Net Carbs – Are they real and can they help you lose weight?

Living in Florida we are less active outdoors in the summer and seem to gain weight that time of year. We got to the point where we knew we had to start dieting and are back on our old stand-by diet “low carbs.” As we all know low carbs generally mean high protein and fats and low on starch and sugar.

By most standards this pretty much eliminates what might seem like a healthy food group – fruit.

I have seen several studies recently on “Net Carbs” and using them in your dietary count instead of “Carbs.”

What is a net carb? I’m certainly no expert but it seems for the most part net carbs are determined in a food by taking the total carbs and subtracting the carbs in the food’s fiber, sugar alcohol (polyois) and glycerine. The reason being our bodies generally don’t process fiber – but pass it through – and the polysis & glycerine do not impact our blood glucose as sugar does.

What does this mean to you if you are dieting by counting carbs? Two things:

First, don’t just look for the “carbs” in a food but look for the “net carbs.” Sadly most products don’t list the net carbs because they are not required to do so by Federal Law. Big brother only cares about total carbs it seems. One simple way you can make this adjustment is to take the total carbs in a food item and subtract the fiber carbs and sugar alcohol and glycerine resulting in the net carbs. One problem I’ve seen reading Marty’s cans and frozen packages is not too many list the sugar alcohol or glycerine. Consequently, we’ve just been taking the total and subtracting the fiber. It’s really pretty simple but if you would like a source that has already done it for you I have attached a site – the latest “Atkins Carb Counter.” It lists everything you will need to know. You can buy this in print if you prefer hard copy to having it on your computer.

Second, don’t give up on fruit. Here are three interesting choices I saw looking at this today.

Florida Avocado – Total Carbs 9 – Fiber 6.4 – Net Carbs 2.6.

Blackberries 1/2 Cup – Total Carbs 6.9 – Fiber 3.8 – Net Carbs 3.1

Rasberries 1/2 Cup – Total Carbs 7.1 – Fiber 4.1 – Net Carbs 3

For those of you who love candy – especially chocolate do I have good news for you. Hoffman’s Chocolate Net Carbs – One piece of various types run from 2 to 3 net carbs but are high in sugar alcohol. They are made with Splenda. You can order them on line.

Sadly I have searched the internet high and low but I can not find a low carb Margarita of any kind when it’s made the way I like them. However, we did find a “no carb” Margarita mix and as we all know Tequila has no carbs so if you leave out the Grand Marnier, Quantro and Lime you are good to go.

So how are we doing? When I was twelve I was 5′-10″ and weighed 190. I went into the Army in 1968 at 205 and came back from Vietnam at 195. 200 pounds has been my life weight. I’m now 5′-8″ and was up to 205. In a little over a week I’m down to 198. Sadly the health guides say I should weigh 165 but my goal is 190. Marty has lost seven pounds and you can bet your — I won’t be telling you her weight or age.

The Atkins Carb Count site is below. It’s 50 pages but was easy to save on my desktop.

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