Diet: Counting Net Carbs


Confused on how to count net carbs when following a low-carbohydrate/Keto diet? Let us dispel the mystery for you!

When counting carbs as part of your diet, we at Surely Shaped use the “net carb” approach, meaning that we subtract all dietary fiber and sugar alcohols from the equation.  This gives you a net carb count per serving.

Why not count dietary fiber?

Most people that are on a low-carb/ketogenic diet are primarily using it to lower their blood sugars. Dietary fiber has been found to have a minimal (if any, for that matter) effect on blood sugar, so it is safe to assume that it does not play a factor in your daily food intake. In fact, the more dietary fiber on a low-carb/keto diet, the better, as it will make feel fuller longer. Be careful though–it’s still important to make sure you adhere to your daily cap of carbs–for ketogenic dieters, that amount is generally 20-25 net carbs per day.

A note about sugar alcohol

All sugar alcohols are not created equal. You cannot assume that because a product has a sugar alcohol that it is automatically keto-friendly. Some sugar alcohols will trigger a metabolic response, meaning that they have a high glycemic index and will instantly turn into sugar once it hits the bloodstream, which, in turn, will raise blood sugar.  Here are some popular sugar alcohols, and their glycemic index.

Maltodextrin 110
Glucose     100
Sucrose    65
High-fructose corn syrup 58
Honey        50
Maltitol   35
Xylitol    12
Sorbitol   9
Mannitol    2
Erythritol    1
Monk Fruit  0

So, based on the table, the best sugar alcohol for a ketogenic diet is erythritol or monk fruit.  One of the best products on the market (and my personal favorite is LaKanto). See the image below:


LaKanto Monkfruit Sweetener
This is the best sweetener for diabetics. 0 glycemic index, Non-GMO, and most importantly, 0 calories!
Net Carb vs. Total Carbohydrates

Some people find out that their bodies don’t adjust well to net carbohydrate counts…and that’s perfectly normal.  Their solution? They count all carbs. So, rather than taking the dietary fiber from the count, they simply go with total carbohydrates per serving and use that as a guide.

As long as you start, that’s all that counts

While counting carbs does seem like a chore, it doesn’t have to be. When you’re ready to get in shape, and you’ve determined that this is a viable option for you, simply use this guide as a go-to. And as always, if you have comments, leave them below or shoot us an email at!

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