Net Carb Alert For Diabetics

"Net carb" is a new catchword these days for people "watching their carb intake." It means that the carbs from fiber don't count in your total carb intake, which is a good thing for the weight conscious consumer. But it doesn't work the same for a diabetic - "net carb" means something different, and so do the carbs from fiber. To determine the net carbs, take the total carbs and subtract the amount of fiber. Diabetics must monitor the "total carbs" in packaged products, not just the "net carbs."

A carb is a carb is a carb to a diabetic. It doesn't matter if it's a fiber carb or a sugar carb. And, there is a difference between longer acting carbs (complex sugars and starches) and short response carbs (simple sugars and refined grains), and the impact they have on diabetes. Let's say you have a choice to eat a piece of cake (a simple carb) versus a sandwich on soy-based, whole grain bread (long-acting carb). Choose the sandwich, of course, because the "total complex carbs" will have less harmful glucose effects on your body.

As a diabetic, you must be very careful using products that say "net carbs" on the label because these products may affect blood sugar much like a carb load. "Total carbs" are what you must watch out for. Many diabetics use "net carb" products as high protein and in-between-meal snacks, thinking they are eating less total carbs. The result, these products may require you to take more insulin because your blood sugar can spike. So, keep in mind that "net carb" products actually contain more carbs than most diabetics have in one meal. Read your labels carefully and plan your meals in a good way, but remember to watch out for the supplemental products full of "net carbs."

Posted November 2004 | Permanent Link

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