Where the Ketogenic diet is concerned, there is a lot of talk about carbohydrates. This low-carb, high-fat diet is often not fully understood, particularly in relation to the role of carbs within the body. One term that often falls beneath the radar is “net carbs.”
What are Net Carbs?
You might be thinking that “net carbs” would be the same as “total carbs,” but it isn’t. Here is a simple equation to help you understand the difference:
Total carbs minus fiber equals net carbs. (total carbs-fiber=net carbs).
What practical difference does it make to consider the amount of carbohydrates one is eating, without including fiber in the “net carbs” amount? Well, this is because insoluble fiber doesn’t impact blood sugar, caloric intake or insulin production.
For instance, one cup of celery contains a total carb amount of 3 grams. It also contains 1.6 grams of fiber. This means that the net carb amount is only 1.4 grams.
Considering Which Type of Fiber You Ingest on the Ketogenic Diet
In life, there are two types of fiber that applies to anything that we eat: soluble (sometimes called “impact”) and insoluble (or “non-impact”) fibers.
Soluble fiber has an impact on blood sugar levels and can effect ketosis. For this reason, many Ketogenic diet experts prefer to operate with total carbs rather than net carbs. Not all Keto-approved food options are entirely without soluble fiber, and it’s not generally advisable to treat soluble fiber with the same regard as insoluble fiber.
It is worth noting that the role of soluble fiber is not completely understood as of yet. Some studies have suggested that it can even lower blood glucose levels and help the body to remain satiated for longer periods of time, so its relation to the Ketogenic diet could be more complicated than previously thought.
Insoluble fiber, unlike soluble fiber mentioned above, does not have an impact on blood glucose, insulin or caloric intake.
High-Fiber, Low-Carb Foods to Enjoy on the Ketogenic Diet
Fiber is essential to effectively ridding the human body of waste via bowel movement, and humans are generally recommended to eat between 20 and 35 grams of fiber per day. Fortunately, not all high-fiber foods are high in carbohydrates. Below are some foods with a low net carb amount that make for a great addition to the Ketogenic diet. All of these foods are measured in 100 gram servings:
- Asparagus – 2.1 grams of fiber, 3.38 grams carbohydrates = 1.18g net carbs
- Broccoli rabe – 2.7 grams of fiber, 2.85 grams carbohydrates = 0.15g net carbs
- Spinach – 2.2 grams of fiber, 3.63 grams carbohydrates = 1.43g net carbs
- Avocado – 6.7 grams of fiber, 8.53 grams carbohydrates = 1.83g net carbs
It is worth calculating the net carbohydrate amount in many of the foods that you eat. Doing so will help you stick to your Ketogenic diet with greater ease, as well as increase your awareness of the nutritional value of the food that’s going into your body.