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Question
Posted by: Naseema | 2010/04/01

Carbohydrates and Fibre on food labels

Since fibre is a carbohydrate, i would like to know if the carbohydrate listed on nutritional information labels in South Africa includes fibre, i.e. is the carbohydrate listed equal to the total carbohydrates listed in other countries.

I am confused because in South Africa the fibre is not listed as a component of carbohydrates, but is instead shown separately.

For eg. Jungle oats has 56.2g of carbohydrates per 100 g and 10.8g of total dietary fibre per 100g. Is the total carbohydrate = 56.2g and therefore the carbohydrates excluding fibre is 56.2g less 10.8g = 45.4g net carbohydrates?

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Naseema
Fibre is not necessarily a complete carbohydrate, seeing that it contains indigestible fractions. The new SA labelling regulations that were published on 1 March 2010 will require that the Jungle Oats label states: Total Glycaemic Carbohydrates 56.2 g per 100 g and Dietary fibre 10.8 g per 100g", as two separate categories. Both components are used to calculate the energy content of the food, for example the Glycaemic carbs contribute 17 kJ per gram, while dietary fibre contributes 8 kJ per gram (on average depending on the compounds in the dietary fibre where the energy content can vary from 1,3 to 8 kJ per gram). So in your example the total carbs are 56.2 g and the dietary fibre is 10.8g per 100 g of the oats.
Hope this helps
DietDoc

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: EJ | 2015/02/23

Please comment further for me. So, to clarify, the 'net carbs' are 56.2g as the fibre was never included in the total carbs In the first place. A nutritionist is telling me I must deduct the fibre from the glycaemic carb to get 'net carb'? I have seen labels where the fibre g is more than total glycaemic carb so deducting it to get 'net carb' is incorrect. Right? many thanks.

Reply to EJ
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/04/03

Dear Naseema
Fibre is not necessarily a complete carbohydrate, seeing that it contains indigestible fractions. The new SA labelling regulations that were published on 1 March 2010 will require that the Jungle Oats label states: Total Glycaemic Carbohydrates 56.2 g per 100 g and Dietary fibre 10.8 g per 100g", as two separate categories. Both components are used to calculate the energy content of the food, for example the Glycaemic carbs contribute 17 kJ per gram, while dietary fibre contributes 8 kJ per gram (on average depending on the compounds in the dietary fibre where the energy content can vary from 1,3 to 8 kJ per gram). So in your example the total carbs are 56.2 g and the dietary fibre is 10.8g per 100 g of the oats.
Hope this helps
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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