Impact Carbs: What are they? Do they count?
Some people refer to these impact carbs as “Net Carbs”… what you end up with after all the deductions are made.
This question comes across my desk at least 2 or 3 times every week.
“Shaun, how do I know if the carbs I’m eating count towards my impact carb intake for the day?”
“What’s the difference between impact and NON-impact carbs and how do I count them?”
The answer is one simple word.
Fibrous carbs have little to no effect on blood sugar and therefore are NON-impact carbs.
Non-fibrous carbs, including starches, fruits, and even things like ‘sugar alcohols,’ elevate and/or spike blood sugar, so they’re considered impact carbs.
All you have to do is subtract the amount of fiber grams from any given food you eat, and what’s left over will be your “impact” carb count.
So the remaining carbs leftover are the carbs that will raise insulin and therefore should be monitored more closely.
As you probably already know, many health food and supplement companies will try to deceive you with label lies.
For example, look at the label below from a popular nutrition bar below:
This particular manufacturer would like you to believe that the sugar alcohol called “maltitol” listed above doesn’t have to be counted towards your impact carbs for the day.
But consumption of this cheap sugar alcohol does affect blood sugar levels. Maltitol has the same glycemic index of “regular” sugar (sucrose), and it should still be counted
toward ‘impact’ carb intake.
Important note: other sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol do NOT raise your blood sugar the same way maltitol does, so make sure to look for these instead.
So according to this label, you would subtract both the fiber (2 grams) AND the Sugar Alcohols (12 grams) from the total carb count for a total of only 10 grams of impact carbs.
When, in reality, the REAL “impact carbs” count should be 22 grams; 24 grams minus the 2 grams of fiber.
That’s 12 grams of carbs difference.
This may not seem like a lot…but do that for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week and you’re looking at 252 grams of impact carbs MORE than you thought you were getting.
That’s over 1,000 calories extra per week that could be spiking your insulin and adding fat to your belly, without you even knowing it.
So make sure you’re not being fooled by the marketing concept of Net Carbs with things like sugar alcohol.
Now, there are a few different scientifically proven ways that you can use to minimize fat storage from impact carbs.
After all, we’re all going to eat more than we should at times.
First, NEVER eat impact carbs by themselves.
This can cause a huge spike in insulin with certain carbs, so always combine them with some type of protein and fibrous veggie.
Second, try to eat your impact carbs after weight training or high intensity workouts.
Hopefully you know this by now, but it’s always good to be reminded.
Third, use this science based carb fighting trick below right before you eat any impact carbs.
It’s proven through real-world studies and research to lower blood sugar faster, increase insulin sensitivity, decrease fat storage, and helps KEEP your body in fat-burning mode:
Keep going strong,