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Old 03-31-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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net carbs vs total carbs for NK: question.

I was wondering if anyone knows about the importance of being concerned about total carbs vs. net carbs for NK. I want to add some flaxseed meal to my diet but because it is so high in fiber it is going to put my total carbs up to 57g per day, if I add it. Even though my net carbs will be around 31g/day.

What is the potential risk of adding more fiber bumping up the total carbs? I am just curious.

Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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I think the one exception to net versus total is when it comes to alcohol sugars but probably you already know that.

As for fibre (soluble and insoluble), to my knowledge it passes through the body without adding any nutritional value or anything else and therefore is basically null and void.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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No I didn't know that, thankyou. Reddarin had mentioned something about the count being total carbs for NK and mizzecase said that it had something to do with the kidneys retaining water. I guess I could try it and see what happens. I was hoping someone might know about if the total had anything to do with the grams coming from fiber. I eat anything that contains the alcohol sugars, so that won't be an issue.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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I personally only look at net carbs. The thing about fiber and sugar alcohols (although with sugar alcohols it depends on the individual's metabolic enzymes) is that they essentially aren't digested. Net carbs, therefore, looks at the metabolic impact on our body. High fiber vegetables or seeds like flaxseed, essentially run through the body, which is what allows it to make us more regular (I'm not going to go into detail, but it involves bacteria and mucus).

Typically, these foods may have a high total/low net, but shouldn't effect your blood sugar, and therefore don't affect ketosis. The outlier is sugar alcohols. The main rule of thumb is that if you eat sugar alcohols and don't feel some intestinal discomfort, your body is processing them like sugar and you should avoid them. This can vary between erythritol, malitol, etc.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomickate View Post
Typically, these foods may have a high total/low net, but shouldn't effect your blood sugar, and therefore don't affect ketosis. The outlier is sugar alcohols. The main rule of thumb is that if you eat sugar alcohols and don't feel some intestinal discomfort, your body is processing them like sugar and you should avoid them. This can vary between erythritol, malitol, etc.
This is the first time I've heard anything like this. Is this backed up by anything concrete or just hearsay?
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomickate
Typically, these foods may have a high total/low net, but shouldn't effect your blood sugar, and therefore don't affect ketosis. The outlier is sugar alcohols. The main rule of thumb is that if you eat sugar alcohols and don't feel some intestinal discomfort, your body is processing them like sugar and you should avoid them. This can vary between erythritol, malitol, etc.
I disagree with this. I can consume sugar alcohols and not have 'intestinal discomfort' but still be reasonably certain that they have kicked me out of ketosis (i.e. I get hungry unless I have very little).

I have been told the best rule of thumb is to count sugar alcohols as half their listed carb count. That seems like a good guideline to me.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #7
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I really do think that with sugar alcohols, it's a YMMV situation. I don't have any problems with sugar alcohols, but I will say, my stomach gets a little rumble-ish when I eat them.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
No I didn't know that, thankyou. Reddarin had mentioned something about the count being total carbs for NK and mizzecase said that it had something to do with the kidneys retaining water. I guess I could try it and see what happens. I was hoping someone might know about if the total had anything to do with the grams coming from fiber. I eat anything that contains the alcohol sugars, so that won't be an issue.
Bumping this to the top again because I'd love to hear if anyone knows more detail about this. I looked up "fiber" in the index of Art and Science of LC Living, but none of the cited pages talked about this. Sugar alcohols aside, is there a reason to restrict dietary fiber on a NK diet?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gretalyn View Post
Bumping this to the top again because I'd love to hear if anyone knows more detail about this. I looked up "fiber" in the index of Art and Science of LC Living, but none of the cited pages talked about this. Sugar alcohols aside, is there a reason to restrict dietary fiber on a NK diet?
No there is no reason to restrict fiber with NK as long as you count total carbs.

From page 3 of The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living:
What Does "Low Carbohydrate" Mean?

There are two ways to define the threshold below which you are eating a "low carbohydrate" diet. The first is defined by what you as an individual perceive - it is that level of carbohydrate intake (be it 25 grams per day or 125 grams per day) below which your signs and symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance resolve.
From page 4:
Defining 'Nutritional Ketosis'

The second way to define 'low carbohydrate' is physiologic - specifically that level below which there is a fundamental shift in your body's fuel homeostasis (i.e., energy regulation) away from glucose as a primary fuel. This shift is the adaptation of the body's hormonal set and inter-organ fuel exchange to allow most of your daily energy needs to be met by fat, either directly as fatty acids or indirectly by ketone bodies made from fat. This process, which is discussed more fully in Chapter 7, begins for most adults when total carbohydrate is restricted to less than 60 grams per day along with a moderate intake of protein.
So if your goal is simply to abate carb intolerance, and therefore achieve weight loss or maintenance, then net carbs are fine. If your goal is nutritional ketosis then total carbs are important.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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Why add fiber? Are you taking a magnesium supplement (if you are, you'll 'go' every day as long as you take enough.) For me, one pill does it. I don't take ANY fiber and hardly ever eat veggies other than celery and onion and the occasional bell pepper in the meals that I cook.

