June 23


Do You Know Net Carb Math?

By Sue Ingebretson

June 23, 2015

carbs, fibromyalgia, junk food, Lose It, math, metabolism, net, Nutrition, protein, Veggies

Do You Know Net Carb Math?Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the basics of math and nutrition. We get so caught up in the knowledge we already possess, we forget about the fundamentals. Recently, I mentioned Net Carbs with a fibromyalgia client, and she said, “Wait … what?”

Do you know how to do the simple math to determine your net carbs?

More importantly, do you know WHY you want to do this?

When I go through nutrient tracking with clients, I often repeat this phrase:

We don’t count carbs,

but they DO count.

What this means is that we’re not going to go all bananas about counting the carbs in every food (like, perhaps bananas). Instead, we need to have a basic understanding of what types of carbs are contained in the foods we eat. It’s important to have a generalized idea of what kind of carbs as well as the carb counts for our everyday foods. If we continue to eat unaware, we likely fill our plates with grains and an unhealthy imbalance of essential nutrients. 

(BTW, that’s why I LOVE the Lose It! app … it does all the counting for you.)

Once you do this, you’ll recognize something very important — veggies are awesome!! They’re super-duper low carb AND contain more nutrients per ounce than any other food. Veggies are considered complex carbs because they’re fiber-rich. Simple carbs (refined and processed foods) are devoid of or contain very little fiber.

Stick with fiber, folks,

and it’ll never steer you wrong.

So, let’s get back to the math. Here’s an example of how to derive at the net carb count of a specific food. It’s not technically exact – just a simplified equation.

Take the carbohydrate total of the food and subtract the fiber count (grams). The result is your Net Carbs.

Broccoli (1 Cup, raw)             5.8 Carbs                    

Subtract                               2.3 Fiber


Equals                                  3.5 Net Carbs

Of course, if you’re worried about the carbs in broccoli, we really need to talk. The whole point of this exercise is to reveal what a great value veggies provide to your daily meals. If you’re looking to calculate your net carbs from junky cereal bars and packaged nonsense, then you’re wasting your precious time. We want to find REAL, natural, God-made, sources of fiber rather than “added fiber” in fake foods that your body may or may not be able to metabolize.  

The whole point of paying attention to your net carbs is to help you seek out and recognize foods that contain natural fiber (translation – veggies!). Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your nutrient intake improves for the better.

Additionally, we didn’t get a chance to mention proteins in this post, so if you’d like to take a look at how proteins impact your nutrition plans, check out this article entitled, How to Rev up Your Metabolism with Protein.

Today’s post has been a quickie lesson, so don’t forget that we can continue the conversation below. Do you track your net carbs, or did you at some point? What did you learn? Share your wins (or losses) with the rest of us!

  1. Sadly, fiber has been doing me wrong lately. It totally messes with my stomach in a bad way. I’ve begun to avoid them almost entirely. I’ll eat small amounts with my protein but I can’t eat a whole salad anymore, or any broccoli or any other that is really high in fiber 🙁 It’s definitely made eating difficult.

    1. Julie – sorry to hear that you’re having tummy trouble with fiber! What has changed for you? If you could eat veggies/greens with fiber before, but not now, what has changed? Have you tried sauteing and steaming the veggies first? Also, are you pairing your veggies with quality fats? That can help with digestion. Of course, having trouble with proper digestion is an indicator of gut health. I know you’ve make great strides there, but I wonder what’s left unaddressed? Just some questions for you to ponder! Thanks for sharing 😉

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