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Biohacking : Understanding Net Carbs

Understanding nutrition is a cornerstone biohacking. One key for weight management is to read the nutrition label on any products you are buying and to look up whole foods to see their net carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates such as fiber and some sugar alcohols can be completely subtracted from the total carbohydrates. These net carbs represent how much will be absorbed by the body while the remainder of fiber and some sugar alcohols go to the colon.

The Formula

Net Carbs = Total Carbs – (Fiber + Sugar Alcohols)

Whole foods obviously do not come with labels, but the above veggie chart shows the lowest net carb options based on serving size form the MyFitnessPal app. Other apps and websites that are excellent for looking up foods to calculate the net carbs are cronometer and googles nutrition facts. When using google simply typing “eggplant nutrition” will reveal the following summary. Note how total carbohydrate and dietary fiber are included in the output. In this example 1 cup of cubed eggplant has 4.8g of total carbs with 2.5g of dietary fiber resulting in 2.3g of net carbs.

The following nut chart provides a good comparison of how much the net carbs vary between each type of nut. A pecan would have 6x less net carbs than a cashew. If the goal is weight loss then it is a better choice to go with the pecan as it will not cause as significant a blood glucose increase or insulin response.

Fiber is beneficial for bowel movements and stabilizing blood sugar. Since it is easy to determine from package labels or by looking up a whole food why not seek it out? Sugar alcohols such as erythritol have a zero glycemic effect, have been shown to have a positive impact on teeth and have almost no calories.

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