Confusing nutrition labels - sugar > carbs?


Lately I’ve been coming across nutrition facts labels that I find very confusing.

Here in Canada our labels indicate total carbs, then below that fiber, sugar, etc.

The other day my wife and I found these ‘no added sugar’ hot chocolate packets. 6g total carbs, 6g of fiber. All good then, right? But right under fiber it says 3g of sugar (from the dehydrated milk).

Now, if there’s 6g of carbs, and 6g of fiber, would the 3g of sugar not make the packet 9g of total carbs? Or would I count 3g net carbs? I’m very confused by this.

Here’s another example from a different recipe;


How can there be 4g of sugar but only 2.5 net carbs?

Please help me figure this out!

(Old Baconian) #2

Welcome to the forums!

This is indeed a conundrum. Have you tried contacting the manufacturers of these products for an explanation?

Another possibility might be to look the items up in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food composition database to see what that says.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #3

Please post either a photo of the full label - including ingredients - or a link to the product. I’m in Canada and I might be able to figure it out if I see the label and/or product.

(Carnivore for the win) #4

I’m in Canada as well. Post a picture or a link and we can help you figure it out. That is more confusing than what is typically on nutrition labels up here.

Are they old or from out of the country?

There is usually a standard they have to follow. But goods ordered online can sometimes not follow the Canadian standard, or even be valid.

No sugar added, does not necessarily mean sugar or carb free, it just means they haven’t added any sugar, but they can still add all sorts of other carb laden sweeteners, like milk ingredients. It’s missinformation to the consumer, in my opinion.


Here’s the product in question.


Please see the label I posted.



(Laurie) #8

I assume that you haven’t bought the product – that you’re going by what you see on the site? Two of the reviews point out that on the actual product, the label says 11 grams of carbohydrate, not 6. The reviewers provide photos.

So the label shown on the site is incorrect, by Canadian standards anyway.

(Carnivore for the win) #9

I don’t trust anything food or nutrition wise from Amazon. So many counterfeit products being passed off as real.

The way they write out the carbs is a red flag, as that is not the standard for Canada. O have been reading all the nutritional labels off of everything I eat for years up here.

They have the sweetener sucralose which is nasty stuff, in my experience. They also have natural flavours, which is often more sweeteners.

I would stay clear of anything with red flags like those. When something says keto, or sugar free, it’s usually nasty processed stuff, trying to be tasty with weird sweeteners and seed oils.

Try to familiarize yourself with all the words that companies use for sugar or sweeteners. They advertise “sweetened with honey or cane sugar, or agave nectar, or monk fruit” which is still carby sugars. They say “no sugar added” but use dextrose, sucralose, and all sort of other sweeteners. Natural flavor is often sweetener.

All those things add up to carbs, carb cravings, or at the very least an insulin reaction, at least for me they do.

(Carnivore for the win) #10

It says it’s Canadian, but without the proper nutritional information standard, that we have up here, I lean towards a counterfeit product. Especially off Amazon.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #11

As noted by @islandlight, from link you provided:

Top reviews from Canada

Sean Ceaser

2.0 out of 5 stars Carb content not as advertised.

Reviewed in Canada on December 5, 2020

Verified Purchase

The only reason I give this a poor rating is because the carb content advertised is not actually what you get. The pic on the Amazon ad says 6g total carbohydrate and 6g fibre giving 0g net carbs. When I got the product, I looked at the nutritional info and it was different: it said 11g total carbohydrate and 6g fibre, giving 5g net carbs. A big difference for a type 1 diabetic like myself. I’m not sure if it’s mis-advertising but Gourmet Village should get this issue straightened out. Good taste and it mixes in hot milk well but not in warm or cold. I use unsweetened chocolate almond milk to mix it in.

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Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and different information than what is shown on our website. We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. Please see our full disclaimer below.

(Carnivore for the win) #12

Not related to the product you are referring to, but a recent video about food labels and ingredient wording.


Clearly wrong, impossible labeling, I would consider I know nothing about the product (maybe just the total carbs are wrong, maybe they don’t consider the fibers carbs - totally wrong - but doesn’t outright lie about sugar but I wouldn’t believe them at this point)…

(Old Baconian) #15

It looks as though the carb count is net carbs, not total. Add in the fibre, and you’ve got the carb total.


We purchased a packet each at Bulk Barn. The label on both packets is the exact same as the label shown in that picture. 6g total carbs.

(Laurie) #17

Thank you for the clarification. In any case, you can disregard the label that you have. It’s incorrect.


Thanks everyone for your input and diligence.

I’ve been doing keto for awhile now and I absolutely love the lifestyle, but it can be difficult at times to navigate what is and isn’t acceptable when mistakes like this get made. I’m only trying to stay in ketosis, I can imagine the frustration and seriousness that diabetics must have sometimes.

The other day I thought I would treat myself to a diet coke at McDonald’s (drive thru) and I knew within the first three sips it wasn’t diet. When I went back to tell them I was given the wrong beverage the woman looked at me like I had two heads. I told her I can’t have sugar finally and she just sighed and gave me a new cup to fill myself at the machine. Had I been less aware of the taste differences between original and diet Coke, I easily would have consumed almost a weeks worth of carbs in the form of simple sugars.

Anyways, thanks for spotting the label misprint here guys. I really appreciate it.

Here’s a pic of the proper label for future reference should anyone else come across this.

(Robin) #19

I round up carbs listed on labels. If it claims 3 carbs per serving, I assume it’s at least 4, maybe 5. That way I know I have “money in the bank” so to speak. (I used to round up with my checkbook register too… easier math and a cushion for error.) But back to carbs… sneaky labels remind me to avoid processed food as much as I can. And what they call a serving size is usually ridiculous unless you’re a toddler.


Saw something like this years ago with cashews (1g net carb Cashews? Is this real?). Best explanation from that thread I think is the “another country’s standard” one (those came from Mozambique).

The particular product in question here appears to be from a Canada based company though so… I don’t know on that one unless Canada has different standards between provinces or something (seems unlikely), but sounds like there’s already some explanations for this particular case.


So, here’s another example, from a legitimate product I bought at Food Basics (Metro).

Total, 3g, fiber 1g, sugar, 3g. Shouldn’t there be 4g total?