Carbohydrate Needs Per Day: Net carbs are the total amount of digestible carbohydrates in a food product or meal. Knowing this number is helpful for people who are dieting to lose weight or stay healthy.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of any diet. There are many types of carbohydrates; and the body digests each type differently.
Some carbohydrates are not entirely digestible. For this reason, calculating your carbohydrate needs per day varies.
This article will learn about the carbohydrates, the foods they contain, and how to calculate your daily carb needs.
What are net carbs?
The major difference between total carbs and net carbs is that total carbohydrates include all the different carbohydrates in a food or meal. These include starches, dietary fiber, and sugars.
In addition, net carbs include only the carbohydrates that the body can fully digest into glucose.
The two main types of carbohydrates are simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates comprise one or two sugar molecules; this means that the body can easily digest them.
We find Simple carbohydrates in a variety of foods and drinks, including:
- The fruit.
- Carbonated drink.
- Maple syrup.
- Agave nectar.
- Coconut sugar.
Complex carbohydrates have chains comprising several long molecules; this means it takes a little longer to decompose, making it a permanent energy source.
Some foods that contain complex carbohydrates include:
- Beans and legumes.
The body cannot digest some types of complex carbohydrates, such as fiber. It does not include complex carbohydrates in your daily carb needs.
Learn how to subtract them from total carbs in the food below.
How do you calculate your Carbohydrate Needs Per Day?
In the sections below, we cover how to calculate your daily carb needs based on each different type of carbohydrate.
The body cannot fully digest most types of dietary fiber. To calculate your daily carb needs. It is necessary to find the amount of fiber in the food; and subtract it from the nutrition label’s total carbohydrates.
However, it is essential to note the portion size of the food product, as these numbers are for a single serving.
For instance, food that contains 20 grams of total carbohydrates and 10 grams of dietary fiber contains 10 grams of net carbs.
in short, this final number, 10 grams, is the number of carbohydrates the food contains that the body can digest and convert into glucose.
The body partially digests most sugar alcohols. In most cases, a person would have to subtract half the sugar alcohol intake from the total carbohydrate intake listed on the label to get the net carbs.
Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol that the body cannot digest into glucose at all. To calculate your daily carb needs in food containing erythritol; subtract the total number from the total amount of carbohydrates listed on the nutrition label.
This means that for a product that contains 10 grams of any other sugar alcohol, subtract 5 grams from total carbs to get the net carbs.
However, for products containing erythritol, subtract a full 10 grams of total carbs to get the net carbs.
Foods high in fiber and sugar alcohols
Some ready-to-eat foods, including the protein bar, contain fiber and sugar alcohols. In these cases, count how many grams of fiber and how much sugar to subtract. Then add these two numbers together and subtract that number from your total carbohydrates.
Therefore, food containing 20 grams of total carbohydrates may contain 10 grams of fiber and 10 grams of sugar alcohol.
Subtract 10 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar alcohol. Next, subtract that 15 gram total from the 20 grams of total carbs; this leaves 5 grams of net carbs.
Calculate your carbohydrate needs per day if you have diabetes
Many people with diabetes count the number of carbohydrates in their diet. Most times, counting net carbs can help people with diabetes track their dietary fiber intake and balance medication with carbohydrate intake.
Knowing how much fiber, sugar, and alcohol are in a food or meal can help a person with diabetes determine how much insulin they need.
People with diabetes should speak to their doctor, dietitian, or diabetes educator before starting a low-carb diet.
In addition, they can advise on how many carbohydrates a person needs and how best to track them. They can also match medications to your carbohydrate intake.
Calculating your daily carb needs has some benefits over tracking total carbs, including:
- Promote healthy dietary fiber intake, increase feelings of fullness, and help control blood sugar levels.
- Increase the number of food options available, as many fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and contribute to reducing carbohydrates in a person’s daily goal.
- It may reduce the risk of low blood sugar in people with diabetes, who often need to calculate the amount of insulin they need based on the number of carbohydrates in a meal they eat.
Some drawbacks to calculating your daily carb needs include:
- Increase the number of sugar-free foods, which may not be carbohydrate free, in the diet
- That food labels differ and may cause confusion among consumers.
- That the methods for counting net carbohydrates are only estimates, as different digestive systems and body processes differ.
To Read: 5 Best Fitness Trackers In 2021
In conclusion, Net carbs refer to the total amount of entirely digestible carbohydrates in a product or meal.
People can calculate your daily carb needs by subtracting the full amount of fiber and half the amount of sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrate amount on the product’s nutrition label.
There are some exceptions to this rule, so it is essential to read the ingredient list of any product first.
Also, people with diabetes need to consult with their doctor before starting a low-carb diet.
After that, many scientists and healthcare professionals do not understand the concept of net carbs. For this reason, it remains unclear if there are any proven benefits to its account.
However, increasing dietary fiber intake and reducing the intake of total added sugar is beneficial for most people.
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