Monday, March 7, 2016

How Low Carb is Low Carb?

How few carbs are there in a low-carb diet? It depends. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Generally speaking the fewer carbs the more effective. Faster weight loss without hunger. More rapid and powerful reversal of type 2 diabetes. But also more restrictive and possibly more challenging.

Here are three examples of how a low-carb meal can look, depending on how many carbs you eat per day. The yellow stuff is delicious herb butter.



Under 20 grams per dayStrict low carb(this meal: 6 grams)


20-50 grams per daymoderate low carb(this meal: 16 grams)


50-100 grams per dayLiberal low carb(this meal, including
sweet potatoes: 37 grams)

Our definition

Here’s the way we define different levels of low carb at Diet Doctor:

  • Strict low carb <20 gram carbs per day
  • Moderate low carb 20-50 grams per day
  • Liberal low carb 50-100 grams per day

For comparison a regular Western diet can easily contain 250 grams of carbs or more in a day, most of them bad refined carbs, including sugar.


The above numbers refers to digestible carbs, and discount the fibre. You can deduct them from your carb counts, i.e. eat all the natural fibre you want, from vegetables for example.

However, don’t be fooled by the label “net carbs” on processed products, like chocolate bars. That’s usually just a way to trick you. I’d even suggest not eating anything with the words “net carbs” printed on it.


How to chose

Some people need to eat very few carbs for a maximum effect – a strict low-carb diet. This includes many people with big weight issues, diabetes (mainly type 2) and food or sugar addiction, for example.

Others – less carb intolerant people – do great on a more liberal low-carb diet. This also minimizes the risk of any side effects.

A third group of healthy, lean, active people may not even need to eat low carb at all, as long as they mainly eat unprocessed slow carbs.

If you want to start doing low carb I’d suggest starting out on a strict version, just to experience the power of it. Later, as you hopefully approach your weight and health goals, you can test adding more carbs to see how much you tolerate.

Here’s a two-week guide to a strict low-carb diet.


Low Carb for Beginners

Low Carb Recipes – Marked strict, moderate or liberal


How to eat LCHF4.5 out of 5 stars5 star71%4 star15%3 star8%2 star0%1 star3%231 ratings23111:18 How to Do an LCHF Diet – Dr. Eric Westman4.6 out of 5 stars5 star71%4 star20%3 star5%2 star3%1 star0%60 ratings601:00:45The 5 common mistakes on LCHF4.6 out of 5 stars5 star76%4 star13%3 star6%2 star0%1 star2%43 ratings4309:25


LCHF means low carb, high fat. It’s the only way to successfully do a low-carb diet long term.

The post How Low Carb is Low Carb? appeared first on Diet Doctor.

No comments:

Post a Comment