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How Do I Calculate Net Carbs

How Many Carbs Can You Have On Keto

How to Calculate Net Carbs (Low Carb / Keto)

On the Ketogenic diet, everyone has a somewhat variable level of carbohydrate restriction. Some people can stay in ketosis by eating more, while others may need to be more restricted.

Most Ketogenic diet guidelines propose keeping net carbohydrate intake between 15 and 30 grams per day, or 5-10 percent of total calories.

In general, if youre a very active person who exercises four to five times per week, youll be able to take more carbohydrates while remaining in ketosis.

However, if you have a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, we recommend that you limit your carb intake to guarantee that you reach ketosis.

The Skinny On Sugar Alcohols

But researchers say the impact of sugar alcohols on blood sugar levels and the body is not fully understood, and they may also cause problems in some people.

“There are some sugar alcohols that can raise your blood sugar,” says Karmally. “Certain sugar alcohols do have a higher glycemic index, and they still are not counted as carbohydrates by these companies.”

“When you tell a person ‘net carbs’ or ‘impact carbs,’ it’s very confusing,” says Karmally. “A person with diabetes may think, ‘It’s fine for me to have as much as I want.'”

People with diabetes are advised to closely monitor their intake of carbohydrates because their bodies can’t produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels within a safe range.

“I think we should not misguide people and make them aware that these sugar alcohols also contribute calories,” says Karmally. “Too much of them can actually have a bad effect, and some of them can also have a laxative effect.”

Although sugar alcohols have been used in small amounts in items like chewing gums for years, researchers say little is known about the long-term effects of consuming large amounts of these substances.

Registered dietitian Jackie Berning, PhD, says she steers her patients against products containing sugar alcohols for those reasons.

How Many Net Carbs Should I Eat In A Day

As mentioned above, carbohydrates are the macronutrients that are most responsible for providing our bodies with essential fuel. There are nutritional recommendations stating that carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of our daily energy demand. However, ketogenic diets aim to reduce the net carbs intake to as low as possible, so that your body achieves a state of ketosis.

In most cases, the upper limit of net carbs per day is 50g. Remember, it is not a fixed value, and nobody can guarantee that you will enter ketosis by consuming this exact amount. Try to check your status every now and then to get the most out of this diet. You can find how to do it and a lot more useful information in our ketogenic diet calculator.

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Do Sugar Alcohols Count As Net Carbs

Yes, nearly all listed sugar alcohol amounts on a nutrition food label should be divided by two to get the gram value that counts towards the net carb measurement of a food. For example, total of 3g of maltitol / 2 = 1.5g net carbs of maltitol.

The only sugar alcohol exception to the rule is erythritol, which you do not count any labelled erythritol grams of carbs to the final net carb equation.

How To Use The Power Of Net Carbs To Lose Weight

Pin on Net carb calculate

To lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit by increasing calories burned and reducing calories ingested. When counting net carbs to lose weight, you can start by reducing the total calories you consume. Reducing total calories also naturally reduces your carb intake.

You can also use net carbs to identify which foods to eat more of. You can do this by choosing high-fiber foods the more fiber in a carbohydrate food product, the lower the net carb will be.

Let’s use white rice, quinoa, and black beans as an example. They all contain about 40 grams of carb per one cup with varying amounts of fiber.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e

Because each of these foods has different fiber content and essentially the same total carb, it means they all have different amounts of net carb.

  • White rice: 44 g total carb 0.5 g fiber = 43.5 g net carb
  • Quinoa: 40 g total carb 5 g fiber = 35 g net carb
  • Black beans: 40 g total carb 15 g fiber = 25 g net carb

As you can see, the black beans have the lowest amount of net carbs per serving. White rice has the most.

The individual trying to reduce carbs to lose weight should choose the lower-net-carb beans more often than the other starches. In doing so, you will consume fewer digestible carbohydrates that contribute calories and impacts blood sugar.

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Why Is Calculating Net Carbs Important

Calculating and tracking net carbs is important for those following the keto diet because consuming too many digestible carbs can prevent you from entering and/or kick you out of ketosis.

Your bodys preferred energy source is glucose . When you drastically reduce your carb intake , your body is forced to start turning stored fat into ketones for fuel instead.

The only other benefit I see to being aware of net carbs is that it forces you to be more aware of your fiber intake, says Martin. In order to calculate net carbs, you have to look at the amount of fiber on the label. And fiber, as you know, is a power nutrient.

Easy ways to increase fiber intake include adding seeds to your morning oats or smoothie, adding avocados to your meals, snacking on raspberries, and swapping some animal proteins for plant ones .

How Does The Keto Diet The Low Carb Diet Or The Low Carb High Protein Diet Work

Typically, nutrition guidelines state that our daily energy needs should be made up of carbohydrates , proteins and rest from fats. Diets like the keto diet, the low carb diet, or, one of its variations – the high protein low carb diet – reverse these percentages and recommend a higher intake of fats and proteins, reducing carbs intake to 50g per day – around 10% of the energy consumed throughout the day.

