Many of you would be familiar with apps such as fat secret, Wikipedia searches, and packaging nutritional panels, but where does this information come from? Many countries have their own nutritional database, manufacturers and farming boards have their analytics, and independent studies and bodies calculate figures. The final answer then as to where the figures come from that we use, is a combination and calculated estimation based on all of the above.
We use http://www.foodstandards.gov.au; http://frida.fooddata.dk; and https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ plus information from places such as the Californian almond board, chiaseeds.net etc but even within these databases, even though these are the databases people use for their own food labelling, they state to use these numbers as a guide only.
Carbohydrates unfortunately are one of the hardest macros to calculate out of a food product, for this reason the most common method used is ‘carbohydrate by deduction’ which means that in a lab, scientists take the total mass, minus the minerals, fibre, protein and ash, which are easier to calculate, then the remaining weight is assumed to be carbohydrate. This means any slight error in the calculation of all the other items will affect the calculation of the carbohydrates. In fact this can be so wrong that sometimes the carbohydrates come out at a negative! In this case the end result is ‘tweaked’ to reduce the protein so that the carb count can be considered zero.
Calculating nutritional values accurately is very time consuming and frustrating, but a task we take upon ourselves so that you can be armed with the best possible chance at succeeding at an LCHF diet.
Net carbs vs total carbs – Total carbs is the sum of digestible or available carbs plus fibre. Net carbs is total carbs minus fibre. Fibre is not considered when totaling carbs as fibre is passed through the body undigested, therefore not available for energy and therefore registers no hormone response. Most Australian food packaging gives you net carbs, but if you are unsure you can tell by the way its written either on a new line or with a hyphen underneath. Example below
in this example you can safely assume the fibre is to be taken out of the carbohydrate total to give you net carbs. So net carbs here are 3.2
In this example, fibre is given its own line, so you would assume the carbs are already net. Sometimes is really easy to tell straight away when fibre is much larger than carbs
If you’ve just read this and feel completely disheartened and overwhelmed, please don’t! This post is for those interested in the nitty gritty of the macros. All you need to do is stick to the green list, don’t overdo milk, and really you cant go wrong. We will take care of this end for you, follow our delicious recipes and the work is done for you.
Please remember, we are human and sometimes make mistakes. If nutritional information we have provided doesn’t look right please let us know. Also even the government calculator is constantly updated which can change figures, as well as this they are aware there are many errors still in there as it has been around many many years and methods of calculating the figures have evolved. So use them only as a guide.
Daniela and Michelle