How to Calculate Net Carbohydrates?

Since the advent of Keto, Low carb and Atkins counting of carbohydrates has become crucial. On a lower-carb diet, every gram of carbohydrate you eat counts, so it’s essential to know how to calculate net carbs correctly. This article explains what net carbohydrates are, why they matter and how to calculate net carbs for yourself.


How to Calculate Net Carbohydrates

How to Calculate Net Carbohydrates?

On a keto diet Total carbohydrate, fiber, starch and sugar go into the net carb calculation. A lot of other types of carbohydrates, like insoluble fiber, have no energy value or impact on your blood sugar levels. So, you don’t count them toward your daily keto net carbohydrate limit.

Now, since fiber and sugar alcohols are not absorbed in a similar way to simple and complex carbs this is where the debate of net carbs comes in.

  • If you are eating fiber rich carbohydrates then,
    Net Carbs = Total carbs – Fiber
    Example: A sweet potato contains 27 grams of carbohydrates in which 4grams of fiber is present.
    Net Carbs = 27-4 = 23 grams of net carbs.
  • If Sugar alcohols are included in the product, simply minus half the amount of carbohydrates present in sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrates.
    Example: If 10 grams of sugar alcohols are present, then 5 grams should be subtracted from total carbohydrates.

The Basic Formula to Calculate Net Carbs

Grams of total carbs – fiber – (0.5*sugar alcohols) = Net carbs

It is extremely important to check nutritional labels properly when counting net carbs.

There’s also a debate on whether one should count total carbohydrate or net carbohydrate?

Net carbs give more flexibility in terms of diet and one can eat more fiber rich keto foods, while people also argue that using net carbs could led to eating more than required carbs on a keto diet.

This could largely depend from person to person. If one eats lots of vegetables than using net carbs is a good choice for you. A person should decide how to count their macros based on what suits their lifestyle the best.