The Ultimate Guide to Net CARBS
When making the first steps towards living a healthy lifestyle, many people move towards eating a low carb diet. A low carb diet that emphasizes healthy sources of carbs, fats, and protein has proven to help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Beginning a new journey with food can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but there are a lot of helpful tools to guide you. Getting familiar with reading nutrition labels always feels like the first step. Here is where you’ll find a lot of nutritional information including carbs, but nothing about net carbs.
What are net carbs?
There are different types of carbohydrates in a food or meal: starches, dietary fiber, and sugars. However net carbs are the carbs that the body can fully digest and use for energy. How do you find net carbs though if they’re not of the nutrition label?
To calculate net carbs, take the total carbs in the serving of food you are going to eat and subtract fiber and sugar alcohols. We subtract fiber and sugar alcohols because our bodies don’t have the enzymes to break them down, making them indigestible.
For example, if you are using one piece of Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash in a recipe, you would subtract 2 total grams of fiber from the 8 total carbohydrates, for a total of 6 net carbs per serving.
So why does this matter?
We want to emphasize that carbs are OK in moderation, especially quality carbs like our pita, lavash flatbreads, and lavash. Excess carbs and refined carbs like traditional bread, pasta, and sugars may not fit your food journey as they can spike blood sugar, cause inflammation, disrupt hormones, and contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Low carb diets that emphasize healthy sources of carbs, fat and protein may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Calculating net carbs can be a game changer as it allows you to maximize your meals. Plus, making small changes have proven to show more long-term progress versus cutting out carbs all together.
Here are some alternative options when considering adding calculating net carbs to your food journey:
Next time you’re out grocery shopping, try subtracting the total fiber and sugar alcohols from total carbohydrates from the food items you’re considering.