If you want benefits of Flax for the omegas, take Flaxseed oil capsules?
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
No there is no reason to restrict fiber with NK as long as you count total carbs.

...

So if your goal is simply to abate carb intolerance, and therefore achieve weight loss or maintenance, then net carbs are fine. If your goal is nutritional ketosis then total carbs are important.
Thank you for the excerpts from the book and for this explanation. I'd like to read more about how/why fiber affects being in a state of ketosis. I'll do some browsing online later and see if I can find something, but if you know of a particular resource I'd be grateful if you could point me in the general direction. Since fiber is indigestible, I just never thought about it having any bearing on ketosis at all. So I'm intrigued.

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Originally Posted by Beezer Louisiana View Post
Why add fiber? Are you taking a magnesium supplement (if you are, you'll 'go' every day as long as you take enough.) For me, one pill does it. I don't take ANY fiber and hardly ever eat veggies other than celery and onion and the occasional bell pepper in the meals that I cook.

If you want benefits of Flax for the omegas, take Flaxseed oil capsules?
I'm not sure if you were asking me or the OP, but I'll answer. I don't supplement with fiber or go out of my way to eat high-fiber foods at all, and in fact I tend to avoid foods that "boast" being high in fiber because the effect on my digestive system is a bit like what I imagine eating sandpaper would be like. But since I do eat some amount of veggies like leafy greens etc that contain fiber, and I haven't been counting that fiber as part of my carb count, this thread piqued my curiosity. I usually eat about 35 grams of NET carbs every day, and including fiber I'm probably still within that 60 gram limit. So I think I'm fine. I'd just like to know more about this.

(Oh, and I do take magnesium and fish oil. No flax.)
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gretalyn View Post
Thank you for the excerpts from the book and for this explanation. I'd like to read more about how/why fiber affects being in a state of ketosis. I'll do some browsing online later and see if I can find something, but if you know of a particular resource I'd be grateful if you could point me in the general direction. Since fiber is indigestible, I just never thought about it having any bearing on ketosis at all. So I'm intrigued.
Not ketosis but nutritional ketosis. As Phinney/Volek say in the Living book, rephrasing the passage I quoted, the digestibility of the fiber content of carb intake is not a player in the fundamental shift of body fuel homeostasis.

[ETA: I mean, clearly moderate fiber intake does not affect the ketosis experienced by an LC person - ketone bodies will still be made with moderate protein and adequate carb restriction. The real issue, in the context of this discussion, is why aren't net carbs the same as total carbs for fuel homeostasis. I'd guess that the hormonal component of this process is not fooled by the fiber content of a carb.]

NK hasn't been around all that long so I wonder if you'll be able to find anything that addresses this specific issue. If you do I'd appreciate it if you post a google search phrase for the document.


Last edited by reddarin; 04-06-2013 at 12:17 PM..
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
Not ketosis but nutritional ketosis. As Phinney/Volek say in the Living book, rephrasing the passage I quoted, the digestibility of the fiber content of carb intake is not a player in the fundamental shift of body fuel homeostasis.

[ETA: I mean, clearly moderate fiber intake does not affect the ketosis experienced by an LC person - ketone bodies will still be made with moderate protein and adequate carb restriction. The real issue, in the context of this discussion, is why aren't net carbs the same as total carbs for fuel homeostasis. I'd guess that the hormonal component of this process is not fooled by the fiber content of a carb.]
Thank you!

Quote:
NK hasn't been around all that long so I wonder if you'll be able to find anything that addresses this specific issue. If you do I'd appreciate it if you post a google search phrase for the document.

I've been in and out of the house today, so in what little time I've had to search, I've come up completely empty-handed. But if I have better luck later, I will be sure to let you know.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:33 PM   #14
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Fiber DOES matter, if you are eating LC veggies. Some of them have almost 0 carbs in them but contain a lot of fiber, and some protein Examples are: Rapini, alfalfa sprouts, bok choy, lettuce, escarole, celery etc. That's why it does need clarification I was around 31g of net carbs but actually closer to 50g total with the fiber. And if you are using flaxseed meal to make bread substitutes, flaxseed although it has no digestible carbs it does have a lot of fiber. That might put you over the alotted amount of carbs if counting fiber as a carb.
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