Net Carbs--A Gimmick

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Kenny Croxdale
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Net Carbs--A Gimmick

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:18 am

The term "net carbs" never has made sense to me. Evidently, it makes does not sense to the nutrition experts, either.

"Net carbs" was a phrase coined by two physicians, medical doctors. Most physicians fall into the catagory of idiot when it comes to nutrition, pharmacology and exercise science. A physician receives approximately 6 hours in nutrition and pharmacology, and nothing in exercise physiology.

Here is what the concensus of nutritionist state about the term "net carbs." The Truth About Net Carbs.
http://www.southern.usta.com/sportscien ... goryid=395

"The net carb myth is a marketing gimmik which will probably lose steam soon." Ann Litt, M.S., R.D.

"Net carbs is a marketing tool tha tisn't totally correct." Diabetes Action Research & Education Foundation

"At the present time, net carbs has no meaning. People shouldn't take it seriously." FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr Lester Crawford, in an interview with NBC.

The term "net carbs" was first used in the book, "Protein Power by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades.

What Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades demonstrate is that "A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are."

Kenny Croxdale





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Re: Net Carbs--A Gimmick

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:40 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote: ... two physicians, medical doctors. Most physicians fall into the catagory of idiot when it comes to nutrition, pharmacology and exercise science.
Many of us are indeed idiots. But the idiots would be idiots whether they were doctors or plumbers or stock brokers. A sweeping statement like that doesn't seem very fair to me. We didn't spend college, med school and residency sitting and staring into space. There is a nearly-impossible volume of learning. Doctors have to learn as much as they can from many, many topics, and then refine the knowledge that they actually need in their particular practice. Very few of us need the sort of in-depth training in exercise physiology that you had in your doctoral program, but that doesn't make us idiots.
Kenny Croxdale wrote:A physician receives approximately 6 hours in nutrition and pharmacology, and nothing in exercise physiology.
I've heard statements like this before, and I don't know where they come from. It's certainly not consistent with my experience. We had a nutrition course, but I admit it could have been more, although I don't know where they would have put more in the schedule. I also admit that there wasn't much in exercise physiology, but I wouldn't say "nothing," as there was some in neurology and in our musculoskeletal courses.

But with regard to pharmacology, it's way, way off. We had a dedicated pharmacology course that was 18-24 hours, just on general pharmacology principles and the basics regarding different drug categories. Then in each systems course (Cardiology, Gastroenterology, etc) we had the in-depth learning on the pharmacology of that body system. That's all in the first 2 years of med school. Then in the third and fourth years, we were constantly dealing with pharmacology issues in our clinical rotations. After med school, it depends on what specialty training you go into, and to some extend on what particular residency program, but for most doctors the learning goes on.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:04 am

Kenny, could you explain the term "net carbs," how it is used or misused, and what would be a better way of expressing the difference between total carbs and carbs that impact blood glucose?

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Post by TimD » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:47 am

Well, I'm not saying the term is correct or incorrect but the way it's used, is this.
You look at the total carbs in a product, and look at the fiber grams in the same product/food, etc. You subtract the fiber grams from the total carb grams and that leaves you with "net" carbs. The term was used by manufacturers to lower the carb count for packaging on products when the very low carb diets were at their peak. So, a whole wheat wrap with16 total carbs, but 6 fiber grams, would leave a "net " carb count of 9. Marketing ploy, but how accurate it is relates to Kenny's original post.
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Post by Ironman » Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:04 pm

It is not an accurate term. But it doesn't really matter. It just means something that is counted as a carb which has little to no impact on blood sugar or is not digestible. The only thing that is at all misleading is sugar alcohols, which do have a small impact on blood sugar.

I think it is just people getting on the low carb bashing bandwagon because there is still money in that for the moment.


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Post by TimD » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:35 pm

BTW, I just read a new report that came out on the MSNBC news, in that a new 2 year study had just concluded regarding high protein/low carb, meditereanean types, and the low fat diets in terms of fat loss and chloresterol counts. Guess who won. Hands down, the high P/low fat followed ery closely by the med type diets, with low fat coming in way behind.
They defined the high protein as leaner meats, fatty fish, poultry, fibrous ve and SOME fruit, and good fats such as olive oil, nuts, avacados, etc. The med type of diets weren't really that far off in terms of what to eat, but did include more fruits and SOME beads and pasta's.
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Post by brook011 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:10 pm

Ironman wrote:It is not an accurate term. But it doesn't really matter. It just means something that is counted as a carb which has little to no impact on blood sugar or is not digestible. The only thing that is at all misleading is sugar alcohols, which do have a small impact on blood sugar.

