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Net carbs

Do net carbs on low carb food labels tell the truth about carbohydrates?

Sunday, August 08, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: net carbs, net carb, food labels


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Much of the labeling about so-called net carbs in various low carb foods is designed, of course, to sell more products. But is it scientifically accurate? Does it give the right information to consumers who are looking to avoid processed carbohydrates? Many of these foods, like protein bars and sweets, claim "1 gram of net carbs," and yet they taste surprisingly sweet. How do they accomplish that without using carbohydrates?

The answer is that they are using carbohydrates -- they're just not carbohydrates that have the same glycemic index effect on blood sugar. For example, they're not using refined carbohydrates, added sugars, or high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, they're typically using sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, xylitol, and manitol.

The problem with these sugar alcohols is that they aren't necessarily the healthiest thing you can put in your body if you're doing it in large quantities. Because these sugar alcohols are not absorbed and digested in the same way that sugar is, they can cause digestive disorders. Many people report diarrhea or flatulence from consuming these alcohols. They may also experience stomach cramps.

The fact is, there's no such thing as a sugar ingredient, even if it's a sugar alcohol, that doesn't have some sort of effect on your system. Even these low glycemic index sugar alcohols are still molecularly similar to sugar, and they are still processed food ingredients. I know I have recommended some products in the past based on xylitol, but only those that are designed to be used in small quantities, such as xylitol chewing gum.

I've been horrified to see the quantity of low carb foods that are being consumed by people following the Atkins diet and other low carb diets. Instead of purchasing and consuming natural low carb foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, they are instead purchasing large quantities of processed low carb foods, such as low carb protein bars and low carb mixes or drinks.

If you're going to eat low carb, what you should really be doing is getting away from all processed foods, including low carb processed foods. You should be turning to food sources from nature, such as nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils. Or, if you want food that tastes sweet, use a natural herbal sweetener like stevia that won't upset your stomach and digestive system. And remember, the net carbs claims on low carb food product labels may be good marketing, but they're not necessarily good descriptions of what's actually contained in these food products.


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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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