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View Full Version : What are the hidden carbs on the label?



ShockBoxer
09-21-2005, 06:49 AM
On the nutritional information label sugar is listed and fiber is listed. Quite often (usually, actually) there's a large gap between those two numbers and the carbohydrate total.

I've sort of got it in my head that the larger the gap is between sugar and the total the 'better' the food is for complex carbohydrates... but I have no clue. I'm just guessing based on the difference between labels of things like non-instant oatmeal and chocolate bars.

DannyboyXJ
09-21-2005, 08:53 AM
Well, if it's a high-fiber food, some of that would be the fiber count.

--Dan

malkore
09-21-2005, 09:41 AM
provided there's no glycerin or sugar alcohols used to sweeten it, then yes, the remaining carb count would be the complex carbs. USDA requires fiber count be sub-listed, along with sugar, under carbs.

If you subtract fiber from total carbs, the result is the 'net impact' carbs...those carbs that will actually be used for energy, cause an insulin response, etc.

I never count fiber towards my carb intake, because fiber carbs just aren't like sugar/starch carbs, especially insoluble fiber.

What you really have to watch out for is the fat content. if it contains 10g of fat, and 5g of sat. fat and 0g of mono/poly unsat. fat...that means it contains 5g of Trans fats...bad stuff.

Shao-LiN
09-21-2005, 05:28 PM
Example:

Total carb count: 10 g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 3g

It means 7 grams of carbs are not sugars, 2g are fiber, and the rest is whatever other complex carb is in there.

ShockBoxer
09-22-2005, 06:25 AM
For fats ... most products don't have the poly or mono listed. Just sats and trans. I find only foods that are targetted at bbers or showing off with a healthy label do (at least here in Canada. Would be nice if they had complete fat break down).

Take a look at most no-name almond bags, for example. Fat is really high, saturate is pretty low, and a lot of blank space is in between. Yet raw almonds don't have trans-fat at all... they've never been exposed to hydrogenated oil in any state.

Good news on the carbs. I'm trying to get sugars (refined in particular) down to 10% or lower of my carb intake (just like I keep saturated fats at 10% of my fat intake). It's much harder than reducing the sat fat was.

malkore
09-22-2005, 09:36 AM
good point shock.

if your label doesn't list either type of unsaturated fat, read the ingredients. if it contains any 'hydrogenated' oils or fats, then it contains some trans fats, and I personally would avoid it if possible.

luckily, its really only processed foods that contain significant amounts of trans fats. naturally occurring trans fats are always a very low amount and shouldn't be something to worry about.

body
09-22-2005, 12:49 PM
shock - it cost a lot of money to get all those fats tested. plus 99% of the people would not know what to look for.
If you take it a step further not all saturated fats are bad. So you end up having to do a full nutrient list like you get on the usda website, which is to big to put ona lot of foods packaging.

body
09-22-2005, 01:13 PM
provided there's no glycerin or sugar alcohols used to sweeten it, then yes, the remaining carb count would be the complex carbs. USDA requires fiber count be sub-listed, along with sugar, under carbs.

If you subtract fiber from total carbs, the result is the 'net impact' carbs...those carbs that will actually be used for energy, cause an insulin response, etc.

I never count fiber towards my carb intake, because fiber carbs just aren't like sugar/starch carbs, especially insoluble fiber.

What you really have to watch out for is the fat content. if it contains 10g of fat, and 5g of sat. fat and 0g of mono/poly unsat. fat...that means it contains 5g of Trans fats...bad stuff.

here in the uk the laws may be different.
fibre is not included under total carb content. Its listed seperately.