Ketosis: How Many Carbs Can You Have on Keto?
One of the fundamental principles of the Ketogenic diet is to limit carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day. Many dieters fail at ketosis because they don’t know how many carbs to on keto
The goal of limiting carbs is to force your body to use fat as its primary energy source rather than glucose from carbohydrates. Fat is an extremely energy-dense molecule, with some of that energy being converted into ketones. Most of your body’s cells can use ketones for energy instead of glucose. Nutritional ketosis occurs when your body switches to using fat and ketones as its primary energy source.
But that doesn’t mean you have to (or even want to) eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet. After all, Keto isn’t supposed to be a low-carb diet.
In this Keto Beginners Series, we’ll discuss the carbohydrate foods that work best with the low carb, high fat Ketogenic diet.
Ketosis+ How Many Carbs Can You Eat on Keto?
On the Ketogenic diet, everyone has a slightly different level of carbohydrate restriction. Some people can eat more and still stay in ketosis, while others may need to be more restrictive.
Most Ketogenic diet guidelines recommend limiting your net carb intake to 15-30g per day, or 5-10% of total calories.
Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols = Net Carbs
In general, if you are an extremely active person who exercises 4 to 5 times per week, you are more likely to be overweight.
In general, if you’re an extremely active person who exercises 4 to 5 times per week, you’ll be able to consume more carbohydrates while remaining in ketosis.
However, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, we recommend that you limit your carbohydrate intake to achieve ketosis.
Ketogenic Diet Carbs to Avoid
Certain foods contain extremely high levels of carbohydrates and must be avoided in order to achieve and maintain ketosis.
Avoid high-carbohydrate foods such as most fruits, pasta, potatoes, candy bars, pastries, donuts, candy, soda, juice, rice, and bread while on a Ketogenic diet.
Carbs You Can Eat on Ketosis
Now that you know which foods to avoid completely, let’s talk about the best Ketogenic-friendly carb sources you can still include in your diet plan. To achieve ketosis, you should know how many carbs to eat.
Some of the foods listed below still contain carbohydrates, so read labels and carefully track your intake to avoid overdoing it, especially if you’re a beginner.
#1. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are excellent substitutes for sugary chocolate bars. They are an excellent source of antioxidants. Chocolate is even referred to as a “superfood” because it contains essential nutrients that aid in overall health.
Dark chocolate also contains flavanols, which have been linked to lowering your blood pressure and thus lowering your risk of heart disease.
It is critical to consume only dark chocolate that contains 85% cocoa or more. Anything less typically contains other higher carbohydrate ingredients that may disrupt ketosis.
Keto Coconut-choc Fat Bombs are a delicious low-carb snack made with cocoa powder or dark chocolate. Simply combine cocoa powder, almond butter, and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave or heat on the stovetop until it becomes a consistent liquid. After a half-hour in the freezer, you’ll have a tasty, sweet low-carb snack! If you need a little more sweetness, add a pinch of stevia.
More Keto snack ideas can be found below:
Sugar is stored in vegetables as starch. Non-starchy vegetables contain less sugar and thus contain less starch and carbohydrates. They are also low in calories, high in fiber, and high in nutrients, making them an ideal Keto carb source.
Many non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber, which is a carbohydrate in and of itself. Fiber, on the other hand, does not break down into glucose, or sugar, in your digestive system like other carbohydrates, so it does not count toward your carbohydrate limits! This fiber fact is important to remember when reading labels because fiber is included in the grams of total carbs. Remember to divide total carbs by fiber to determine how many carbs in each food contribute to your carbohydrate goal.
You can eat a lot of the low-carb vegetables listed below.
- sprouts from Brussels
Above-ground vegetables are typically non-starchy and low in carbohydrates (there are some exceptions – always check nutritional information in the Carb Manager app).
Avocados should be a Ketogenic diet staple for everyone. They are high in essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, as well as a good source of monounsaturated fat.
Avocados make the Keto-adaptation phase much easier because they replenish the essential minerals that your body excretes during the initial fat-adaptation stage.
One avocado contains only about 2-3g of net carbs per serving, making it the ideal Ketogenic fruit!
Most other fruits are too high in carbohydrates and should be avoided. The only exception is berries.
