Newcomers to the keto lifestyle may find the concept of net carbs versus total carbs a little confusing. We’re here to clear up any confusion. Simply put, net carbs are the total grams of carbs in food minus the grams of fiber and sugar alcohols. They are subtracted from the total carb count because they are generally not digested by the body. This information can be found on the nutritional facts label on every food package. Knowing how to read and understand these labels is very important. Here’s an example of how the formula works: Net carbohydrates = total carbohydrates - fiber - sugar alcohols (not regular sugar), if applicable. There are many keto and low carb foods that contain sugar alcohol based sweeteners which don’t add to your daily carb count or add only small amounts.
You may know what fiber and sugar alcohols are, but just as a refresher:
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not absorbed by the body. Fiber cannot be broken down into sugars and passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps your body control hunger and lowers both blood cholesterol and blood sugar. Examples of keto-friendly fiber include nuts, berries and green leafy vegetables as well as broccoli, cabbage, celery, avocado, chia seeds and even cocoa powder. Fiber also promotes regularity and prevents constipation.
Sugar alcohols are low calorie sugar substitutes which don’t add to your daily carb count (don’t increase blood sugar levels) and are not absorbed by the body. They provide the sweetness of sugar but without the negative effects. Over time, your regular sugar cravings will disappear and you won’t notice the difference between real sugar and keto-friendly sweeteners. Examples include erythritol, xylitol (which you should never use if you have pets since it is highly toxic in extremely small amounts), sorbitol and allulose to name a few.
It’s really simple to have a fiber-rich, satisfying, and delicious food plan by simply downloading the 60 day no-nonsense, no-boredom meal plan at www.ketosuperheroes.net. Then it's just a matter of selecting what you love to eat and how much time you like or have to spend in the kitchen for meal preparation. Although many people have success applying “dirty keto'' or “lazy keto” our approach is geared to a lifetime of health, high energy, fitness and stamina which is best sustained by a “clean keto” lifestyle. Clean keto is the most balanced version of the lifestyle which includes consumption of green leafy vegetables, fruit and, at least, a minimal amount of food preparation.
Our findings through our direct experience and research is that optimizing the keto lifestyle requires supplements to ensure our best health. For example, anyone on a keto lifestyle should, at a minimum, be taking a good quality daily multi-vitamin. We recommend (check with your doctor) a daily dose of magnesium (to prevent leg cramps), biotin (to prevent hair loss) and collagen (helps replace old and strengthen new tissue as your body changes) and a daily capsule of psyllium for additional fiber (prevent constipation). Depending on your food choices and your personal medical conditions(s) you may which to add (after consulting with your doctor) the following supplements: Calcium (strong bones and teeth), Msm (relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation and boost immunity), Zinc (boost immunity and wound healing), Omega-3 (reduce risk of heart disease), CQ-10 (improves heart health and regulates blood sugar), Hyaluronic Acid (joint lubrication and promotes healthier skin), Glucosamine (joint lubrication and reduces joint pain), Cranberry (prevent urinary tract infections), Vitamin C (boosts immune system and reduces risk of heart disease), and Lutine.(improve eye health).
It is recommended by many medical experts that if you’re starting a keto lifestyle for weight loss and improvement in overall health, you stick with 20 grams of net carbs per day. It is important to eat healthy fats and pure proteins) and avoid those with added sugar, read nutrition facts and labels on food packaging. We also recommend that you consult your doctor before starting a new diet or in this case, lifestyle. You may find that your family doctor is not very enlightened when it comes to keto and you have to bring information to him or her, even though it's been around since the 1920’s for the control of seizures in epilepsy patients.
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