Total Carbs, Net Carbs, and Allulose

Total Carbs, Net Carbs, and Allulose

In the realm of nutrition, carbohydrates are often discussed, especially in the context of diabetes management and low-carb dieting. However, not all carbohydrates affect the body in the same way. This article dives into the complexities of total carbs, net carbs, and the role of allulose—a rare sugar with unique properties. Understanding these can help individuals, particularly those with diabetes, make more informed dietary choices.

Understanding Total Carbs and Net Carbs

Total Carbs on a nutritional label include all types of carbohydrates in the food: sugars, starches, and fiber. For people managing diabetes, this number is critical as it provides a comprehensive view of what can affect blood sugar levels.

Net Carbs are calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber and certain sugar alcohols from total carbohydrates. The rationale behind this is that some types of fiber and sugar alcohols have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels. Net carbs are often highlighted in low-carb diets, such as Keto, because they are seen as a better reflection of the carbs that actually affect blood glucose.

However, the American Diabetes Association and some healthcare providers recommend focusing on total carbs rather than net carbs. The variability in how sugar alcohols affect blood sugar can make net carbs a less reliable measure for diabetics. For instance, while some sugar alcohols like erythritol have little to no impact on blood sugar, others like maltitol can cause significant glucose responses in some individuals (Source: Diabetes Care Journal).

The Exceptional Case of Allulose

Allulose is a rare sugar naturally found in small quantities in fruits like figs and raisins. Despite being categorized chemically as a sugar, allulose behaves differently in the human body. It is absorbed by the body but not metabolized, meaning it does not contribute to blood sugar levels or calorie intake significantly.

The FDA has recognized the unique properties of allulose and recently updated guidelines to exclude it from total and added sugars in nutrition labels. However, it is still included in the total carbohydrates count (Source: FDA Guidelines on Allulose). This can be confusing for those diligently watching their carbohydrate intake.

Research has shown that allulose has a minimal impact on blood glucose and insulin levels, potentially benefiting those with diabetes (Source: Metabolism Clinical and Experimental Journal). It mimics the taste and texture of regular sugar while providing a healthy alternative that doesn't alter glycemic control.

Also, Academic research has shown that allulose even helps managing healthy blood sugar levels in healthy individiuals. Please check our article on Health Benefits and Side Effects of Allulose for this and more information.  

Practical Implications for Consumers

Understanding the nuances of carbohydrate labeling is crucial for people with diabetes, who need to monitor their blood sugar levels closely. Labels that differentiate between different types of carbs, like allulose and other sugars, can guide better dietary decisions.

For example, at Goalz Chocolates, our use of allulose allows us to create products that are enjoyable without the typical blood sugar spike associated with sweets. Feedback from our diabetic customers indicates that our chocolates, sweetened with allulose, do not result in the same glucose response as other sweets, aligning with the scientific research on allulose’s minimal glycemic impact.


While nutritional labels provide essential information, they may not always tell the full story, especially concerning the impact of specific ingredients like allulose on blood sugar levels. For those with diabetes or anyone on a low-carb diet, understanding these details can make a significant difference in managing health outcomes. It is always advisable to consult with healthcare providers to understand how best to incorporate such foods into a diet, especially for those managing chronic conditions like diabetes.

For more detailed information about our ingredients and their impact, or to discuss how our products can fit into your dietary needs, feel free to contact Goalz Chocolates. Our goal is to support your health journey with delicious, guilt-free treats.

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