Carbohydrates are often seen as the bad guys of nutrition, especially when you are following a calorie-controlled diet. Bread, pasta, potatoes, cakes… They all add weight and, with the popularity and success of low-carb diets such as keto, many people believe that carb consumption should actually be avoided at all costs.
Cutting carbs is not easy. Carbs are a major food group, usually making up half the average person’s daily food intake. So should you be looking at a carb blocker supplement if you’re looking to cut carbs from your diet? Check out our guide to find out all you need to know about carb blockers.
A carb blocker is a type of dietary supplement used for weight loss. Sometimes called a starch blocker, it works by preventing the dietary carbs that you eat from being absorbed by the body. This means that instead of adding to weight gain, the carbs pass through your body and are expelled as waste.
The idea of the carb blocker is that you can still eat carbs without consequences; this is the usual message behind the advertising.
Carb blockers contain a group of compounds called amalyse inhibitors, which are naturally present in some types of food. These have a preventive effect upon amalyses, digestive enzymes that are present in saliva and break down carbs into smaller units of sugar so they can be absorbed by the body.
When this process is interfered with by an amalyse inhibitor, some of the carbs remain too big for absorption, so they simply pass through the body as waste.
Typically, carb blocker supplements are derived from white kidney bean extract – often in the form of a branded product called Phaselite (the Latin name for white kidney bean is Phaseolus vulgaris). Garcinia cambogia may also have a carb-blocking effect, and we have also seen peanut extract used for the same purpose.
Carb blockers do not block all carbs. They are only effective against complex carbs like starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, bread, and pasta. Simple carbs like those in processed food, fruit, and sodas will not be affected by a carb blocker. So unless your diet is high in complex carbs, a carb blocker may not be effective for weight loss.
Carb blockers can work up to a point, but they are not all the same and they do not block all carbs. However, if you struggle with portion sizes of rice, potatoes, and other complex carbs you may notice improvements.
Carb blockers only block complex carbs such as those in potatoes, pasta, rice, and similar. They do not work for simple carbs – sugars, pastries, sodas, and fruits. So if you are using a carb blocker to stick to a keto diet or stay in ketosis, you cannot rely on a supplement to prevent all the carbs you eat from derailing your diet.
The only reliable way to avoid carbs is to avoid carbs. Sadly, you cannot continue to eat carbs and then remove all the evidence with a carb blocker supplement – even if this is just what is claimed by the advertising.
The evidence for carb blockers is confusing. Some clinical trials have suggested that they can help weight loss, whereas others have indicated the exact opposite.
One clinical test carried out on Phaselite, a strong carb blocker, found that although it may actually prevent as much as 97% of digestive enzymes from working, this only resulted in a 7% reduction of carb absorption.
However, another clinical test carried out by XLS Medical Carb Blocker, a well-known supplement in this field, claims to reduce calorie absorption from carbs by two-thirds. Although this sounds better, the clinical testing was very small scale.
That said, there may be some weight loss benefits to carb blockers for some people. Where they have scored is with people who have a very high-carb diet already, but other than this group there seems little point to taking them.
If you struggle with restricting your carb intake, a carb blocker may help you lose weight. There is some evidence that this type of supplement can work, but only if your carb intake is already high. If not, it is unlikely to make much difference to your weight loss.
Clinical testing found that the best results for weight loss were experienced by people who already had a high-carb intake, and therefore had the most weight to lose. One test found that the control group in this category lost up to 5lbs more than the group using the placebo.
A carb blocker will block a percentage of your dietary carbs from being absorbed by your body, true, but the problem is that this percentage of blocked carbs is not strictly proven. So you could find yourself in the position of eating carbs in the belief that they will not increase your weight.
In addition, a carb blocker will not block all dietary carbs. It will only block complex carbs such as those found in wholemeal bread, pasta, and potatoes. Complex cards have health benefits and are an important food group though, so you might not necessarily want to block these.
By contrast, simple carbs are not affected by a carb blocker, and these are often not as good for you. Although many fruits contain simple carbs, other sugars and processed foods are high in simple carbs and will not be affected by a carb blocker.
Lulling yourself into a false sense of security is more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss, so do be careful. That said, if carbs are your particular weight issue, and you can’t say no to those extra potatoes, fries, or bread, you may find that a good quality carb blocker could help reduce your calorie intake.
Carb blockers may have several benefits. This type of supplement is also generally safe to use, and any potential adverse effects, such as gas and flatulence, are likely to be mild.
A carb blocker can be good for digestive health by increasing your intake of resistant starch. When digestive enzymes are prevented from breaking down carbs, these pass into the lower intestine unabsorbed.
