If you’re new to the keto diet, one of the most important things you’ll need to learn is how to calculate net carbs. Net carbs are the total amount of carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. On a keto diet, you’ll need to keep your net carb intake low to stay in a state of ketosis, which is when your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.
In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to calculate net carbs, along with some tips and tricks for tracking your net carb intake.
What Are Net Carbs?
Before we get into how to calculate net carbs, let’s first define what they are. Net carbs are the total amount of carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest, so it doesn’t contribute to your total carb count. Subtracting fiber from the total carb count gives you the net carb count.
For example, let’s say you’re looking at a nutrition label for a food that contains 15 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of fiber. To calculate the net carbs, you would subtract the fiber from the total carbs, giving you a net carb count of 10 grams.
How to Calculate Net Carbs for Beginners
Now that you know what net carbs are, let’s go through the steps for calculating them:
Step 1: Identify the total carb count on the nutrition label of the food you’re eating.
Step 2: Identify the fiber count on the nutrition label of the food you’re eating.
Step 3: Subtract the fiber count from the total carb count to get the net carb count.
For example, if you’re eating a food with 20 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of fiber, the net carb count would be 15 grams.
Tips for Tracking Net Carbs
Now that you know how to calculate net carbs, it’s important to track your net carb intake to make sure you’re staying within your daily limit. Here are some tips for tracking your net carbs:
- Use a food tracker app: There are many apps available that make it easy to track your net carb intake. Some popular options include MyFitnessPal, Cronometer, and Carb Manager.
- Read nutrition labels carefully: When you’re grocery shopping, make sure to read the nutrition labels on the foods you’re buying so you can accurately track your net carb intake.
- Keep a food diary: If you prefer to track your net carbs manually, you can keep a food diary where you write down everything you eat and calculate the net carbs.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to make mistakes when calculating net carbs. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Confusing net carbs with total carbs: Make sure you’re subtracting the fiber from the total carb count to get the net carb count.
- Not tracking all sources of carbs: It’s important to track all sources of carbs, including those from vegetables, nuts, and dairy products.
- Overestimating the fiber count: Make sure you’re using the correct fiber count when calculating net carbs. Some foods may list the total carb count and then list the fiber count separately in another section of the label.
Learning how to calculate net carbs is essential for success on a keto diet. By following the steps we’ve outlined in this article and tracking your net carb intake, you’ll be on your way to achieving your health and weight loss goals. Remember to read nutrition labels carefully and avoid common mistakes, and with practice, calculating net carbs will become second nature. Happy keto dieting!