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.
Should I Count Total Or Net Carbs
The answer to this question depends on where you are in your keto journey. Counting net carbs runs the risk of higher total carb intake and especially higher sugar intake. This can be harmful to ketosis.
If your goal is to keep carbs below 30 grams but you are tracking net carbs, that could mean 30 grams of sugar and 50+ grams of total carbohydrates. While more experienced ketogenic dieters may be able to tolerate this, others cannot. Especially beginners, which is why I do not advise new ketogenic dieters to count net carbs. Instead, beginners should count total carbs and aim to keep them under 30 grams or even 20 grams.
Counting net carbs can also lead to a stall in weight loss progress. To optimize fat loss, you want to prevent increases in blood sugar. Counting net carbs may lead to some accidental blood sugar spikes that can get in the way of the results you are looking for.
If you have been following keto for a while, your body is better at using carbohydrates and you are typically more resilient to being kicked out of ketosis. In this case, you may be able to make the transition to tracking net carbs instead of total carbs. Before you do this, take time to test your tolerance to ensure that you are not kicking yourself out of ketosis by taking this approach.
A Guide To Net Carbs On Keto
From the desk of Luis Villaseñor
The central premise of the keto diet is simple: limit your carbohydrate intake to the point that your body prefers to use fat as a primary source of energy. For the average person, this usually means 30 grams or less net carbs per day.
Yes, people bat an eye when I tell them to eat 30 g or less net carbs per day. But the key word is net. You see, not all carbs need to be limited.
Specifically, you dont need to limit fiber and sugar alcohols because these carbs dont significantly interfere with your ketogenic diet. Thats because most fiber passes through the body undigested, and most sugar alcohols feed gut bacteria in your large intestine.
Neither are converted to glucose for energy. Thats why net carbswhich dont include fiber and sugar alcoholsare the only carbs that count toward your carb intake limit. This leaves a lot of room for veggies, depending on which ones you like to eat.
Unfortunately, most food labels and nutrition databases dont report net carbs. They report total carbs. But if you rely on total carbs to navigate your keto diet, youll miss out on many keto-friendly foods. Oftentimes, 30 g of net carbs can appear as 60-80 g total carbs when youre tallying labels.
Similar arithmetic applies to green beans, broccoli, kale, zucchini, chayote, cauliflower and many other fiber-rich vegetables. These are important foods for hitting your micronutrient goals.
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Gather Tools To Measure Food
It may sound obvious, but you can’t determine the amount of carbohydrate in a portion of food unless you know how much of the food you are going to consume.
Measuring tools are essential for this vital step, especially when you first start out. It is very common for people to think they know about how much a tablespoon or half a cup or six inches is, but often their estimates are inaccurate.
Handy tools include measuring cups and spoons and a kitchen scale .
Why The Type Of Sugar Alcohol Matters
Sugar alcohols are alcohols derived from sugar – but don’t worry, they won’t make you drunk! They are widely used in the food industry to improve a products’ viscosity and sweetness, but they also occur naturally. Nowadays, they are well known for their sweetening properties, while carrying fewer calories than classic table sugar. Some, like erythritol, don’t even contain any calories! That’s because our bodies cannot break them down properly. As these alcohols have different chemical structures, the degree to which we can break them down varies. Therefore, some of them are worth counting as net carbs, while some are not. The following sugar alcohols will pass through you without being digested, and therefore do no count towards net carbs:
However, don’t think that you can eat those sweeteners to your hearts content, as excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.The rest of the sugar alcohols are counted towards the net carbs result only partially, that’s why we need to divide their weight by 2.
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What Should I Do After I Use Your Keto Macro Calculator
Once you get an estimate for your keto macros with our keto calculator, we recommend checking out our keto guide, keto recipes, keto food list, and carb tracking guide.
Click on this link to check out our keto recipe catalog . This will give you a good idea of what you can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert while you are keto dieting. I also suggest checking out our keto food list so you have a better idea of what you should and shouldnt eat.
Once you know what you will be eating on keto, you will probably be wondering how much of you should eat for each meal. Since meal size depends on the individual and his/her goals, we recommend using a calorie tracking app and our carb tracking guide to help you figure out the macronutrient content of your meals. As you track your macros, you will be able to figure out what adjusts you need to make to your diet to reach your goals.
