If you are diabetic and watching your carbs, just know that at the end of the day, a carb is a carb is a carb. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fiber carb or a sugar carb – every diabetic needs to watch their total carbs.
“Net carb” is a catchword for weight conscious people “watching their carb intake.” Net Carbs mean that the carbs from fiber don’t count in your total carb intake. This is a good thing if you are on a diet, but it doesn’t work the same for a diabetic.
To determine your net carbs, take the total carbs and subtract the amount of fiber. Diabetics must monitor the “total carbs” in packaged products, though – not just the “net carbs.”
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 is different. 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 carbs). 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 are looking for.
Many diabetics use “net carb” products as high protein and in-between-meal snacks, thinking that they are eating less total carbs. The result? These products require you to take more insulin because your blood sugar will 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.”
To a diabetic, a carb is a carb is a carb. You MUST watch ALL of your carbs – ALL of the time.