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What are Net Carbs? How to Calculate Net Carbs.
What Are Net Carbs?

Looking at the Hero Bread website, you’ll see a term popping up frequently in between pictures of delicious sandwiches, croissants, and quesadillas: net carbs. But what exactly does that mean, and why does it matter when it comes to your bread choice?

Demystifying Net Carbs

At heart, “net carbohydrates” are the carbs in food that are fully digestible and absorbed by the body. This is different from “total carbohydrates” as that includes all the different types of carbohydrates found in a food such as dietary fiber, which passes through the digestive system without being completely broken down and absorbed by the body.

To calculate net carbs, find the total amount of carbohydrates, and subtract:

  • Fiber
    • Fiber consists of indigestible plant components vital for digestive health and other bodily functions. There are two main types: soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, and insoluble fiber, which doesn't.
  • Alternative Sweeteners
    • These include sweeteners like allulose and monkfruit that have minimal impact on blood glucose levels. Some Hero Bread baked goods contain allulose and/or monkfruit.
  • Sugar Alcohols
    • Sugar alcohols are sweeteners with fewer calories, like xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol, often used in sugar-free products. Hero Bread does not use sugar alcohols in our baked goods.

These are subtracted because the body doesn’t digest them, so they have little to no impact on blood glucose levels.

You can find this calculation on Hero Bread product packaging and product pages (under “Nutrition”) for ease of reference. These calculations note how many grams of fiber and sweeteners are being subtracted from the total carbs to reach the net carbs.

Why Fiber Matters: The Unsung Hero of Carbohydrates

Fiber plays a crucial role in this equation. While it technically falls under the category of carbohydrates, fiber is indigestible and doesn't cause spikes in blood sugar like other carbs do. When we subtract fiber from the total carbs, we get a more accurate representation of the carbs that may spike blood sugar.

Fiber (particularly prebiotic fibers like the resistant wheat starch in Hero Bread) has a lot of other benefits for health, such as improving gut health, aiding in controlling blood-sugar levels, and helping to maintain a healthy weight.

Whether you're on a low-carb or keto journey or simply striving to make better choices, knowing the net carb count of your bread can help give you a fuller picture of how what you’re eating will impact your body.