How to Calculate Net Carbs, and What They Mean

Low-carb and keto diets are popular now. They can help with weight loss, and people with diabetes can use them to manage blood sugar, as long as their healthcare providers agree with the approach and supervise the diets. Counting total carbs in a day or at a meal is one strategy, but some people use net carbs instead. 

Here is how to calculate net carbs, and to find foods that are low in net carbs to help you stick to your low-carb diet. Netrition has all kinds of ready-to-eat and other convenient and delicious foods that are low in net carbs and can make your diet easier.

What Are Net Carbs?

Net carbs are the carbohydrates in foods that your body breaks down into sugars that go into your bloodstream. They can provide energy for your body, and excess digestible carbs are stored as fat. If you are on a low-carb diet, you might have a daily limit for total grams of net carbs. You might also have a per-meal or a per-snack limit.

How to Calculate Net Carbs

Overall, you calculate net carbs by subtracting the non-digestible carbs in a food from the total grams of carbs in that food. Non-digestible carbohydrates include dietary fiber and sugar alcohols. 

If a food has dietary fiber, you subtract grams of dietary fiber per serving from total carbs to get net carbs. Sugar alcohols are a little trickier because your body can partially digest them. If the food has sugar alcohols, you subtract half of the grams of sugar alcohols per serving from the total carbs per serving to get net carbs per serving. However, if the sugar alcohol is erythritol, you can subtract all of the grams of erythritol. If the food has both fiber and sugar alcohols, you can subtract both. 

Benefits of Counting Net Carbs

These are some potential benefits of counting net carbs.

  • It can help you achieve your goals on a low-carb or keto diet.
  • It can steer you towards high-fiber foods. Fiber can help manage cholesterol, blood sugar, and digestion.
  • Keeping carbs low can help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
  • Looking for low-carb foods helps limit high-calorie foods like refined starches and sugars.

Limitations with Net Carb Counting

Net carbs aren’t the only thing to consider when trying to count carbs or lose weight. These are some other factors.

  • Net carb count does not consider the nutritional value of foods.
  • Counting net carbs can steer you towards processed foods made with sugar alcohols, but often with artificial sweeteners or other synthetic ingredients.
  • Net carb count doesn’t consider fat and protein, which can be important macros in a keto diet.
  • It doesn’t consider calories, which are the main factor in weight control.

Tips When Counting Net Carbs

These tips can help when you are counting net carbs. 

  • Nutrient-dense foods are always good choices for your everyday diet.
  • Be sure to check the serving size when calculating net carbs.
  • Be aware of goals for fat and protein if your healthcare provider has given you some.
  • Use an app to help you count net carbs.

Netrition has low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein foods, including all-natural and other healthy options. 

With some practice, you can count net carbs in your daily life as you strive to follow a low-carb or keto diet. To keep your carbs low, you can browse the Keto-Friendly and Low-Carb aisles at Netrition. That way, you can find delicious and easy-to-use low-carb foods to help you lose weight and stabilize blood sugar.

Calculating net carbs