Net Carbs for Diabetics: How It Works

net carbs for diabetics

Do diabetics really need to worry about net carbs?

Do diabetics need to worry about net carbs? Absolutely! Net carbs can be described by the American Diabetes Association as “the total grams of carbohydrate minus the grams of sugar alcohols, fiber, and glycerin. This equation isn’t entirely accurate because some of the sugar alcohols and fiber are absorbed by the body and can affect blood glucose.” When it comes to calculating net carbs for diabetics, often times the calculations are off and the amount of insulin taken doesn’t match the amount of carbs that have been ingested. When it comes to net carbs for diabetics, diabetics should tread lightly ensuring that there is an understanding that net carbs is not an official term recognized by the FDA or the ADA.

Do Diabetics Need to Worry About Net Carbs: Calculating Net Carbs for Diabetics

The reason net carbs became so popular in marketing is because it shows to the consumer that the food is a low carb food. Because the net carbs are not recognized by the major food industry institutions such as the FDA, it’s important to point out that the FDA requires that total carb count be listed on the food package as well as the total amount of sugar and fiber. If you are reading your packet labels, your best bet is to pay attention to the total carbs.

Here we will offer a few tips from the American Diabetes Association to help you when it comes to calculating net carbs for diabetics correctly.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that you check the label for:

  • The amount of sugar alcohol content
  • If erythritol is listed in the ingredients
  • Fiber (certain amounts of manufactured fibers can affect blood glucose levels)

Online you can find different formulas to help you track your net carbs but make sure you have spoken to a medical professional before basing your insulin doses off of what you find online.

What Should You Do When Tracking What You’re Eating?

When it comes to diabetes and managing the sugar in your blood you should not only be watching what you eat but also tracking the amount of carbs as well as sugar. When you are choosing what to eat you should first take a look at the label and not only find what the serving size is but also the number of servings per package and the amount of total carbs per serving. This is when you really start to notice what is good for you to eat or not because if you don’t take notice of how many servings there are per package you may be consuming way over your limit of carbs.  When it comes to the amount of carbohydrates per serving, sugar is already included and then when you get to the sugar section it is talking about the amount of natural sugar that is added to the food.

When you are considering what is best for you to eat, limiting the amount of added sugars are where you should draw the line. The best way to know the amount of added sugars that any certain food has is by looking at the label and seeing how many added sugars are in the package.

When In Doubt, Ask!

When you are in doubt about what you should be eating to maintain a healthy blood glucose level, speaking to a medical professional about an eating plan is a great way to go. You could also consider speaking to a dietitian who has specific knowledge about diabetes about reaching your goals.

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