I think it is just people getting on the low carb bashing bandwagon because there is still money in that for the moment.
See through personal experimenting, and some reading, I think its high GI carbs that are dangerous, and then when combined with fats on top of this. Carbs in general aren't necessary for bodily function, and are more of a modern society luxury to have complex foods with a longer perish time. "modern as in the last what, 1000 years? when the heck was flatbread rolled out in greece or early meso?" Anyways this is all personal theory and I'm in no way a nutritionist or whatever, but its the processed carbs that scare me the most when I'm eating. Wonderbread? Man I would never let my kid "theoretical kid" eat that crap, I don't care how much calcium they grind into the dough. Refined sugars and flours too.. I remember 5 years ago when I was obese, and I'd eat all the damn chips in the world thinking they were low fat, and be scared as hell of the bag of peanuts with 30g of fat. 295 then, 205 now :)

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Re: Net Carbs--A Gimmick

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:03 am

quote="Jungledoc"]
Kenny Croxdale wrote: ... two physicians, medical doctors. Most physicians fall into the catagory of idiot when it comes to nutrition, pharmacology and exercise science.
Many of us are indeed idiots. But the idiots would be idiots whether they were doctors or plumbers or stock brokers. A sweeping statement like that doesn't seem very fair to me. We didn't spend college, med school and residency sitting and staring into space. There is a nearly-impossible volume of learning. Doctors have to learn as much as they can from many, many topics, and then refine the knowledge that they actually need in their particular practice. Very few of us need the sort of in-depth training in exercise physiology that you had in your doctoral program, but that doesn't make us idiots.
Your right, I should not have made such a broad statement. I apologize.

However, I do have problems with medical doctors who go into areas where their knowledge is limited. I have a problem with anyone from any vocation who does that.

I agree that you find that true of plumbers, stock brokers, etc.
Kenny Croxdale wrote:A physician receives approximately 6 hours in nutrition and pharmacology, and nothing in exercise physiology.
I've heard statements like this before, and I don't know where they come from. It's certainly not consistent with my experience. We had a nutrition course, but I admit it could have been more, although I don't know where they would have put more in the schedule. I also admit that there wasn't much in exercise physiology, but I wouldn't say "nothing," as there was some in neurology and in our musculoskeletal courses.

But with regard to pharmacology, it's way, way off. We had a dedicated pharmacology course that was 18-24 hours, just on general pharmacology principles and the basics regarding different drug categories. Then in each systems course (Cardiology, Gastroenterology, etc) we had the in-depth learning on the pharmacology of that body system. That's all in the first 2 years of med school. Then in the third and fourth years, we were constantly dealing with pharmacology issues in our clinical rotations. After med school, it depends on what specialty training you go into, and to some extend on what particular residency program, but for most doctors the learning goes on.
A friend of mine who is a pharmacologist stated that most physicians are not familiar with medications. That they get about 6 hours of pharmacology. So, that is incorrect information.

I am sure the learning never stops. However, with the work load of most physicians, how can any physician have the the same expertise as a pharmacist, nutritionist, physical therapist or exercise physiologist?

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by duly noted » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:52 am

Well... Sugar, starch and fiber are all considered carbs... Don't they all digest differently? Sugar is easily converted to glucose. Starch is converted more slowly. Fiber is resistent to digestion and may actually slow the digestion of starch. I agree that a carb is a carb, but for the sake of conversion to glucose, wouldn't the net carb concept be helpful to gauge this phenomenon? Seems to me that 20g of sugar is much different than 10g of sugar and 10g of fiber...

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Post by TimD » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:03 pm

Well, you are correct that fiber is going to slow down the converions, however, the assumption that sugar converts more quickly than starch is not totally accurate. Types of sugars come into play, hence the reason they got away from the terms "simple" and "complex" years ago. Some fruit sugars, fructose, digest more slowly than previously believed, and corn and potatoe starch, digest very rapidly. This is the reason most nutritionists have switched to the glycemic index (which isn't totally accurate either, but better), and now are going towards the II or insulin index, but that's a fairly recent development.
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