T Nation

Net Carbs Legit or Marketing?


#1

I've never been big into nutrition, as long as I'm lifting and getting enough protein I really couldn't care less about what else I was eating (calories, carbs, fat). Recently I've decided I want to slim down. I've got one question left and its about net carbs. I'm going to be restricting my carbs (obviously) and I wanted to know if this net carbs (carbs minus fiber) is legit or just another B/S marketing ploy for companies to put on their packaging?

Anyway Thanks in advance!


#2

Fiber yes, the sugar alcohols and such NO anything but fiber count it

Phill


#3

Sugar alcohols are found mainly in stuff like Sugar Free Candies (you didnt buy into THAT, did you?)... You'll see them listed under carbs and the ingredients usually end it "itol", like "malitol" (a very common one).

You can wiki them for more info


#4

It is more or less legit. If you are watching your carbs you want to count only non-fiber carbs, and that is usually what net carbs represent. I can, manage to flip the food over and subtract out fiber, but I suppose it does make it easier on some people to have a count right on the front of the food item.

As has been mentioned before though, be wary of companies that fail to count sugar alcohols as carbs.


#5

Sugar alcohols are not a gimmick. They have been proven to have negligible effects on insulin response. This is only important for people who are diabetic. Anyone else should count them as regular old carbs. Now a diabetic should also count them as carbs, but can either adjust their insulin intake (if on insulin) or just plain not be as concerned they are going to get a spike from them.

Overall sugar alcohols are poison and should be avoided, in my opinion, regardless of any of the above.


#6

Sugar alcohols contain 2 calories/gram (half the caloric content of other carbohydrates.) The trade-off is that they taste like ass and make some people VERY gassy.

As an aside, does anybody know why Spike tablets contain sorbitol?


#7

I agree with most of this but have to disagree on the negligible effects on insulin response. I was in the hospital with my mother (none diabetic solid diet) and they were monitoring here insulin levels post surgery. Well we decided to do a lil experiment and gave her ONE single so called sugar free russel stovers chocolate that was made with sugar alcohols a few minutes pre test and it SKY rocketed her blood sugar on the test from just one piece.

That was a hell of an eye opener for me to say the least

Phill


#8

So Sugar alcohol is the bunch of B/S. I'm glad ou brought it up in your 1st post phil. I remember seeing it once on the back of a package and always wondered if being sugar alcohol made some kind of a difference. I woulda asked if I remembered but that thought had just sliped my mind.

Anyway starting my low carb diet today, actually counting carbs for once in my life...Trying to limit them to 30g a day to start. Can't believe that my morning, pre work out, post work out and before bed shakes all have at least 18g carbs (never looked, never needed to before today). So I guess i'll have to change supplements for now, or at least check out fat free milk...i hate fat free milk.


#9

Fat free milk has the exact same number of carbs as whole, 2%, and 1% milk. The only difference is the fat, which it is free of.

Check out Carb-Countdown by Hood if you feel you need a dairy beverage.


#10

Well, i thought it wasnt a gimmick but am now a little confused.

I am sitting here looking at a packet of wheat germ. Which, on its nutritional info table says 32.0g of fibre and 30.4g of carbohydrates per 100g. Now it does say 7.1g of sugar (under the carbs listing) but i thought the carbohydrate count was total carbs. So what do i have? negative 2 carbs? lol.

Ive seen similar listing other times aswell. Now i do live in Australia but i was under the impression our labeling laws were very similar to yours....

Can fibre count exceed carbohydrate count? i thought they just tossed it into a caloriemetre, you know the insulated thermometre device thingy with water...


#11

Yea just got back from the supermarket, your dead on, fat free has same as 2%...I told you I didnt know anything about nutrition. So no more milk, that is going to be hard for me, even harder then no more pizza.

How is the carb countdown by hood? I dont think it will be worth it, and it probubly costs a ton more per gallon, guess im switching my drinks over to water, nasty. I'm going to look up some nutritional facts on bananas, if they're off limits i'm well...i'm just gonna kill myself.


#12

Sounds like they already did it for you, so I would guess the Net carbs is 30.4g. Meaning total is 62.4g if i did math right. I think I may have seen a package like this here in USA once a while back, they already did the calculations for you on the nutritional facts but I'm sure they cant do it anymore. I would say that, in this case, its just a gimmick...sorry man.


#13

I'm from Australia too - my understanding of how carbs work on our labelling system is that if fibre is SEPERATE (ie not a 'subgroup' of total carbs like sugar) then they have already subtracted it. If not, if it goes
Total Carbs Xg
- Sugars Yg
- Fibre Zg

then fibre IS included. At least, that seems to make sense to me and it seems to hold up pretty well.

Echoing what others said earlier, stay away from sugar alcohols.


#14

DON'T DO IT MAN! It's just not worth it:

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calories_in_a_banana.htm

The Carb Countdown is quite tasty. It costs $3 a half gallon which ain't cheap but it's so rich you can mix it with water and still add a nice fatty mouth-feel to your shakes.

Try the chocolate CC mixed with Metabolic Drive banana flavor. That should keep you from going, well... bananas!


#15

so...real bananas are off limits. Might try the low carb milk once but 3 dollars a half gallon is out of the question for me hah, I go through a gallon of milk every 2 days.


#16

Hell no fruit = good. Banans are loaded with potassium and other useful micronutrients. Fruit is good for you just make ssure you know they have carbs and git them into your diet

Phill


#17

1 banana blows my carbs for the day.


#18

Yeah fruit is off-limits on truly low carb diets, except during refeeds.

Back to the sugar alcohols - Phill your specific case you mention strikes me as odd. Being a diabetic myself I have done plenty of personal research on how sugar, sugar alcohols, and general carbs affect your blood sugar.

The first thing that struck me as odd was you said it skyrocketed after chocolate- something that isn't supposed to happen even if it's not the low carb kind. Chocolate has a delayed effect on blood sugar levels, meaning it takes a while before you can see your numbers increase.

The other part of the story is that any medications your mother were on likely contributed more to the number jump than any sugar alcohols she ingested. I'm not trying to justify sugar alcohols, but anytime I've ingested them (even in large amounts) my blood sugar didn't spike at all, not even close. Hell beef alone causes a larger spike for me than sugar alcohols. It's likely individual.


#19

Thanks... You would think information like that would be everywhere so the public could actually use it, or taught in school or something...

=)


#20

Not sure bro just know what I saw. It was a damn chocolate that had some kind of gooey filling I cant recall so that was likely most sugar alcohols as well.

Phill