Resistant starches are similar to fibre. They are not broken down via digestion, so they have a prebiotic function in the gut. This means they help increase healthy bacteria (probiotics), improving the way your body digests food and overall health.
Probiotics or good bacteria are beginning to be taken very seriously and, with a lack of fibre in many people’s diet, a carb blocker may help maintain digestive health and even add to weight loss by this function.
Carb blockers may also improve blood sugar control, making them useful for people who suffer from diabetes.
You should check with your doctor first if you have a medical condition, but carb blockers could help prevent the sugar spikes that are experienced after a meal, as well as helping blood sugar levels return to normal faster.
It depends on the types of carbs you have consumed, and the supplement, but because a carb blocker prevents the digestion of complex carbs they are not broken down into sugars. Therefore they do not enter the blood stream.
It is important to remember that an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement is not intended to treat medical conditions and nothing is strictly proven. Clinical testing up to now has been mainly small scale, and supplements vary in quality.
Carb blockers are not generally bad for you but, as with all supplements, they can affect people in different ways. So make sure you only buy from a reputable manufacturer and follow the product instructions once you receive it.
If you are diabetic, you should not take a carb blocker without first consulting your doctor. Although a carb blocker may help improve blood sugar control, if mixed with diabetic medication such as insulin, it could cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerous levels.
Carb blockers can cause gastro-intentestinal distress. They increase the levels of resistant starch in the gut, which is then fermented by bacteria. Although this is good for health, it can cause common side effects such as gas, abdominal pain, and bloating. These embarrassing symptoms will decrease as your body becomes accustomed, but they can be a shock for first-time users.
Most carb blockers contain white kidney bean extract as the main ingredient. Although it is rare to be allergic to white kidney beans, if you have an allergy to other legumes, like beans, soy, and peanuts, you may be at risk.
We have also seen carb blockers based on peanut skins – again, this can be dangerous if you have an allergy. Garcinia cambogia is often included in carb blockers, and can cause side effects in some people, including headaches and nausea.
Although carb blockers are generally safe, when you take supplements it is important to know exactly what it contains. After all, what may suit one user may not be suitable for another. Keep an eye on our website to find the safest and most effective carb blocker for you.
Carb blockers can be a waste of money, as carbs are not the sole reason for weight gain. What about fats, over eating, alcohol, fast food, soft drinks, and lack of exercise? The list seems endless, so to target just one aspect of diet seems somewhat simplistic.
Carb blockers don’t block all carbs, so it is wrong to believe that if you just carry on overeating carbs and then take a supplement it will be as if it never happened.
The carbs that don’t get blocked are the simple carbs found in sugars, snacks, processed food, cakes, and pastries. Instead, complex carbs are blocked; these are the type present in potatoes, pasta, and wholemeal. Complex carbs can have health benefits and should be part of a mixed and balanced diet.
However, if your particular food issue is overeating carbs such as potatoes and rice, a carb blocker may help prevent some of these from adding to your weight. It will likely do nothing for the confectionary snack, a glass of wine or soda, or the pudding that follows the meal.
Whether a carb blocker is a waste of money or not largely depends upon your own food habits and how you use the supplement.
The big problem with carb blockers is that you cannot really rely on them, so if you are following a strict diet they could interfere with your plans. A carb blocker will not help you stick to a keto diet, for example – to do this you need to actually cut carbs out of your diet.
That said, you might find that a carb blocker does offer some support to restricting your carb intake, so if you are just looking for some extra help on your weight loss journey you may find it helps you lose a few pounds.
Check out our product reviews on the website, to find the carb blocker that is most likely to work for you.
Many people are losing weight by cutting out carbs, either with the keto diet or another low-carb weight loss program. But whilst carbs can be a major contributor to weight gain, not all carbs are the same.
Carbohydrates are the sugars, fibres, and starches present in many foods, including milk, vegetables, fruits, and grains. They are a major dietary food group (along with proteins and fats), so are very important.
Carbs can be further divided into two groups. There are simple carbs, which contain only a couple of sugars and are easily digestible by the body. Carbs in this group include syrups, sugars, and fructose (fruit sugars), and provide the body with a fast-working energy boost such as we experience when we eat a candy bar.
There are also complex carbs, so-called because their molecular structure is more complex and contain at least three sugars. Foods high in complex carbs include whole grains and vegetables like peas, potatoes, and parsnips. These also provide energy for the body but have a slower and longer-lasting effect.
