A person who follows a keto diet plan eats meals that are high in fats and low in carbs so that he or she can experience weight loss. The carbs are the main objective in the diet as it is the macronutrient that needs to be eliminated from a person’s eating plan. As health studies always suggested that eating carbs is the root cause of many health problems so that the keto diet helps a person to achieve a healthy lifestyle and the immunity to prevent diseases.
But the important thing is to know briefly about the keto carbohydrates like how much carbs you can eat, what are the best sources, etc. The following elaboration will give you every answer regarding keto carbohydrates.
Carbs on the Keto Diet
Carbohydrates are considered one of the essential macronutrients for the human body, which usually are the main source of energy and enable the body to work properly. But recent health studies have shown that a major cause of weight gain and other health problems like diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, etc. are due to higher carbs content in the food that we eat on daily basis.
So, the dietitians formulate low carb diets and keto is the one which stands out the most to resolve the health issues of peoples. The keto diet focuses on the reduction of carb intake from a person’s diet and replaces it with higher fat and moderate intakes. So, that a person can achieve a good health status. Carbs on the keto diet are the main subject around which the whole diet revolves because the diet will only start working if the dieter lowers the carb intake first regardless of consuming high-fat or moderate-protein portions.
How Does a Keto Diet Works?
Now the keto diet works on the scientific phenomena of ketosis which is a metabolic process that burns the stored fat and produces ketone bodies which then serves as the energy source for the body. But there is only one condition to initiate this process that is to lower the carbs intake as much as possible so the body does not get enough of this macronutrient to produce glucose molecules to be used as the energy source.
As a result, the stored fat will be used for energy fuel so that the body can work properly and also it causes the health benefits of weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, etc.
How to Calculate Carbs
It is very important to calculate the carb content in foods before consumption as you can exceed the keto limit very easily if you are not conscious about it.
For the keto diet, you should focus on calculating net carbohydrates rather than total carbohydrates, which you can do by subtracting the fiber portion of the food, and if you are consuming a keto processed food then you also have to subtract half of the sugar alcohol content which is usually written on food labels.
The Total Carbohydrates Division
The total carbs formulate with two main things are net carbs and fiber content and if the food is processed then the third thing is sugar alcohols.
The net carbs are the digestible carbs as they get absorbed by the human body and are the ones that contribute to carbohydrate metabolism. However, the fiber content is the indigestible part of the carbohydrates which do not get involved with carbohydrate metabolism and it has no response to insulin. For example, 1 cup of tomatoes contains about 4.8 net carbs and 2.2 fiber content which makes up the total carbohydrates.
Now if you are consuming a processed keto food, you have to subtract fiber and also half of the sugar alcohols to get the net carbs. Sugar alcohols are not digestible by the human body and have very less effect on insulin levels.
So, for the keto diet, you have to focus on eth net carbs rather than fiber content or sugar alcohols to make sure that are consuming the right amount of carbohydrates on the diet plan.
How many Grams of Carbs on the Keto Diet?
The recommended and right number of carbohydrates that are allowed on the keto diet is between 20 to 50 grams per day and you have to divide these grams throughout the three meals of the day like 10 grams of carbs in each meal, or, etc. but in total it should be equal to 50 grams and not more than that. As, when you stay within this limit the body performs the ketosis process and once you exceed the limit it may result to stop this metabolic process.
You just have to lower the carbs as much as possible in the keto diet plan because then it is best for the fat-burning process and making the body to be able to work and survive on ketosis. The keto carbs limit is very limited and drastically lower than we usually consume in our daily life, which can make you frustrated in the starting of the diet plan but you should remind yourself that it is best for your health and you have to keep motivation.
Best and Worst Carbohydrates for the Keto Diet
Choosing the carbohydrate sources for the keto diet is a very necessary thing to do and also to differentiate between the best carbs that fit perfectly with the diet plan and the worst ones that need to be excluded from the diet plan.
Best carbohydrate source for the keto diet:
- Low-carb vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushroom, tomatoes, celery, etc.
- Cocoa powder and 90 % dark chocolate bars
- Nuts and seeds
Worst carbohydrate sources for the keto diet plan:
- Bread, pasta, cereal.
- Refined grains such as white rice or wheat, etc.
- Sugary fruits
- Starchy vegetables
- Processed foods
- Sugary products such as cold drinks, candies, etc.
- Bakery items such as donuts, cakes, etc.
- Fast food and ready-made foods.
Food Servings that Contain 30 to 50 Grams of Carbohydrates
As 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates is a very limiting portion and to divide it into three meal portions is quite a challenge but there is no need to get worried about it be because it is very easy once you minus the net carbs from total carbs and know the exact amount of carbs in a certain food.
- Low-carb vegetables are one of the best options for the keto diet as it contains very fewer carbohydrates and also you can eat a good and filling portion of it. The food serving of 1 cup or 1 plate of vegetables is usually lower than 10 grams of carbs just like 1 cup of celery contains about 1.4 net carbs which very low and you can add more vegetables to the diet plan.
- Just like eating 7 almonds as a snack or in a salad for the keto diet is very beneficial as this food serving of nut contains only 5 grams of net carbs.
- Having a small portion of berries or avocadoes also stays within the limit of 10 grams of carbs.
So, from these food servings we get to know that even if the carb amount of keto is low but still the serving portions of it is quite fulfilling and nutritional, all you need to do is to measure the net carbs and to manage the portions perfectly
How Many Grams of Carbs is Too Much for Keto?
The keto diet is a very restrictive and disciplined health plan which means that the guidelines and macronutrient percentages involved in the diet should be followed without any kind of alteration or negligence because if do not follow them, the ketosis process will not start and you will end up with a failed keto diet.
So, the most important thing that starts the ketosis process is lowering eth carbs as much as possible and this nutrient percentage for the keto diet is between 20 to 50 grams in total per day. So, the number of carbohydrates that are too much for keto are the ones that range above 50 grams. You should not eat more than 50 grams of carbs as it will mess up the diet plan.
What Happens If You Eat Too Little Carbohydrates on the Keto Diet?
Some people have this question in their minds that if they eat too little carbohydrates on the keto diet, they may experience some dangerous side effects but it does not have a bad impact either on a person’s health or on the keto diet. It will only be beneficial for the dieter if he or she eats too few carbs as the body will maintain the ketosis state and burns more fat which is very good for the success of the diet.
Eating too few carbs is not an issue but eating too much is an issue so it is important to balance the carb intake between 20 to 50 grams per day as only then the body will remain in ketosis and results in weight loss.
Tips for Reducing the Carb Intake and Starting the Ketosis Process
Carbohydrates are a big part of our daily eating routine, so reducing the intake to only 20 to 30 grams is a little bit difficult but it is also essential to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips that will help you to reduce the carb intake and to start in the ketosis process in the human body:
- Cut down the carb intake slowly so that the body can adapt to the change smoothly and you do not have difficulty in reducing carbohydrates from the diet.
- Calculating the carbs makes it very easy to keep up with the keto limit and also makes the food servings more organized.
- Eating a good number of vegetables on the keto diet is very essential as it keeps you fuller and also contains the healthiest carbs for you.
- Include the carbs from whole and unprocessed foods and completely avoid processed carbs.
Determining and calculating the carbohydrates for the keto diet is one of the most important steps you initiate because without it you can end up with a failed keto plan which is obviously, we do not want you to experience. So, the best thing is to do not exceed the keto carbs limit which is 20 to 50 grams per day and choose the healthiest and best sources of carbohydrates for the diet plan.