How low carb is keto?

When following a ketogenic (keto) diet, the number of carbohydrates you need to reduce can vary based on individual factors and personal goals. Here's a general guideline to help you understand how carbs can affect different aspects of your health:

Weight Loss and Cravings: Generally, the fewer carbs you consume, the more significant the impact may be on weight loss, and the reduction of cravings and hunger.

Type 2 Diabetes: For those with type 2 diabetes, reducing carb intake can lead to quicker improvements in blood glucose levels and insulin resistance. However, some may find an extremely low-carb diet too restrictive and challenging to maintain.

Examples of Low-Carb Dinners: Below are three examples of how a low-carb dinner might look, depending on your daily carb intake (the yellow substance is delicious herb butter):

How low carb is keto?
How low carb is keto?
  • Ketogenic: Under 20 grams per day (Strict low carb)
  • Moderate: 20-50 grams per day (Moderate low carb)
  • Liberal: 50-100 grams per day (Liberal low carb)

The plate on the left would typically be considered ketogenic for most individuals. While the other two options are very healthy, they may not necessarily be ketogenic. However, they could still contribute to gradual weight loss and improvements in blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.

Defining Low Carb: We categorize a low-carb diet as anything under 100 grams per day. It's worth noting that a typical Western diet often contains 250 grams of carbs per day or even more.

How we define low carb and keto

At Keto Diet, we categorize carbohydrate intake into three distinct levels:

  1. Ketogenic Low Carb (<20 grams of net carbs per day): This level corresponds to less than 5% of energy from carbohydrates (E% carbs) in our recipes. If it's a meal, it contains 7 grams of carbs or less. In our ketogenic recipes, the carb content per serving is visually represented by green balls.
  2. Moderate Low Carb (20-50 net grams per day): This level falls within the range of 5-10% E% carbs in our recipes. The amount of carbs per serving is indicated by yellow balls.
  3. Liberal Low Carb (50-100 net grams per day): This level means 10-20% E% carbs in our recipes, with the carb content per serving shown in orange balls.

Note: While our recipes are organized by the percentage of calories from carbs, protein, and fat, we don't believe you need to calculate these figures yourself. We offer them as a reference, but in practical terms, we advise you to focus on limiting your carbs, ensuring adequate protein, and adjusting fat as needed for satisfaction and flavor. This approach eliminates the need for constant calculations of "percent macros."

Fiber and net carbs

The carb counts we list refer to the number of digestible carbohydrates, commonly known as net carbs. This means that we exclude fiber from the total count. For instance, you can consume almost any amount of fiber from keto-friendly vegetables without significantly affecting your blood sugar or insulin levels.

However, it's essential to approach the term "net carbs" on labels of low-carb products, processed foods, protein bars, and energy or chocolate bars with caution. Manufacturers may use "net carbs" to conceal sugar alcohols, which could hinder weight loss and affect blood sugar levels.

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