Why Some People Count Net Carbs
Again insulin.It all goes back to keeping your insulin levels low. Low enough that access to stored fat is granted so it can be used for energy to allow fat loss.You know that increased blood sugars will raise insulin. But other factors can raise insulin, too .For now, lets focus on the fact that increased blood sugars will raise your insulin.Given that your goal is to keep insulin low, heres why counting net carbs work:
- Fiber cant be digested so its believed to have little to no impact on blood sugar.
- Both soluble and insoluble fiber reduce blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity which promote fat loss.
The effects of fiber and sugar alcohol have either little to no effect on insulin levels.
This is why the net carb folks dont count them and they lose weight.
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Does It Matter Where The Food Is From
The short answer is yes. There are differences between how nutritional information is displayed in the US and in the UK and given the size of the keto product industry in the US, blogs and guides often use the US way of calculating Carbs. This blog post will hopefully make things easier to understand. Let us know if you have any questions! At our Low Carb and Keto Bakery, we are trying our best to answer the questions that most newbies to keto might have.When you are counting carbs, it makes sense to look out for hints and tips from online communities and other online sources so that your food planning becomes as streamlined as possible. Unfortunately, many keto guides are written with the US market in mind, making it a challenge for anyone following a Keto or Low carb diet plan. In fact, we find it is one of the most frequently asked questions we get when people are just starting on their low carb and keto journey. Counting carbs is one of the main areas in which people hit a wall and one will likely become a keen reader of food labels.
So lets talk about
How To Calculate Your Fat Intake
One of the main mistakes you can make on keto is not eating enough fat. For the longest time, nutritionists declared that fat, particularly saturated fat, was bad, which led to the low-fat craze of the 1980s and 1990s.
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However, this science has since been debunked, lacking any significant data showing a connection between a high-fat diet and an increased risk of heart disease.
After you calculate your protein and total carbs, your remaining calories of the day will come from fat sources. As stated earlier, this is typically 70-75% of your total calories of the day.
To give you an idea, 70% of 2,000 calories is 1,400 calories. If you divide 1,400 by 9 , you get 155.56 grams of fat per day.
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How Many Carbs On Keto Varies From Person To Person
On a ketogenic diet, your goal is to enter the fat-burning state known as ketosis. To do this, youll eat a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, where your daily carb intake hovers between 25-50 grams.
That said, carb consumption will vary from person to person. Depending on genetics, body composition, and exercise routine, your carb intake may be higher or lower than the average.
To get an accurate estimate of your individual macro guidelines, you can either use the Perfect Keto Macro Calculator or continuously test your ketone levels.
Now that you how many carbs on keto you should consume based on your calorie intake, the rest is up to you. View the Perfect Keto recipe library for plenty of low-carb recipe ideas, tips, and tricks to help you enter ketosis.
The Final Word On The Difference Between Total Carbs Vs Net Carbs
Total carbs are exactly thatthe sum of all the carbs you eat in a day. Net carbs are calculated by taking your total carbs and subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols. You can make these calculations by reading food labels or calculating the macros of ingredients in the recipes you make.
Whether total carbs or net carb count is better for you to follow on a ketogenic diet depends on your goals. The bottom line: if youre following a ketogenic diet for medically therapeutic reasons, its best to start at 20 TOTAL carbs per day. If youre following the diet to battle obesity or insulin resistance , for weight-loss, or preventative health measures, 20 NET carbs should do the trick.
Still, its a good idea to test your ketones along the way to find your carb edge and learn whether any food sensitivities are affecting your success. Its also important to eat whole foods, avoid foods with added sugar , read nutrition facts and nutrition labels, and check with your primary care provider or dietitian before embarking on any diet.
Disclaimer: its always a good idea to consult with a dietitian and your primary care provider before starting any new diet.
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How Does The Body Use Carbs
Once the carbs youve eaten are digested and absorbed, the glucose they provide can be used as an energy source by all the cells in your body, including those in your muscles, heart, and brain.
