Net carbs - WTF are net carbs??!!!!
We don't subscribe to foods being "good" or "bad".
Everyone is different!
Metabolisms, environmental factors, genetics, epigenetics, biomes and too many other factors make us all so unique!
And carbs are a HOT TOPIC!
Are they "good"? Are they "bad"?
There is "good carbs" and "bad carbs" talk. And there is the "slow carb" and "fast carb" banter.
We are here to strip it all back, get super clear and then explain the mysterious NET CARB!
SIMPLE TO COMPLEX
Carbohydrates are a source of nutrition for humans, just as proteins and fats are.
Carbohydrates are made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen molecules in various combinations.
There are basic combinations called simple carbs.
There are long fancy combinations, called complex carbs.
It's all about the break down baby.
All carbs convert to blood glucose (sugar in the blood).
Our cells can use both glucose or ketones (fat we convert to energy from our own fat stores or from our food).
Simple carbs are broken down and absorbed into the blood stream quickly.
Complex carbs take longer and more effort to absorb.
Simples usually have little other nutritional benefits while complex can.
Simple carbs are all sugars. Some examples of sugar names you'll see on packaging are glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, maltodextrose (!) and fructose.
You guessed it - the "ose" is a good guide for checking packaging.
They go in fast and your blood glucose (literally: blood sugar) levels go up. Just as quickly they go down. Ah the rollercoaster! We all know a good sugar crash when we see one.
Starches and Non starches.
Complex carbs live in 2 camps - the starchy and non-starchy types.
Starchy examples are potatoes, wheat, rice and yams.
Non-starchy examples are broccoli, carrot, spinach and cabbage.
They go in slowly and your blood glucose climbs steadily, slowly they go down. A much smoother journey for most...
SAME SAME but DIFFERENT.
Here's the clever bit... Non starchy carbs have more fibre than starchy ones. Fibre does not get absorbed into fuel for us - it does other cool s***.
So the starchy ones have a bigger blood sugar impact which is why diabetics closely monitor starches as they play havoc with their blood sugar levels.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
So now we know about all the carbs, and that fibre is involved and a control factor for blood sugars.
This is where the NET CARB answers begin...
Net carbs is nothing fancy. It is a basic subtraction...
Food packaging shows TOTAL CARBS in grams.
Below that it shows from the TOTAL CARBS, how much are simples, displayed as SUGARS in grams.
Then you'll see they display FIBRE in grams.
You only metabolise the carbs that are NON FIBRE. So the idea is; "Why count carbs that I'm not absorbing?"
Pretty smart move.
For those on carb watch, like those withType 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, doing Keto, Low Carb, LCHF, Ultra Low Carb, No Carb, Carnivore and some Paleo peeps - this is laser lucid clarity on what is going in.
You can do a calculation for yourself and it will look like this:
TOTAL CARBS: 25g
NET CARBS: 7g
Let us know any questions you've got about carbs!!!
Love, the Gutsii gals!