The problem with carbs is that most people consume far too many simple ones, and these can be a major cause of obesity. Food made from simple carbs usually has no real nutritional content and just adds to your calorie count. Cutting out or reducing these types of carbs will certainly help weight loss.
By contrast, complex carbs have health benefits and can help weight loss by making you feel fuller. Switching to whole grains and cutting out simple carbs can actually help weight loss.
Diabetics may be able to take carb blockers but it is very important to speak to your doctor first, especially if you are taking insulin or other medication.
If you are going to use a carb blocker to help you manage diabetes, a carb blocker that contains an effective serving size of white kidney bean extract, and not much else, is probably the way to go. But again, and we cannot stress this enough, you do need some trained medical advice in using an OTC supplement to support the management of a medical condition.
A carb blocker supplement is not aimed at supporting diabetes. It is only intended for general weight loss and, as with all OTC supplements, quality and safety can vary.
However, carb blockers may help you manage blood sugar levels. Because a carb blocker (amalyse inhibitor) prevents the absorption and digestion of some carbs, less sugar enters the bloodstream. Evidence shows that sugar spikes can be reduced and that blood sugar levels return to normal far quicker than usual. Some people with diabetes are trying carb blockers for this reason.
This is nothing new; there are prescription starch blockers available, such as Acarbose or Glucobay, which may be more effective than an over-the-counter weight loss pill. The best course of action is to speak to your doctor to find out whether this type of medication is suitable for you to take.
Cutting out simple carbs and changing your diet to include more complex carbs will also help to smooth out blood sugar levels, as well as help with weight loss.
In recent years, carbs have become seen as the major reason of obesity. With low carb and keto diets exploding in popularity, many people seem to have forgotten that carbs actually have nutritional value and are very important for health.
Although the amount of carbs you consume daily will depend upon your size and your activity levels, there are some simple guidelines for healthy weight loss.
According to the government’s healthy eating advice, one third of your daily calorific intake should be obtained as carbs, in foods such as potatoes, rice, and pasta. The NHS advises that you should aim to consume 30g of fibre a day, with 260g of carbs in total.
For a low carb diet you could try reducing your carb intake to around 150g a day, but if you are trying to improve health and weight loss naturally you do not necessarily have to go low carb.
The first thing you can do to improve health and weight loss is to cut back on simple carbs and sugars, like those in cakes, white bread, and processed foods.
Switching to wholemeal bread, pasta, and rice can help you cut down on carbs. These complex carbs are far more filling as they are high in fibre.
Green vegetables, as well as starchy veg like root vegetables and potatoes, are also good for you.
Although low-carb diets are a simple way of enforcing a weight loss rule, there is no evidence that giving up carbs is good for health. The best way to stay healthy is to change the type of carbs you eat, rather than give them up completely.
Carbs are present in most foods, including milk, sugars, vegetables, and grains. Once ingested, they exist in the body as glucose – the main source of energy. If you do not use this energy up, it is stored in the muscles as glycogen and in the liver.
So to burn carbs rather than fat, the best sort of exercise is an activity that uses your muscles. Although most exercises do that, some types of exercise are more effective than others.
Before you start, make sure you avoid eating or drinking a workout drink before exercising if you want to burn off carbs. Providing the body with fresh glucose prior to exercise will cause your body to use this as an energy source rather than using glycogen stored in your muscles.
High intensity exercise, usually known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be very effective at burning carbs. This requires you to carry out a couple of minutes of intensive exercise, followed by a short break, before going again.
HIIT regimes can vary depending on which one you are following and on your own fitness levels. In general though, they are a great way of burning off carbs.
Circuit training is also good for this, as it works all of the muscles in turn – with an exercise for each muscle that you then repeat. Working the muscles thoroughly in this way will help improve carb-burning, as will resistance training in the gym that targets muscles by lifting weights.
Cardio exercise, such as running, walking, or swimming, is good for health and can also help burn carbs. One tip to ensure that this happens is to avoid sugar or carbs for at least two hours following your exercise so that your body does not refuel with glucose.
Now we have looked at some of the facts surrounding carbs and carb blockers, let’s take a look at some of the most popular carb blockers on the market.
Pure Nature Carb Blocker contains a branded white kidney bean extract as the principle ingredient. The supplement is manufactured in the UK and comes from a Leeds-based company called Be Beautiful.
The Carb Blocker serving size is six capsules a day. Each capsule is equal to 1250mg of Phaseolamin, the branded white kidney bean supplement. It also contains guarana, a natural source of caffeine, vitamin C, and chromium.
