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Total Carbs & Net Carbs

Are you confused about Total Carbohydrate vs Net Carbohydrate scenario?

In Australia, in reference to food labels from Australia and in most cases European lables the Carbohydrate amount you see listed on the label is the NET CARB value!


There are 2 things to remember to make it a little easier;

1/ European & Australian labels are different to USA & Canada (in most cases)

In Europe and Australia, they separate the fibre amount from the total carbohydrate value so there is no need to do a calculation to get a net value of carbohydrate. The carbohydrate amount on the label is also the net carbohydrate amount. In the USA and Canada, they include fibre (fiber) in the total carbohydrate value meaning you have to deduct the fibre amount from total carbohydrate amount to get your net carbohydrate value.  

2/ There are 2 types of nutritional panels when it comes to carbs and fibre.

Nutrition label example

See the example above, on the left is a USA label, the dietary fibre is under the carbohydrate, this means the carbohydrate amount includes the fibre. To get a net value you would deduct 16.2g of fiber from 28g of CHO to get a net value of 11.8g of CHO. Net carbs = 11.8g

The nutrition label on the right which is an Australian label has the dietary fibre listed as it's on entity (it is NOT under carbohydrate heading). Therefore the amount shown as carbohydrates is the net carbohydrate value ie' Net CHO 11.8g.


This link from my friend/s 'The Aussie Keto Queen'

and 'Have Butter will Travel'

have excellent blogs on the topic if you would like to get a more indepth explanation.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols,known as polyols, are a type of sweetener commonly used in low carb, Keto, sugar-free, or diet-friendly foods.

Sugar alcohols occur naturally in foods like berries and fruits. 

Some of the most common sugar alcohols are;

  • Erythritol
  • Glycerol
  • Isomalt
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Polydextrose
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol (toxic to animals, especially dogs)

Most of the documentation will say that you deduct sugar alcohols from the carboydrate amount as it does not affect insulin levels.  Another train of thought is that sugar alcohols can affect BGL (blood glucose levels), but not severely. The advice then is to half the amount of sugar alcohols on the ingredient label and deduct accordingly.

This is very much an individual decision dependent of what your goals are for whatever eating program/lifestyle choice you are adopting.  Trial and error may be required to determine if you are one of those few people that may be affected by sugar alcohols or not and adjust as you feel fit.