This reduced amount of carbs should place your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. While you’re in a state of ketosis, your body begins to burn fats for energy, not carbohydrates. It is supposed to ease the process of weight loss while keeping you full and satisfied, as the satiety index for proteins and fats is higher than that for carbohydrates.However, despite being praised by its followers and even known as a ‘cure’ for drug-resistant epilepsy , the ketogenic diet is pretty drastic and not safe for everyone – e.g., for people with metabolic disorders. You should consult your physician before attempting a keto diet.

Read Also: Should I Count Calories Or Carbs

What Happens To Non

If fibers arent used as a source of energy, why do many people say they have great benefits to the body? Thats a good question.

These carbohydrates are fermented by your bacteria to short-chain fatty acids . SFACs have multiple health benefits, including having a healthy gut, improving intestinal motility, and decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer.

This is why you still need to consume foods rich in fibers even though they are not absorbed through your intestine to the blood. Hence, they dont raise your blood sugar.

Let’s Go Over The Difference Between Fiber And Sugar Alcohols

How To Calculate Net Carbs

Another ingredient you may have noticed on Nutrition Facts labelsespecially manufactured foods like protein bars and sugar-free drinks, sugar-free candy, and sugar-free gumis sugar alcohol.

Sugar alcohols are used in processed foods to add sweetness while providing fewer calories than table sugar. They can provide fewer calories than sugar because sugar alcohols are incompletely digested. Remember that fiber is not digested at all. These sweeteners are also quite different than dietary fiber, as many of them are not naturally occurring.

Types of sugar alcohols include:

  • Erythritol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol

Similar to fiber, you can subtract sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrate grams to calculate net carbs. However, the body doesn’t process all sugar alcohols the same. For most sugar alcohols, you can only subtract half of the total sugar alcohols in the net carb equation. Other sugar alcohols are not digested, so you can subtract the full gram.


Fiber provides many benefits to the body outside of being a non-digestible carbohydrate. Fiber may help to lower cholesterol, improve digestive regularity, and helps increase satiety.

Sugar alcohols can serve as a form of prebiotic to feed good bacteria in your digestive tract, which is a plus, but they are also known to cause bloating, diarrhea, and gas, and long-term use is inconclusive in terms of health concerns.

RELATED: The science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days.

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Is 30 Net Carbohydrates Considered Keto

One of the Ketogenic diets basic concepts is to consume very little carbohydrate fewer than 50 grams per day.

The goal of limiting carbs is to force your body to use fat as its major energy source rather than glucose from carbohydrates. Fat is a molecule with a lot of energy, and some of that energy gets transformed into ketones. Most of your bodys cells can use ketones instead of glucose for energy. Nutritional ketosis occurs when your body changes to utilising fat and ketones as its primary energy source.

That doesnt imply you have to eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet. After all, the Keto diet isnt supposed to be a carb-free one.

In this installment of the Keto Beginners Series, well discuss the carbohydrate items that work well with the low-carb, high-fat Ketogenic diet.

Why Measure Total Carbs

Its easier to measure total carbs no subtraction necessary!

The benefit of measuring total carbs is most evident when it comes to manufactured or packaged products.

The effect of the natural insoluble fiber found in fruit and veggies is well known and has been well-studied. Its called insoluble fiber because your body doesnt absorb it at all.5

Naturally-occurring soluble fiber is a little different. Soluble fiber forms a gel and increases the viscosity of the digested food. While some soluble fiber may get absorbed, it is more likely that it gets fermented by gut bacteria. Therefore, soluble fiber can contribute a small number of calories, but it doesnt usually impact blood sugar and insulin significantly.

However, the fiber added to packaged food products is often the kind of soluble fiber that can contribute to increases in blood sugar and insulin.

For instance, isomaltooligosaccharide significantly raises blood sugar and insulin levels.6 Food manufacturers often count IMO as fiber and subtract it from total carbs to market a low-net-carb product. Unfortunately, your body will not agree.

Other examples of added fibers are inulin, xanthan gum, tapioca fiber, and chicory root. While none of these will likely cause the same adverse reaction as IMO, we still recommend caution as many of these added fibers have not been extensively studied.

Pro tip

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Calculating Net Carbs From Fiber

Most fiber can be completely subtracted from the total carbs listed on the nutrition label.

If you live outside the US, the total carbohydrate line already has the fiber removed and listed separately.

However, if the fiber isomaltooligosaccharide is in the ingredients list, subtract only half of the fiber carbs.

What Are Fibers And How They Help

Net Carbs â Essential Keto

Fiber doesn’t boost your glucose levels. It is a kind of carbohydrate your body can’t absorb, thus you may subtract the fiber from the entire carbohydrate intake.There are two kinds of fibers:Soluble fiber . – This kind of fiber helps lowering blood cholesterol and heighten blood sugar control.Insoluble fiber . This sort of fiber helps encourage regularity by creating food transfer better through your digestive tract and so assist stop constipation. Thus you ought to be consuming enough fiber.As I discussed earlier, Its not the carbs types but the Nutrition information label on food which makes it difficult to calculate.

