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Carb Counter
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A carb counter will help you prepare meals for weight loss

A carb counter is essential to any low carbohydrate diet plan. A carbohydrate counter lists the total carbohydrate value per serving of a particular food item and will help you keep a record of your total carbohydrate intake on a daily basis. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet, you should not exceed the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight successfully, you need to use a carb counter.

Fiber, sugar and starch are carbohydrates. Sugars and starches are called available carbohydrates because human digestive enzymes break them down for the body's use. In contrast, fiber is a non-usable carbohydrate because humans do not have the appropriate digestive enzymes to break it down.

Thus, fiber is not absorbed by the body. Most carb counters list the total amount of carbohydrates in the food item and do not list a value for each of the three types of carbohydrates. However, some counters may also list the total amount of fiber in a particular food item.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that a nutrition label include the total amount of carbohydrates. The amount of dietary sugar and fiber must also be listed. A food label is an excellent example of a carb counter.

Food labels list the amount in grams, of total carbohydrate including starch, fiber, and sugar per serving. Fiber grams and sugar grams are listed separately. You can calculate the total grams of starch per serving of the food item by subtracting the grams of fiber and sugar from the total carbohydrates. Below is a sample nutrition label listing the carbohydrate value of a can of soup.



serving size 3/4 cup (28 grams)

servings per container 2


Amount per serving

calories 100

calories from fat 5


Total Carbohydrate 6 grams

Dietary Fiber 3 grams

Sugars 1 gram


According to the carb counter on the food label, your starch intake per serving of the soup would be 2 grams. However, if you would eat 1 serving of the soup, the total amount of carbohydrates that you would absorb is 3 grams (sugars + starch). These carbs are important because sugar and starch is fattening.

To calculate the number of carbohydrates, subtract the number of grams of dietary fiber from the total number of carbohydrate grams. The 3 grams of fiber are not used by the body. Thus, the carbs from the fiber do not count. Thus, if you opt for a low carbohydrate diet for weight loss, you should select foods that are low in total carbohydrates and high in fiber. The more fiber the food contains, the less the total carbs that your body will absorb.

If you are considering a low carbohydrate diet, you should obtain a carb counter and should read all food labels for quantities of total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugar. You can purchase a carb counter from most book stores, health food stores or online.

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