Saturday, October 1, 2022

How To Read Nutrition Labels For Keto

Why The 2 Camps

Keto Day of Eating | How to Read Nutrition Labels…

The reason theres an impassioned debate about whether to count Total Carbs or Net Carbs is because both camps are right.I know. I can see the around the world. But hear me out.Each side believes theyre right simply because its whats worked for them. Which means they both work. Hence, the strong feelings.The question then for you, isnt:

Who is right?

The question you need to ask yourself is:

Whats right for me?This is where our whys come in.

My Experience With Net And Total Carbs:

At the beginning of my keto journey, I wasnt aware of these 2 ways of counting carbs. Then I did some research about it and Ive decided to start counting the net carbs.

I can have more variety in my daily nutrition and this keeps me on track and focused on the low carb life. I can have keto pizza and other keto treats when I feel it. In order to not good overboard, I track my food to make sure I am not introducing a crazy amount of carbs and calories.

Ignore The Daily Value Percentages

Now, for all those percentages in the side column. The assumed daily percentage breakdown is based on the diet guidelines listed in the footer, NOT in your own macros. The diet theyre based on isnt anything close to the concept of keto at all, so ignore those numbers entirely and stick to your own macros instead.

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Carbs Vs Net Carbs: Whats The Difference

Carbs or carbohydrates are sugars in food that supply energy in the form of calories. This includes all types of sugars including starch, fiber, and sugar alcohols.

Net carbs are thought to represent the number of carbohydrates that are actually absorbed by your body – without impacting blood sugar levels and insulin response. This is because fiber and sugar alcohols arent thought to be absorbed.

Net carbs are only those that are absorbed into your bloodstream by your body.

Total carbohydrates include all of the carb components – even those that aren’t absorbed.

There are some variations in the types of fiber and sugar alcohols that may not make this 100% accurate. While the net carb calculation isn’t perfect, it’s currently the best way to get an idea of how many digestible carbs you’re eating.

Whats The Serving Size

32 How To Read Nutrition Label For Keto

The sad truth is, you can have too much of a good thing, and often times, we do. When we label foods as healthy or keto-friendly, we suddenly have the misconception that we can have a shit ton without consequences. But thats where serving size comes in. Read these before you begin devouring. ½ cup, 1 ounce, etc are smaller than we think.

Nuts are a great example of this. They are usually put into ounces but who knows what an ounce looks like?

Almonds- 20-24

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Make Sure Its Keto How To Read Labels In 3 Easy Steps

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Sugars and starches find their way into all kinds of food items. You would be surprised. Sometimes there are foods that you wouldnt expect to have carbs in them only to find out that they do.

Sometimes the labeling throws you off. Such as these cauliflower veggie tots.

I saw them in the store and thought how nice to come across cauli-tots that I could keep in the freezer for a quick meal. They contain no potato. Sounds great! But a closer look at the food label told me that it would probably be a better idea to pass on these.

I thought that because these tots did not contain potato that they would be lower in carbs. But a close look at the label told me that 6 tots would have 9 net carbs. This is due to the modified food starch, corn starch, dextrose, enriched flour, soy flour, sugar, wheat gluten, wheat starch and corn flour that they contained. Holy cow thats a whole lot of added carbs!

Becoming a label reader will help to make sure the food item is keto. Keto food items tend to be very low in carbohydrates and higher in fat. Often people stick to keeping their Net Carbs to 20 grams a day. While fat and protein play a part in your diet the number that everyone talks about it carbs. You can learn to read labels in 3 easy steps to make sure any food items with a nutritional label will fit into your keto diet.

Backing Into A Carb Count

Almost everything displayed on the Nutrition Facts panel is based on specific laboratory procedures, called assays, regulated by the FDA. The quantity of fat, protein, ash and water can all be directly and exactly assayed. Carbohydrates, however, are the exception. Instead, the amount of carbohydrate is arrived at only after the above four components are directly computed. In other words, what is not fat, protein, ash or water is called carbohydrate.

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Keep Cholesterol Concerns At Bay

The consumption of red meat, cheese, eggs, butter, and of course, bacon, will have the cholesterol numbers jumping out at you on nutrition labels. Never fear! Cholesterol is misunderstood and can actually be a good thing. In fact, 75% of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver and your diet has little effect on cholesterol levels. So dont fret over the cholesterol count as its bound to be higher on your favorite keto foods.

Take The Bitter With The Sweet

How To Read Food Labels | Keto Tips

Unsurprisingly, studies funded by the sugar producers say it is safe and has the same impact as natural sugars. Studies done with less bias tell a different story: recent research has directly linked sugar to causing and promoting cancer 1, 2. Youre an intelligent individual and Im sure you can engage your thinking faculties to come to your own conclusions about this. Either way, these addictive sugars are not allowed on keto!

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Serving Size And Servings Per Container

The first thing youâll see is the serving size. This is the portion of that particular food that all the other numbersâgrams of fat, protein, carb, etc.âare based on. The servings per container is the number of servings contained in the entire bag, box, can, bottle, or jar. Itâs important to know the serving size and how many servings there are per container so you donât inadvertently go over your carb limit for the day. For example, for most nuts, a typical serving is one ounce. For sliced deli meats, a serving might be 3â4 slices. Salad dressings are usually 2 Tbsp other condiments are just 1 Tbsp per serving. Even if the carb count for one serving is low, the carbs can add up quickly if you eat multiple servings.

Sweeteners & Sugar Alcohols

The quality of your carbohydrates matter, and so does the quality of your sweetener!

