How Many Carbs for Keto (or at least Low-Carb)

how many carbs keto low-carb

How Many Carbs for Keto (or at least Low-Carb)

Low-Carb Diets work because they keep your blood sugar low, and as a result, cause your body to produce less of the fat-storing hormone called insulin. In this video and article, I share the number of carbs you can eat and still consider your diet keto or simply low-carb.

[Video] How Many Carbs for Keto/Low-Carb

In this video, I show you the carbohydrate-containing foods you can consume in a day to bring your diet into the low-carb or keto range.

Carb Count for Keto & Low-Carb

While there is no strict definition of what makes a diet low-carb or keto, it is generally accepted that restricting your carb intake to fewer than 125 grams constitutes a low-carb diet and keeping carbs at 50 grams or fewer drops you into the keto range.

Honey on a Low Carb Diet- low-carb_vs_keto

Count Total Carbs, not Net Carbs

And, those grams are total carbs, not net carbs, which would have you subtract the fiber and any sugar alcohols from the food.

What 125 Grams of Carbs Look Like

Let’s look at some examples.

125g of carbs

125 grams of carbs allow you to eat a cup of oatmeal in the morning topped with blueberries, a large salad topped with assorted vegetables, nuts, and beans for lunch and a small sweet potato and green beans with your dinner entree. 

As you can see, that is a fair amount of starchy foods, so the top limit of 125 grams per day would work best for a very active, young person with a healthy metabolism.

It is likely that if you’ve spent years eating a high-carb diet that contained processed and fast foods that you will need to reduce the number of carbs you eat to yield weight loss results.

Every person is different, so you need to find the level of carbs that works for your unique metabolism. For some, that means following a ketogenic diet and keeping your carb intake below 50 grams per day.

What 30 Grams of Carbs Look Like

To convert our low-carb menu to a keto menu, we would need to omit the oats, berries, beans, and starchy potato.

30g of carbs

Carb Quality Matters

And with either diet, the quality of carbs matters.

Make it a point to choose whole, unprocessed plant foods, like nuts, seeds, berries, and non-starchy vegetables, and you’ll provide your body with beneficial fiber and phytonutrients that support a healthy gut and control hunger while avoiding fat-storing spikes in insulin.

Tips for Staying On Track

To make sure you’re in the low-carb or keto range, it is important to track your food intake or follow meal plans that have the daily menus worked out for you.

About the Author

Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.

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