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Meals Not Just Ingredients

We dont just eat ingredients on their own. We eat these foods as part of meals or recipes

Many recipe websites will display the total carbs and fibre content of food, and some may also calculate the next carbs for you.

But if youre creating your own recipes there are a number of different tools that make it easy to find the figures you need.

I use the fitness software myfitnesspal which will help you calculate the total carbs and fibre in a recipe, which you can just put into the formula.

So here at Carb Dodging we promote a Low Carb Diet, from real, unprocessed foods. And real foods dont tend to have ingredient lists or nutrition labels. But if youre out and about, or havent had the chance to prepare your own food one day then youre going to want to know how to work out the net carbs of a food from the nutritional label.

Be aware that the label will usually show the nutritional information per serving, and not always per 100 grams. Sometimes they do show both.

The information you need to look for is highlighted in the image below.

On this label the total carbohydrates are 4 grams with 1 gram of fibre. So 4 minus 1 is 3- so this has net carbs of 3 grams per serving.

Pretty simple huh?

Why Would You Want To Calculate Net Carbs

Calculating net carbohydrates provides a more accurate number of calorie-containing nutrients in the foods we consume.

There are multiple reasons people may choose to calculate net carbs:

  • Diabetics use net carbs to dose their insulin.
  • You can use net carbs to lose weight by identifying low-calorie foods.
  • The keto diet requires a low-carb intake to drive the body into a state of ketosis.

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How Much Should You Eat Per Day To Lose Weight

To lose weight, the important thing is that you make a negative balance of calories, which is known as a caloric deficit.

Even with a net carbohydrate amount greater than 150 grams per day, you can lose weight. This is a slower but healthier way.

However, if you go on a low-carb diet, the number of net carbs should be less. On the keto diet, amounts less than 50 grams per day are allowed, and on a low carb diet, between 75-100 g per day.

The Benefits Of Tracking Net Carbs Instead Of Total Carbs

How to Calculate NET CARBS on KETO (net carbs vs total carbs)

This method of carb-tracking recognizes that not all carbs are the same. That’s because some are indigestible and won’t affect your blood sugar. So if you’re restricting the number of carbs you eat, counting net carbs allows you to choose more thoughtfully. Simply put: You’ll be able to eat a variety of satiating foods while still hitting your target carb or blood sugar levels.

Consider these perks that might convince you to board the net-carb bandwagon.

  • âYou’ll likely eat more nutrient-dense foods:â “Tracking net carbs can help someone enjoy a larger and more filling amount of carbs at a meal,” Dylan Murphy, RD, LDN and owner of Dylan Murphy Nutrition. She compares a medium-sized pear to a granola bar â both may have a similar number of total carbs, but the pear has fewer net carbs and more fiber. This, Murphy says, can keep you full longer and prevent a spike in blood sugar.
  • âYou’ll focus on getting more fiber:â “The advantage of tracking net carbs instead of total carbs is you don’t factor fiber into your carb count for the meal. Fiber is processed differently in our bodies than carbs are,” says Murphy. Therefore, people may opt for higher fiber foods and focus on slashing sugar from their diet.
  • âYou’ll eat less sugar:â Focusing on high-fiber foods that are low in net carbs means you’ll nix the amount of sugar and starches you eat on the daily.

Want to Track Net Carbs Without Doing the Math?

A Note on Sugar Alcohols

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How Many Net Carbs On Keto

Staying under 20-25 net carbs on keto will help you reach ketosis faster.

However, its a sliding scale and varies from person to person. Some people may be able to enjoy up to 50 grams of net carbs and still enter a fat-burning state.

People who are more active can usually get away with more carbs, while people who are insulin resistant or have been eating a carb-heavy diet for a long time might need a lower threshold to start.

Do You Count Net Carbs Or Total Carbs On Keto

Theres no single answer on whether to count total carbs vs net carbs on keto. The ideal number of carbs you should consume every day depends on the type of keto diet you follow and your health goals.

Many keto followers consider net carbs a more sustainable way to track macros and this method works well for most people. Counting net carbs also encourages eating more veggies , which we consider a good thing here at Wholesome Yum. However, some people prefer to count total carbs to reach ketosis more quickly or to avoid weight loss stalls.

My recommendation? Start with focusing on net carbs, and only switch to total carbs if you have to. This way, you can enjoy plenty of leafy greens, low carb vegetables, and even keto fruit, all of which are filled with fiber.

If you dont get the results you want, start by reducing sugar alcohols and low carb treats before switching to total carbs. Some people choose to count the carbs in sugar alcohols and sweeteners, but still subtract the fiber from total carbs.

Ultimately, test different counting methods to decide what works best for you! Focus on results such as how your clothes fit, how you feel, and the scale if you need to, but if you want to test the impact on ketosis specifically, you can use a blood monitor or ketone test strips to check if youre in ketosis.

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