Pure Nature Carb Blocker may help with some weight loss. If you struggle with controlling your carb portions or are about to eat a heavy carb meal it might prevent a percentage of carbs from adding to body weight, but just how much is unknown.
Side effects may include stomach cramps and bloating. You need to seek medical advice before use if you are taking prescription medication.
Feedback is generally positive but does not mention weight loss.
You can buy via Amazon or from the official website. It is very inexpensive at just £8.99 for 90 capsules (15 days supply). A guarantee is advertised but details are not available.
See our full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/purenature-carb-blocker/
Protein World Carb Blocker is advertised as your “cheat day “partner. It is aimed at users who want to cheat on their diet but not suffer the weight gain consequences of a high-carb meal.
This is another carb blocker that contains a high serving of white kidney bean extract – 890mg condensed to 20:1 extract here. There is also Garcinia cambogia, which works in much the same way by blocking carbs.
If used occasionally, this supplement may help you cheat on your diet. However, it will only block complex carbs, which are often healthy ingredients like fibre and potatoes. It does not block fats or sugars, making it ineffective for most “cheat meals”.
Side effects may include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, dizziness, and nausea.
Protein World is a global company, so Carb Blocker is available in most countries. Buy from the website and it costs £14.99 for 90 capsules (45 servings) or $20.99 to US customers plus shipping.
There is no money-back guarantee.
Check out the full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/protein-world-carb-blocker/
Modere Carb Blocker contains a blend of white kidney bean extract and hibiscus flower extract, a laxative. The idea is that it will block carbs and increase bowel movements.
Modere is a US supplement company based in Utah. Customers are encouraged to sign up to auto-shipping, where fresh supplies are delivered each month and your bank or credit card charged automatically.
Ingredients are combined in a proprietary blend that adds up to 1023mg per three-capsule serving. White kidney bean extract may help prevent the absorption of some carbs, but not all. Hibiscus flower is a mild laxative, so it may help prevent constipation, which is sometimes an effect of white kidney bean.
There is no independent customer feedback available as Modere products are only on sale from the official website.
Side effects may include diarrhoea, gas, bloating, and changes to blood pressure and sugar levels. It may interact with prescription medication too.
Modere Carb Blocker costs $19 for 90 capsules (one month’s supply). Discounts are available for first time buyers, but you are encouraged to join auto-ship and have fresh supplies delivered each month. Worryingly, we can find no information about how to cancel it.
There is no money-back guarantee.
Read our full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/modere-carb-blocker/
Code Age Keto Carb Blocker is designed to be used with a low carb or keto diet, but it is really no different from any other carb blocker. It contains three natural ingredients: white kidney bean extract, green tea, and cinnamon.
The serving size is two capsules a day, and the principle ingredient is 500mg of white kidney bean extract per serving, which should be enough to have a mild carb-blocking effect. However, it will not block ALL carbs, so if you rely on this supplement to keep you in ketosis it will not work.
It also contains green tea, which offers antioxidants and a mild energy boost. The final component is cinnamon, which helps blood sugar management and may reduce cholesterol.
Side effects include constipation, abdominal pains and gas. Check with your doctor before use if you are taking prescription medication.
Amazon feedback is not overwhelmingly positive although some people do like the supplement.
Code Age Keto Carb Blocker is not expensive; it costs $28.48 for 180 capsules if you buy from Amazon. This is enough for 90 days. There is no money-back guarantee on offer.
Find our full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/code-age-keto-carb-blocker/
XLS Medical Carb Blocker is an expensive weight loss supplement that contains a branded white kidney bean product called Phaselite.
XLS Medical is a well-known supplement brand that is popular across the UK and Europe. You can buy XLS Medical Carb Blocker from shops and stores including Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, and Amazon.
According to the advertising, Phaselite, the active ingredient, will reduce calorie absorption from carbohydrates by 66%. It has undergone limited clinical testing on very few people, but you do have the assurance that this ingredient is safe and manufactured according to industry standards.
XLS medical Carb Blocker also comes with a free diet plan, which is obviously not aimed at the UK market as some menu options seem bizarre for the UK diet.
Side effects are likely to be minor, but you should consult your doctor if you are taking prescription medication.
You can buy XLS medical Carb Blocker just about anywhere in the UK and Europe. It is expensive though. One pack of 60 capsules (10 day’s supply) costs £18.95, which works out at almost £59 for a month. There is no money-back guarantee either.
Check out the full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/xls-medical-carb-blocker/
Healthy Fusion Goodbye Calories is a two-in-one carb and fat blocker, but some ingredients in this unusual supplement are potentially dangerous.