Glucose that isnt immediately needed by these cells can be stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen . However, theres a limit to the amount that can be stored. Once your glycogen storage sites are full, any additional glucose from the breakdown of excess carbs will be converted to fat and stored in your body, including your liver.10
Carb Foods To Eat On The Keto Diet
On a keto meal plan, youll fuel up on plenty of healthy fats and high-quality protein sources. Youll get the bulk of your calories from foods like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and MCT oil, and youll get protein from both plant-based and animal sources.
When it comes to carbs, youll want to keep your blood sugar levels in check by consuming foods that rank low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks foods 0-100, where higher numbers cause a higher spike in insulin levels. Avoid high-carb grains, starchy vegetables, and high-sugar fruits, instead building your diet on keto foods such as:
- Green leafy veggies, including kale, lettuce, asparagus, and arugula
- Low-sugar berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
- Cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli
On a low-carb diet, youll also want to avoid all sugar, including soda, candy, baked goods, and even sugar alcohols. If youre craving something sweet, use a keto-friendly sweetener, such as stevia, Swerve, monk fruit, or erythritol.
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My Protein Is Higher Than My Fat Recommendation What Should I Do
You may notice that the percentage of grams of protein you have to eat is much higher and fat is a lot lower than the percentages that are typically recommended for keto. This can happen for two reasons:
The only problem that high protein intake can cause, however, is lower levels of ketone production. If this is the case for you and you want to maintain a higher level of ketosis, then try decreasing your protein intake to the lower end of the recommended range or restricting carbs a bit more.
What Is A Deficit/surplus
A deficit or surplus just relates to the number of calories you want to intake. A surplus means you are eating more than your body needs. A deficit means you are eating less than your body needs.
Typically if you are losing weight, you want to have a deficit in calories. 10-20% is standard for people. 20-30% ranges are considered high deficits and are typically difficult to do . You can go up to a 30% deficit, but going past that can lead to metabolic damage in the long run .
Typically if you want to gain muscle, you want to have a surplus in calories. You need extra calories if you want to put on lean mass. Typically, 5-10% is suggested, but going over 10% can lead to excess weight gain.
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List Of Carbs You Can Consume On Keto
Now that you understand which foods should be avoided entirely, lets talk about the best Ketogenic-friendly carb sources you can still incorporate into your diet plan.
Some of the foods listed below still contain some carbohydrates, so its best to be sure to read labels and carefully track your intake so you dont overdo it, especially if youre a beginner.
#1. Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are great alternatives to eating sugary chocolate bars. Theyre a great source of antioxidants. Chocolate is even considered a superfood, because it contains essential nutrients to help you stay healthy.
Dark chocolate also has flavanols, which have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure.
Its important to only consume dark chocolate that contains 85% cocoa or more. Anything less usually contains other higher carbohydrate ingredients that could potentially interrupt ketosis.
Tip: A great low-carb snack you can make with cocoa powder or dark chocolate is a Keto Coconut-choc Fat Bombs. Simply add cocoa powder into a bowl with almond butter and coconut oil and put it in the microwave or heat on a stovetop and stir until it becomes a consistent liquid. Then place it in the freezer for half an hour and you’ll have a tasty, sweet low-carb snack! Add a little stevia if you need a little more sweetness. Read about more Keto snack ideas here.
#2. Low-Carb Vegetables
How Many Carbs Can You Have On Keto
How Many Carbs Can You Have on Keto?
Posted 2 years ago
Tony ONeill, PT, DPT, MSc, RDN
One of the core principles of the Ketogenic diet is keeping carbohydrate intake extremely low less than 50 grams per day.
The purpose of keeping carbs low is so that your body has to switch to using fat as the primary energy source instead of glucose from carbohydrates. Fat is a very energy-dense molecule, and some of that energy is converted into ketones. Ketones can be used by most of the cells in your body for energy instead of glucose. When your body switches to using fat and ketones as the primary energy source, youre in a state ofnutritional ketosis.
But that doesnt mean you have to completely remove all carbs from your diet. After all, Keto isn’t meant to be a zero carb diet.
In this Keto Beginners Series, were going to talk about the types of carbohydrate foods that fit best into the low carb, high fat Ketogenic diet.
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