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What is a Net Carb – Why & How Do We Calculate Them in The UK?

For anyone starting a new diet it can be overwhelming with an abundance of information and guides telling you to optimize your blood glucose levels, or weight loss goals. The first thing you hear about is the importance of carb counts and net carbs so you might be thinking what is a net carb and what is the significance of counting a net carb.

In this article we will do our best to simplify what net carbs are and how to calculate them correctly in the UK.  As part of our counting carbs series you may have seen our counting carbs video and counting carbs blog where we guide you on how counting carbs varies from the US to the UK, it is considered much easier to count carbs in the UK so do check it out as we hope our guide will help you with any confusion and worry. 


keto tea


What is a carb?

A carb is a shorter version of saying ‘carbohydrate’ the good old nutrient found in food and drinks that is essential (in moderation) for a balanced diet. Carbs are abundant in foods such as white bread, honey and sweet potatoes(and fyi these are not the best options for keto). 

Sugars, starches, and fibre are all carbohydrates. Our bodies need carbs to give us energy to function however not all carbs are created equal. There are complex/natural carbs as well as simple/refined carbs. The healthiest carbs that your body requires should come from foods that are complex/natural such as high fibre vegetables, beans and legumes however if you are aiming for strict keto diet be aware of red beans, black beans and butter beans, they tend to be higher in carbs and they are not recommended for getting into ketosis.

However, don't worry! If beans are your thing, you don’t have to give them up completely. There are exceptions of beans that are okay for keto, such as green beans, they are just three grams of carbs per 100g. Also soybean sprouts are good for keto as well as mung beans.

Generally, heavily processed foods contain the worst and highest amount of carbs which causes the most problems in our diets and makes it challenging to lose weight.


healthy eating


What is a net carb?

There is a difference between total carbs/net carbs. Net carbs are essentially the (total) amount of fully digestiblecarbs you get from an individual product or meal. When you count carbs in the UK or EU there is a different method to figuring out the net carbs. In the US fibre is included in the total ‘Carbohydrate’ count they deduct the fibre count to get the net carbs but here in the UK fibre is labelled separately so you don't have to deduct it from the carb total.

The only thing we need to subtract from the total carb count are the polyols.

We will use an example of calculating net carbs using our Raspberry Swirl Keto Cake as a guide:

Net Carbs Calculation

Per serving 40g
Carbohydrates 6.5g
Of which polyols 4.9g
Fibre 4.2g
Net Carbs 6.5g - 4.9g = 1.6g



Polyols are the alcohol sugars that occur naturally in foods, they can also be man-made and sold as what we know as ‘sweeteners’the widely recognised sugar-free replacers. Check out our keto friendly sweetener blog to find out more about sweeteners. 

Net carbs

The significance of net carbs

Generally speaking when counting net carbs, usually sticking below 25 grams per day will be effective in achieving nutritional ketosis. Tracking your net carbs will help you to stay healthy and lose weight. Counting carbs and losing weight and seeing health improvements works when you know exactly how much carbs you are getting on a daily basis. It takes time to get the hang of things but before you know it, sticking to carb counting will make all the difference. In our counting carbs in the UK blog we give you an easy breakdown of the correct way to count carbs in the UK.

Popular low carb products used on keto diets

Truvia sweetener

‘Calorie-free’ Truvia sweeteners are keto friendly and suitable for cooking and baking. It’s great for people who want natural sweetness and minimal calories.

The main sugar replacer used in this brand comes fromerythritol, it is one of the healthiest and suitable sweeteners for keto.


Alpro offers a great variety of plant based foods that vegans & ketoers love in their diets, such as the almond milk and yogurts, they have added vitamins and calcium, contain low net carbs and are low in sugars.



  • Understanding food labels will help you better understand net carbs and how they fit into your overall diet strategy. Fortunately the UK food labelling system is simplified and in most cases is broken down by per serving and per 100g.
  • The correct daily carb intake limit varies, from person to person but it is recommended below 25 grams per day will help achieve optimal ketosis.
  • Net carbs are the total amount of digestible carbohydrates in a product or a single meal.
  • Remember you don’t need to deduct the total fibre from the carbs in the UK, the total carbs on the label is what you need to focus on as well as the polyols count to get the net carbs.

If you are new to the keto journey, you are already on your way to mastering one of the best diet choices for your modern lifestyle. At No Guilt Bakes’ we know that keto isn’t just a rhyme, it's a lifestyle! We love keto because it’s filling and easy to stick to. 

Check out our store to discover the No Guilt Bakes shop where you can find various low carb treats and bakes that are healthy and taste delicious, we guarantee you will find something to love.

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