Carbs or Net Carbs?

Posted by JK, Volunteer Mentor @contentandwell, Tue, Mar 5 7:25am

I have heard different things about counting carbs. Some say you should count all carbs, some say it's Net Carbs that matter. I plan to ask my doctor but I don't consider it urgent enough to do that now, I don't see him again until the summer.
I thought of this, this morning when I was putting my breakfast into myfitnesspal and noticed that my Silver Palate Oatmeal has 26 grams of carbs, but only 21 net carbs.
Which measurement is more applicable? Has anyone been told that specifically by their endocrinologist? The total carbs put me over what I try to keep it to when I add blueberries, but the net carbs are within range.
Thanks.
JK

I will study net carbs because I haven't gone into that issue when planning my meals. So I really am ignorant about it. The nutritionist said to count the carbs and don't go over 10 to 12 each day. That worked for a few years and I lost weight at first, but now it is not low enough carbs or something else is not balanced. Of course, I am older and need less food, I think. The big problem is that I have no energy to do work.

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@contentandwell Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates left over in a product after you’ve subtracted the fiber and sugar alcohol from the total carb count. “The theory is that since your body doesn't digest most of the fiber, and sugar alcohols are also largely indigestible, they don’t need to be counted.
Carol

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@dorisena

I will study net carbs because I haven't gone into that issue when planning my meals. So I really am ignorant about it. The nutritionist said to count the carbs and don't go over 10 to 12 each day. That worked for a few years and I lost weight at first, but now it is not low enough carbs or something else is not balanced. Of course, I am older and need less food, I think. The big problem is that I have no energy to do work.

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@dorisena 12 to 12 grams of carbs per day is extremely low. I have never heard of having to keep it that low, but perhaps there are other considerations that for you.

@retiredteacher teacher Thanks, Carol. That's exactly what I wanted to know, and what I hoped the answer would be. I am aware of what makes net carbs lower than overall carbs, and it helps to bring my oatmeal down to a better number!
You have made me very happy!
JK

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@contentandwell

@dorisena 12 to 12 grams of carbs per day is extremely low. I have never heard of having to keep it that low, but perhaps there are other considerations that for you.

@retiredteacher teacher Thanks, Carol. That's exactly what I wanted to know, and what I hoped the answer would be. I am aware of what makes net carbs lower than overall carbs, and it helps to bring my oatmeal down to a better number!
You have made me very happy!
JK

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@jk Yes. Counting Net Carbs helps me keep track easier and not feel as guilty when starting the day with fewer Net Carbs. I enjoy oatmeal too, but am not a breakfast person, so I eat a dry piece of toast until mid morning and then have a snack, if I'm hungry. My oatmeal is usually for supper, but I like it, especially on a cold evening.
Carol

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The nutritionist in the beginning said 10 to 12 servings of carbs, including milk, which at 15 grams each comes to 150 or more grams. That is too much for me without lots of exercise, so I don't do nearly as much these days. Now that I am cutting portion size, I must recalculate how much carbs I am eating. I seldom give up my glass of milk at bedtime, but Mayo diet counts that in the protein group. I am accustomed to maybe 5 oz. of protein, but am cutting that down and some days only eat three meals. For years I ate four times a day. Snacks just make me hungrier to keep eating. Sorry for the misunderstanding on carbs.

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Forgive me, but I don't know how to count net carbs. Is there a chart that lists the fiber carbs? If it isn't very many carbs, why worry about it so long as you get lots of fiber, which I have done for years. I particularly like dried prunes but need to limit them for reasons of sugar content and getting diarrhea. I don't have friends who believe in high fiber diet, but it really helps the bowel. After spine surgery, my pain was not due to surgery but to constipation and I fixed that very quickly, ending miserable pain which the doctors should have recognized, but did not. I also gave up my bladder prescription which was causing me constipation for a long time and I did not know it. That is why I have to do study and research on my own. I can now manage most pain without pills and a calm attitude. I think the reason why doctors aren't so helpful is because they don't live with me. If they did, they would learn better when I holler with pain.
I found I did not get pain meds addiction despite my doctor trying to keep me on strong pain meds for months before moving ahead in treatment. I wish I could get in my deep tub with jacuzzi vents but I can't get out living alone. Oh, well. I can sit in my big shower for heat on my back which makes the world feel better. I keep working on everything. Most people do not have only one problem in their life. It is always best to look at the whole person.
DorisEna

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@dorisena Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates left over in a product after you’ve subtracted the fiber and sugar alcohol from the total carb count. The theory is that since your body doesn't digest most of the fiber, and sugar alcohols are also largely indigestible, they don’t need to be counted. If you look at a food label, sometimes (not all will do this) you will see carbohydrates and under that it may have Total carbs and Net carbs. The Net Carbs are the ones to count. The average Net carbs are close to 40 grams per meal or 120 carbs per day for maintenance.
Carol

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@dorisena

The nutritionist in the beginning said 10 to 12 servings of carbs, including milk, which at 15 grams each comes to 150 or more grams. That is too much for me without lots of exercise, so I don't do nearly as much these days. Now that I am cutting portion size, I must recalculate how much carbs I am eating. I seldom give up my glass of milk at bedtime, but Mayo diet counts that in the protein group. I am accustomed to maybe 5 oz. of protein, but am cutting that down and some days only eat three meals. For years I ate four times a day. Snacks just make me hungrier to keep eating. Sorry for the misunderstanding on carbs.

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@dorisena thanks for the explanation. I knew that sounded very low. If I follow what the dietician said when I was first diagnosed, it comes up to 165 gm. That was an approximate max. I’m not sure what the recommended low might be.
JK

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Forgive my ignorance, but where do I get a list of net carbs? I know there are glycemic level lists, and carb lists, or at least the labels list the carbs, but I haven't the faintest idea how to subtract net carbs. I am very good at math and detail, so something is missing in my understanding here.

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You have to calculate net carbs from the nutrient label.

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@dorisena

Forgive my ignorance, but where do I get a list of net carbs? I know there are glycemic level lists, and carb lists, or at least the labels list the carbs, but I haven't the faintest idea how to subtract net carbs. I am very good at math and detail, so something is missing in my understanding here.

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@dorisena I'm sure there may be a list of some items somewhere, but I've never seen one. Here is an example of how to get the Net Carbs. I pulled a can of mixed greens out of my pantry.
First, I look at the Nutrition Label. Calories per serving = 20. That's good. Second, look down the list. It says Total Carbohydrates = 4g. Third, under that is Dietary Fiber = 2g and then total sugars = 1g. To get Net Carbs. Start with Total of 4 and subtract fiber 2 and sugars 1. 4-3=1. So Net Carbs are 1g. That's why dark green vegetables are excellent diabetic food choices.
If a label does not include all of that, I research on the web. I use index cards and have this info for each food I eat with this info on it. Then I just add Net Carbs to see how many each meal has.
I hope this helps.
Carol

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Ah, now I understand. I am from the farm, where I cook from scratch and prepare whole food from the garden, and eat very little that comes from cans or boxes, except for what I dry or can with a pressure canner. I read labels well, but quit buying many foods with labels because of the ingredients added and my desire to eat well and safely. I haven't eaten cereal from a box in years, except when I use the All Bran for making muffins. I make my own granola mix because nothing in the store is low enough in sugar to please me. That is why I am so surprised to have this diabetes problem. I am guilty of too much baking for my family over the years, and not keeping the weight off because I don't exercise as much as I should. And I am getting older but living in denial about my body's ability to keep ahead of what goes in my mouth. It is complicated, isn't it?

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I don't think that you subtract the sugar because it is a natural occurring sugar in the green bean. I would in this cas just subtract the fiber. If there was a sugar alcohol listed, then you would subtract that, but I would not expect a sugar alcohol to be in green beans. So the net carb would be 2.
Mary Kay

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@dorisena

Ah, now I understand. I am from the farm, where I cook from scratch and prepare whole food from the garden, and eat very little that comes from cans or boxes, except for what I dry or can with a pressure canner. I read labels well, but quit buying many foods with labels because of the ingredients added and my desire to eat well and safely. I haven't eaten cereal from a box in years, except when I use the All Bran for making muffins. I make my own granola mix because nothing in the store is low enough in sugar to please me. That is why I am so surprised to have this diabetes problem. I am guilty of too much baking for my family over the years, and not keeping the weight off because I don't exercise as much as I should. And I am getting older but living in denial about my body's ability to keep ahead of what goes in my mouth. It is complicated, isn't it?

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@dorisena I try not to buy canned foods also, but I do not have a garden, and my little grocery store has only a few fresh/organic veggies. That's why I used the mixed greens can as an example. If you have no cans or items with a Nutrition label, use the internet and just type in the search bar whatever you want to check for carbs. It will give you the same info.
Carol

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Thanks, Carol. I know now I need to concentrate on portion size because I have been a big vegetable and fruit eater for so many years, but not reaching the desired goals. And I don't want to give up milk which is what many diets eliminate for weight loss or control. I would prefer to be a no pill person, but that is not what my doctor prefers me to do. My blood tests for the past couple of years show no deficits in anything, just above normal blood sugar levels.

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