Best Advice For Carbs On The Label

Food labels can be very confusing but we all know how important they are. Oftentimes people don’t know what to look for to determine if a product is good for them. I have one very simple trick for reading labels for carbs that will help you easily identify if you are getting a good, quality carbohydrate or a highly processed, nutrient-poor carbohydrate. So, here we go…

  • First, make sure you look at the Total Carb. The Total Carb includes the sugar, fiber, and any additional carbohydrates that are in that product. Many people make the mistake of looking only at Sugars, which is not giving them an accurate picture of that food and the amount of carbohydrates that it contains.
  • Next, we want to look at the Fiber. Fiber is often overlooked but is one of the most important factors when changing your diet to help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, natural digestion, and blood sugar control. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target 38 grams daily (or 21 and 30 grams daily, respectively, for those over the age of 50).
  • Now, here is the most important part! Look for a ratio of 10:1 for carbohydrates: fiber. So, there should be at least 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbohydrate. Generally, if a product has more fiber and meets this rule it will be less processed, have a lower glycemic index, and provide more overall nutrition. If a product does not meet this rule, such as a product with 35 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fiber, it is likely that this food is highly processed and lower in nutrition. The higher the fiber is in this ratio, generally, the better the food!
Meets 10:1 Rule Does not meet 10:1 Rule
Beans (1/2 cup)

Total Carb: 18 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

White Rice (1/2 cup)

Total Carb: 28 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Raspberries (1 cup)

Total Carb: 17 grams

Fiber: 8 grams

Apple juice (4 oz)

Total Carb: 15 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Quinoa (1/2 cup prepared)

Total Carb: 32 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

Potato Chips (1 oz)

Total Carb: 16 grams

Fiber: <1 gram

Sweet Potato (1 medium)

Total Carb: 24 grams

Fiber 4 grams

White bread (1 slice)

Total Carb: 14 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Whole Green Peas (1/3 cup)

Total Carb: 20 grams

Fiber: 8 grams

White Pasta (2 oz)

Total Carb: 42 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

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