When a Carb's Not a Carb: The Net Carb Debate
Will counting net carbs help or hurt weight loss efforts?
Calories vs. Carbohydrates continued...
Earlier this year, the FDA's Obesity Working Group also
advocated a simple "calories count" approach to battling obesity and
helping people make healthy food choices.
"Our report concludes that there is no substitute for the
simple formula that 'calories in must equal calories out' in order to control
weight," says FDA Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford in a news release
announcing the report.
In addition, the report recommended that the FDA respond to
requests to define terms such as "low," "reduced," and
"free" carbohydrates as well as provide guidance on use of the term
"net carbs." Several industry and consumer groups as well as food
manufacturers have petitioned the FDA to set official "low carb" levels
as well as take action on "net carb" claims.
Until the agency takes action on the carbohydrate claim issue,
experts say carb counters are probably better off eating foods that are
naturally low in refined carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, rather
than highly processed foods like snack bars, pastas, and sweets that have had
their natural carbohydrates stripped away.
"Whole foods, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables,
should be the foundation of diet," says Karmally. "Because if you miss
out on these foods, then you end up missing out on a whole bunch of nutrients
and antioxidants that have a potential benefit on reducing the incidence of
chronic, degenerative diseases."