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A great shake for diabetics and everyone else

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Whether you are on a diet watching your sugar intake, or a diabetic who has no choice but to watch her carb intake, finding allowable sweets can be a challenge. Most people know that even fruits, considered to be healthy foods, contain a lot of natural sugar. In the case of a diabetic, such a snack can send the blood sugar into orbit.

Now, though, Atkins, the company known for its high protein diet, has come out with a great tasting shake that is delicious. The Café Caramel Shake has real coffee in it, 160 calories, 15 grams of proteins, and a grand total of 4 carbs. The Creamy Chocolate Shake has 140 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 10 carbs. Add a half of a banana to one 11oz. carton and blend in a blender, and you have a great smoothie. All in all, you have a healthy snack that won’t break the bank on calories or carbs.

For those familiar with the Atkins line, you know that their advertising touts “net carbs.” So the caramel shake has 3 net carbs (out of 4 total carbs); the chocolate shake has 3 net carbs out of 10 total carbs. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber carbs and sugar alcohol carbs, to come up with a ‘net’ figure that has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. The manufacturers and others who like to use this concept are certainly playing to the psyche of those desperate to lose weight, and certainly confusing the minds of diabetics as well.

Unfortunately, most people do not come close to getting the minimum recommended daily 25 grams of fiber, so the net carb theory is useless. Further, a carb is a carb is a carb, at least the way the FDA sees it. And there is no such thing as "net calories." Neither is there an FDA definition of a “net” carb. So when you are counting carbs, count ALL of them, and do not use a net figure.

BOTTOM LINE: Enjoy a snack that is reasonable when it comes to calories, great in its protein content, very low in the carb count, and just plain wonderful in taste. But forget about the net carbs.

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