What do “Low-Carb” Labels Really Mean to You?
After the “low-carb” diets became popular, food
marketers realized they could make their products more appealing by putting
labels on their products such as “carb smart,” “carb aware,” “carbohydrate
countdown” and similar terms. Bread, snack foods and cereals are just some of
the items where you can find these labels.
The key word in the first
sentence of this article is “marketers.” The first goal of food manufacturers is
to sell their products. So you have to take with a grain of salt any claims they
make. While it’s true that some of the ingredients may have been changed to
reduce carbohydrate levels, it’s also true that the change isn’t usually that
dramatic, and calories often remain the same.
In other words, eating a
lot of these so-called “carb conscious” foods is not going to help you as you
manage your diabetes in terms of carb counting and weight control.
Other terms you may have
noticed on these packages are things like “net carbs,” “effective carbs” or
impact carbs.” But the Food and Drug Administration has not approved these
terms, and there’s no recommendation that people take them into account as they
manage their diabetes.
Remember, the American
Diabetes Association does not endorse a low-carb diet for people with diabetes.
Instead, they recommend a balanced diet that contains a variety of
Diabetes Today, March 2005