The truth about those sweeteners…

Hey fam!

Me again! Here to annoy you with more learning. Stick with me. There are prizes at the end.

I’m basing this lesson on those fucking Aussie Bodies “protein bars” that y’all seem so attached to, and I have an ulterior motive in choosing this as a teaching aid. Atkins bars are very similar, so whatever your poison is, I am here to ruin it for you.

So on this label, we can see the entire packet has 12 serves and that the serving size is 30g. Now, this is our first hurdle. We should be able to assume that this is a box of 12 and each bar is 30g. However, it’s more likely that it’s a box of 12 bars that weigh approximately 30g. That’s the first lesson. Labels are averages.

Second let’s look at the per serve macros. The macros are listed down the far left column, and the next one is the average amount of each of those components per 30g serve.

Now, a lot of people get stuck into the 100g column. This comes from misinformation that to do keto you have to keep your carbs to less than 5% – so to do that you’d be looking for food that would be 5g or less per 100g for carbs. Those of you who have read the pinned post of course know this is crap. Keep your carbs to under 25g net carbs per day. You don’t need to pay attraction to the 100g column, because we’re not working on percentages here.

Net carbs. What do we mean by this? For fresh veggies and whole foods (anything that doesn’t come out of a packet) this means carbs minus fibre. You need to subtract fibre, and what’s left is net carbs that your body will store as fat if it’s not used. For packaged food, in Australia our labels have already had the fibre removed. You can see it on here, it’s listed separately to the carbs. In other countries they include it in the total carbs so you’d have to deduct it yourself. The easiest way to tell is by the spelling of the word fibre. Here we spell it fibRE. In the US they spell it fibER and it needs to be deducted.

Still with me?

Let’s get stuck into sugar alcohols. Some of you will have seen me get pretty raged on posts with these bars, and it’s because you’re all reading the carbs line and thinking it’s a low carb food. Anyone who has eaten these will know they’re very sweet and I’m here to shatter your belief that these are ok to eat. That’s right. Santa isn’t real, and these bars are fucked.

See down the bottom where it says Maltitol and glycerol? Those are SUGARS. They aren’t normal sugars though, so by law they don’t have to be included in the sugars line. Common sugar alcohols include sorbitol, mannitol, Maltitol and xylitol.

They’re technically carbs, but we don’t absorb them 100%. This sounds great right? Wrong. They do have a glycemic index, and that causes a rise in blood sugar. And guess what happens when blood sugar rises? YAS, insulin rises too. So despite being classed as “non-impact” carbs, they have a similar impact to eating carbs. So this means we need to include those amounts in the carbs you count for the day, even though your tracking app won’t include it.

Another common sugar alcohol is glycerol, and this little bitch claims not to have a blood sugar raising effect. However, this differs from person to person, and the more insulin-resistant you are the worse the effect will be.

The moral of this story is that these bars are actually not as low carb as they claim to be.

Now for prizes.

The correct answer here is 10.6g net carbs per serving. (1.8g carbs + 5.1g Maltitol + 3.7g Glycerol=10.6g).