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    DFH's Avatar
    DFH
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    "Net carbs" calculations-anyone else have a problem with this?

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    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.)

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    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)
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    Neanderthal's Avatar
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    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…

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    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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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O_O View Post
    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)
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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    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)
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    Quote 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.
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    The label might be wrong, I've certainly seen that. Just putting that out there.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    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)
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    Owly's Avatar
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    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

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