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September 29, 2003

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Gloucester Township, New Jersey, USA:

There are several low carb products out there that have a total carb count, e.g., 14 grams, but then it will say "Net Impact: Carbs 2 grams." Only 2 grams should affect blood sugar levels." My son's dietitian recommends not using the net carb number, but cutting the total carb number in half. I have seen different effects on blood sugar when doing this. Sometimes there will hardly be any increase and other times there will be quite an increase. Is there a general rule of thumb?

Answer:

This is a good question, and one I am not sure of the answer to. I believe that the manufacturers decide on a number based on several things (total carb, fiber, glycemic index, or load), but I have no idea how they arrive at the figure. I believe you will have to just experiment and see what effect it has individually. Usually these products are manufactured for people on very restrictive carbohydrate diets.

JM