On Diet Clearing up readers’ confusion | Existence


“The label also says 10 g of fiber, 1 g of soluble fiber, 8 g of insoluble fiber and 1 g of total sugar. They also state that the carbohydrates actually absorbed by the body are only 1 g.

“Does that mean I could eat 2 slices and only count 2 g of carbohydrates and 80 calories, or just hype? It’s the best low-carb bread I’ve ever eaten. “

This is confusing, especially since there is no official definition of “net carbohydrates” by the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees food labeling in the US.

Here’s my opinion: The 12 grams of carbohydrates in a slice of this bread is the total of all the sugars, starches and fiber in it. Of this, 10 g is in the form of fibers, which include soluble and insoluble types. The body does not digest fiber. If you subtract this from the total carbohydrates, that leaves 2 grams – 1 of which is sugar.

Why is the label only 1 “net carbohydrate” instead of 2? The answer might lie in the ingredients that have resistant tapioca starch listed as a second ingredient. Resistant starch is similar to fiber in that it cannot be digested by the body. Whether it is 1 or 2 grams absorbed per slice, you are still left with a very low-carb bread.

Barbara Quinn is a registered nutritionist. Email to barbara@quinnessentialnutrition.com.