Sugar alcohols will be listed separately on food labels. There truly arent many good sugars, but there are some great sweeteners and some really awful ones.

Sugar alcohols are sweet substances which have a highly variable impact on blood glucose depending on which one.

Sugar alcohols must be included in total carbohydrates on the label, and if used in sugar-free foods, also have their own line on the label so you can see how much of the total carb count is from sugar alcohols.

When you look at the label of most sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, they claim to be sugar-free or carbs-free. These products often contain Sorbitol, Maltitol, and/or Splenda.

They use a simple rule:

Net Carbs = Total Carbs Fiber

This is not exactly true, as sugar alcohols may affect blood sugar and contain calories, too. Sugar alcohols are carbohydrates that the human body does not completely absorb.

The key word here is not completely.

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To Prevent Overeating Familiarize Yourself With Portion Proportions

Despite the fact that portion size is pretty straightforward, it is often ignored. Sure, you choose a snack with just one carbohydrate per serving , but what precisely is a portion?

Be cautious if you come across a bag with a tiny portion size or a high number of servings per bag, particularly if you have a habit of mindlessly snacking. With a second handful of carbohydrates, you may rapidly surpass your daily carb allowance and exit ketosis.

What Kind Of Beacon To Get For The Keto Diet

34 How To Read A Label For Keto

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Supplements May Be Found In The Supplemental Nutrients Section

The bonus round has begun! A list of vitamins and minerals that your food may contain may be found at the bottom of the nutrition label. Vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron are the most common. If you notice items that include magnesium, vitamin D, or potassium, eat them since they may boost your keto nutritional value and help you avoid the keto flu.

How To Read Food Labels In The Uk When On Keto

Typically because the food labels in the US are different to the UK. To help, we have shared the key things you need to know when counting carbs in the UK.

Luckily, the UK food labelling system is easy to read with each item listed and the total grams per 100g and sometimes the per portion available for you to see. When it comes to carbs, you can expect to see carbohydrates with a total amount that you can then use in your tracking with a few adjustments.

In the US, fibre is included in the carbs section, and so US consumers have to deduct the total fibre from the carbs to get a net amount of carbs to track. Sounds simple? It is, but it also causes significant confusion. In reality, it is the reason why many people do not experience the weight loss theyd hoped for because they end up underestimating their daily Carb Count. Many UK consumers will read US material and then find themselves believing that they need to deduct the total fibre from the carbs before tracking. This is not the case! So, the next time you pick up a food item in the UK remember that the carbs on the label are the amount that you need to track. Should you be eating US food, you will need to deduct the amount of fibre from the total carbs to get your net amount to add to your carb tracking. Fortunately, the UK market for Keto is growing exponentially, and so there is less need to import things from the US just to follow the ketogenic diet.

Example of a Keto Product


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How To Read A Nutrition Label

There is so much to learn when you start out on keto, and one of the top things you need to familiarize yourself with is reading a nutrition label. This post will simplify what you need to look out for and the most important things when reading labels. If you only take away two things from this post, it would be the following:

The two most important things on a label
  • carb content
  • ingredients list
  • Glance At Additional Nutrients For Valuable Extras

    How to read a nutrition label for Keto

    Time for the bonus round! Near the bottom of the nutrition label, youll see an assortment of vitamins and minerals that can be found in your food. Typically, these are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron. If you see products that list out Magnesium, Vitamin D, or Potassium, pick em up since they help boost the nutritional value of keto and can reduce the symptoms of the keto flu.

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    Counting Carbs How To Read Food Labels When On The Keto Diet

    One of the biggest dilemmas that Keto diet beginners face is how to buy keto diet foods, cans or sauces.

    It can be very confusing when you read a food label that says 12 gm carbs and when you Google it online, the internet says 6 grams per carbs.

    Now bear with us because things are about to get a little tricky. Lets have a look at the following Nutrition Facts chart:

    Lets assume that the chart above is for a jar of peanut butter. The serving size is 1 tablespoon.

    We have to find out if this peanut butter is Keto-friendly or not. Heres the secrete Keto equation you should know about:

    Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrate Sugar Dietary Fiber

    37 g 4 g 1 g = 32 g

    Keto beginners can start this diet with a goal of 20 grams of carbs. As you can see, this peanut butter is not Keto-friendly.

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    In Summary: A Checklist

    Do you read ur labels?

    That was a lot to take in, so heres a quick, phone-friendly checklist: take a screenshot and keep it with your shopping list, or print it out and tape it to your paper list.


    • No sugar
    • No wheat
    • No industrial junk oils

    Nutrition Facts

    • Net carbs within your personal limit.
    • No trans fat
    • Low added sugar

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    How To Read A Food Label

    To ensure that consumers know what is in the foods they buy, the Food and Drug Administration requires that the packaging of every manufactured food product display certain information.

    • Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight.
    • Labeling must also include a Nutrition Facts panel.

    Although the intent is informational, such labels do not supply all the facts, especially when it comes to carbohydrates. But once you know the secret to figuring out how many carbs really count, the labels will become easy reading.

    Look Closely At Total Carbohydrates

    Total carbs are arguably the most important part of the nutrition label to pay attention to. In general, most keto eaters keep their carb count below 20-40g each day.

    There are two methods of counting carbs, total and net:

    • Counting using the total is pretty self-explanatory where the total number at the top is what you get.
    • For net carbs, you subtract the dietary fiber count and sugar alcohols from the total carbs to give you the net carbs of the food in question.

    Regardless of total carbs and net carbs, youll always want to keep your sugar intake as low as possible.

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