One of the ingredients is called Sugarlock, a branded supplement manufactured from peanut skins. Sugarlock is a phenolic compound that may block dietary carbs and starches from being absorbed by the body, but it requires further testing.
Goodbye Calories also includes orange pulp fibre, which can be dangerous because it contains a stimulant called citrus aurentium. Other components are cocoa fibre and chicory root.
There is no real evidence that this supplement will block carbs and fats as claimed. Sugarlock is under-researched and, although synephrine can increase energy levels and may help weight loss, it can be dangerous.
You must avoid this product if you have a peanut allergy. Other side effects may include gas, bloating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and jitteriness. There are no positive customer reviews.
Healthy Fusion Goodbye Calories costs £23.50 for 60 capsules. Daily serving size is six capsules, making this is only a 10-day supply. There is also no money-back guarantee.
See the full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/healthy-fusion-goodbye-calories/
Gundry MD TriTrim is a very expensive supplement that claims to block carbs, sugars, and fats; it looks like three weight loss supplements all rolled into one.
The carb-blocking component is 500mg of a white kidney bean extract called Phase 2. This serving size seems low when compared to other carb blockers. It also contains a low serving size of glucomannan, a fibre that works as an appetite suppressant.
Other ingredients include a sugar blocking formula and a fat blocker that actually looks pretty good and could work for some users.
Side effects may include stomach upset, diarrhoea, and nausea.
This is a very expensive product. It costs a whopping $240 for 30 days supply, increasing to $1239 for six packs (six month’s supply).
There is a 90-day money-back guarantee advertised though. To claim, you need to contact customer services, but some customers have described the company as unhelpful and, even worse, as scammers – especially when trying to claim a refund.
See our full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/gundry-md-tritrim/
Base Nutrition Carb Crush promises to let you indulge like crazy in cheat meals without putting on weight. This supplement is not a carb blocker, yet it claims to help you crush carbs, which is confusing. Surely this is the same thing? But the way this supplement works is never explained.
Instead of carb-blocking ingredients, Carb Crush contains maqui berry, grape seed extract, and a branded chromium supplement called Chromimax. Although these ingredients may have health benefits, and the herbal extracts are high in antioxidants, they will have zero effect on blocking carbs. That said, chromium may help regulate blood sugar slightly.
Some customers have experienced gastric side effects including vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. Feedback is not generally positive, with many noticing no effects at all.
Base Nutrition Carb Crush is expensive. It costs $39.97 for 60 capsules if you buy from the official website and is not covered by a money-back guarantee.
Read the full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/base-nutrition-carb-crush/
It Works! Fat Fighter is marketed as both a carb and a fat blocker. The idea is that you take it when you eat a fattening meal so that your food does not add to weight gain.
It Works! is a multi-level marketing company in the weight loss sector. Supplements are sold via a network of ordinary people acting as distributors rather than conventional stockists.
Fat Fighter contains a proprietary blend that adds up to 510mg of weight loss ingredients, including white kidney bean extract and Garcinia cambogia. Although these may have a carb-blocking effect, ingredient quantities are low and probably ineffective.
Other ingredients include low levels of cactus extract, which may help weight loss because it is high in fibre, plus chromium, which is taken to regulate sugar levels.
Customers have reported numerous side effects, including digestive issues, nausea, headaches, and changes to menstrual bleeding. There is very little genuine customer feedback available and, although some customers say it works for occasional use, the high incidence of side effects is worrying.
There is no advertised money back guarantee, and It Works! Fat Fighter is expensive, costing $38.99 per bottle of 60 capsules.
Read out full review here: https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/it-works-fat-fighter/
Carb blockers certainly sound tempting. Staying low carb is popular right now, with more and more people trying to follow keto or other low-carb diets. The weight loss benefits of eating less carbs are widely discussed, so a supplement that claims to help you do this, without actually giving up carbs, is always going to grab attention.
The truth is not quite as impressive though. Carb blockers do not block all carbs, only the healthier complex carbs. So they will not have any effect on a diet that is high in simple carbs like white bread, processed foods, and pastries.
If you rely on a carb blocker to take away the effects of a fattening carb-fuelled meal it could lead you into a sense of false security, with the belief you can eat what you like with no consequences.
However, a carb blocker may be beneficial for some users. If you find it hard to cut down on portion sizes of potatoes and pasta, you may find that any slight effect is better than nothing at all. There may also be health benefits to your blood sugar levels, resistant starch intake, and glyceamic control.
One good point about carb blockers is that they are generally a safe type of weight loss supplement. So although results are unlikely to be earth shattering, side effects are unlikely to be an issue.