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What are Net Carbs?

If you’re looking to explore a keto diet, you may be wondering, “what are net carbs and why are they important?”


Many times when you check the food label, you’re going to focus on the carbohydrate content. So, knowing how to calculate net carbs will be equally as important. Net carbs are the carbohydrates or sugars that actually will affect your blood sugar level. In other words, when you eat something, your body goes to work breaking down the carbohydrates to get sugars to your body’s cells. Naturally, as your food is digested, and sugars are released, your blood sugar level increases. Depending on your activity level, some of the digested carbs will be used to make energy, while excess carbs will be stored for later use. Therefore, net carbs are those carbs that are used to make energy.


Here’s how to calculate net carbs in your food.

You can follow this basic formula: Net carbs = Total carbs – Total Fibre – Total Sugars


Total Carbs will be listed on the food label and represents all of the sugars in the food item.


Fibre is a plant-based type of carbohydrate that is often difficult for humans to digest. So for the most part, fibre passes through your digestive system unchanged and undigested. In terms of a keto diet, this means that it does not contribute to your carb count and no calories.

Total Sugars have to also be considered when calculating your net carb intake. Total sugars also include what is called sugar alcohols. These sugars have a different structure than “regular sugars”, making them hard for the human body to completely digest.

Why do net carbs matter?


When you eat excess carbs, it can spike your blood sugar, lead to inflammation which is known to disrupt your body’s hormones, and even trigger those food cravings that make dieting feel awful.


But, when you keep your net carbs under approximately 50g/day, your body enters into what is called ketosis. In this state, your body has to shift from burning carbohydrates to make energy, into burning fat. So, by regulating your carbohydrate intake, you’re able to get your fat-burning kick started to shed pounds. However, to do this, you must get a handle on how to count your net carbs and what foods can give you a bigger bang for your buck.


That’s why LIVIVA’s keto-certified Shirataki pasta can be a great addition to your keto diet. With zero sugars and zero calories, you can still enjoy your most favourite pasta dishes – without going over your net carb limit. And, with a host of delicious recipes you can use with these pastas, you’ll have tons of options to keep you coming back for more. Check out our tasty Shirataki pasta dishes here.