'Net' carbs don't exist on UK whole foods, so carb counting is slightly different than in the US

I sometimes get emails from people who have been following Atkins for a few weeks and aren’t getting the results they want and, on closer inspection; it appears they’ve been working out their carb intake incorrectly. So I thought I’d address it, so I could clear up how UK carb counting actually works.

You see, in the USA, you rely on ‘net’ carbs and this is often referred to in earlier editions of the Atkins books; which is where the confusion comes from. This is because, on labels on USA foods, fibre is included in the total ‘Carbohydrate’ count, so our American friends must deduct the fibre to get ‘net’ carbs.

However, in the UK and EU, fibre is actually shown separately so you don’t deduct it (or anything!) from the Carbohydrate total.  So, for an example, if a label says:

Carbohydrates – 5g

Of which sugars – 2g

Fibre – 1g

Then you’d count a total of 5g carbohydrates for this food.

There is one exception to this rule and this is for the Atkins range of bars & shakes. They contain polyols – or sugar alcohols – which are indigestible carbs. So you DO deduct these, however we clearly show this on the front of every single package we produce, to alleviate any confusion.

So, if you’ve been deducting fibre then you may have been going slightly over the recommended carb count. Don’t worry though, just make the adjustment from today and continue to enjoy the fantastic weight loss, and other benefits, with Atkins.

If you have any other questions, about Atkins, losing weight or any other aspect of nutrition, please feel free to leave your comments and I’ll answer them ASAP.


Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist