T Nation

Net Carbs / In-Digestable Carbs


#1

I am cutting back on carbs and found a bunch of low carb products at a local shop. One is "low carb pasta" that says it has 5 grams of carbs that "count." The label lists 35 grams of carbs. 5 of those are fiber. That leaves 30 more grams of carbs, but only 5 count. So what happens to the mysterious other 25 grams?

If they don't count as "carbs" what do they count as? Because the calorie count still indicates they are assigning 4 calories per gram to those in-digestable carbs. If you can't digest them why do they have calories? I have fished around on the internet and still have not found a concise answer to this.


#2

I wouldn’t trust most labels that are typically “carby” foods when they say low-carb.

I doubt they use it in pasta, but are there any sugar alcohols listed, or ingredients with -ol ending in it?

that’s all I can think about.


#3

First, be cautious, as it could just be a stupid company bending the truth to make more profits.

However, I have heard ‘Shirataki’ noodles have a very high Glucomannan content, yet everytime I have heard these noodles the Glucomannan was not listed as a fiber, although it pretty much acts as one. Is this a possibility?

It is possible that even though Glucomannan does not have a caloric value, that it must be assigned one due to labelling laws if it is not officially considered a fibre.

More often than not, though, it’s the former point.


#4

Here is the pasta I got ^^^ but I just wonder where all those “non-digestable” carbs go? I know they do not mysteriously become protein or fat. And since they have calories…they have to be SOMETHING.


#5

It looks like their “protected carbs” are all starches. Starches start digesion in the mouth. Saliva is vital for starch digestion. If they can get the starches past the mouth without encountering saliva, then maybe those carbs don’t digest at all.


#6

Their claim is that the manufacturing process – perhaps combined with not chewing thoroughly, though they don’t state that – results in most of the starch content not being digested and absorbed. So it “acts” like fiber according to their claim, but it cannot be listed as fiber.

I did read something once that had more detail on this process that sounded plausible, but I can’t now remember it specifically. Very briefly it could be described as the starch granules having a protective coating applied and thus being resistant to digestion.

Starch counts as calories on nutrition labels whether expected to be absorbed or not.

They don’t present specific evidence on their site that I could find, and this phrase “protected carbs” isn’t a scientific term. So I can’t, in a quick look, find backup on it presently.

They do claim markedly lower glycemic index: if true, this would support that much of the carb content is either not absorbed or has delayed absorption.