which is what I do already. If someone else is convinced that the net carbs are doing them no harm and they are losing weight or maintaining a weight they are satisfied with, then good for them.

                            I still think this is sloppy. There should be a real answer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by O_O
                              This isn't an issue if you're eating food rather than food like substances. The path to failure is often littered with low carb treats.
                              No fooling!

                              They can't lie on the label if there's no label on it to begin with.

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