Berries are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
These fruits are high in antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against disease.
Remember that berries still contain carbs, so consume them in moderation.
#5 Noodles Shirataki
Shirataki noodles are ideal for Keto dieters who miss pasta. Because they’re mostly water and fiber, these noodles have less than 1g of carbs.
You can find them at your local health food store, usually in the form of fettuccine, linguine, or rice.
If you want to make a pasta dish, use shirataki noodles instead of regular pasta for a delicious low-carb meal!
READ ALSO: Are Ramen Noodles Gluten Free? 2021 Review
Polyphenols found in olives have been shown in studies to help reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage, lower blood pressure, and have anticancer properties.
Olives contain half of their carbs as fiber, making them an excellent Keto carb source.
The total carbohydrates in a 14g serving of olives are only 1g. This means that seven olives equal 1g of carbs!
Look no further than cauliflower if you’re looking for a Keto-friendly food to replace starches like rice and potatoes in your diet.
Cauliflower has only 2g of net carbs per cup, so you can eat a lot of it while barely moving the carb needle.
Run some raw cauliflower through your food processor until it resembles rice, then microwave or pan fry the bits in coconut oil for delicious cauliflower rice to accompany your main course. Alternatively, boil and mash cauliflower with cream and butter to make a tasty substitute for mashed potatoes.
How Many Carbs Do You Need for Ketosis?
Regardless of how many variables influence ketosis, it is critical to begin somewhere, and carbs are the most important metric to begin with on the ketogenic diet.
Most people can achieve deep ketosis in about a week by keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g). (To calculate your net carbohydrate intake, simply subtract total fiber intake from total carbs.)
It should be noted that some sweeteners are keto-friendly and do not raise blood sugar levels. These can also be deducted from the total carbs. More information can be found in our Low Carb Sweetener Guide.
To consume such a small amount of carbohydrates, you must exercise extreme caution in your food selection. Many of your favorite foods may push you over your daily carbohydrate limit with just one serving. Even healthier foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are high in sugar and carbs, but don’t despair: there is plenty of delicious food available on the ketogenic diet.
For example, for breakfast, you could have a Bacon Breakfast Bagel, for lunch, a Thai BBQ Pork Salad, and for dinner, a Keto BBQ Chicken Pizza. Aren’t they delectable?
Check out this list for more ideas on what to eat and what not to eat on the ketogenic diet:
Do Not Consume
- Wheat, corn, rice, cereal, and other grains
- Honey, agave, maple syrup, and other sugars
- Apples, bananas, oranges, and other fruits
- Potatoes, yams, and other tubers
- Fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, and other meats
- Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and other above-ground vegetables
- Hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, and other dairy products.
- Macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and other nuts and seeds
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other berries with a low glycemic index
- Sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb options >
- Coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, and other fats
Even if you stick to this list, you can easily consume more than 35 grams of total carbohydrates for the day. This is why it is critical to track your carbs using an app such as MyFitnessPal.
But don’t forget that getting into ketosis isn’t just about the carbs you eat. Protein also plays an important role in your ketosis journey.
The Importance of Eating Enough Protein for Ketosis
You are depriving your body of its primary fuel source when you restrict carbohydrates. It will first burn off its glycogen reserves (stored sugar).
When glycogen is depleted, the body does not immediately enter ketosis; instead, it begins gluconeogenesis. A metabolic pathway that converts non-sugar sources to sugar is known as gluconeogenesis. Among these non-sugar sources are a few amino acids found in protein. Depending on how much protein we consume, these amino acids become our primary energy source for a few days to weeks.
When protein intake is excessive, the body is flooded with enough amino acids to fuel the process of gluconeogenesis and provide the body with enough energy.
A Little Planning Will Ensure You Stay Low-Carb on Your Ketogenic Journey
While your carb cravings may be intense as a beginner on Keto, remember that this is only temporary as your body adjusts to becoming a more efficient fat-burner.
By substituting the low-carb foods listed above for high-carb sources, you will provide your body with the fuel and essential nutrients it requires to thrive.
Consuming these low-carb foods, if done correctly, will also help you stay full, reducing cravings!
Please keep in mind that the information in this article is not medical advice and is solely for informational and educational purposes. Before making any dietary changes, consult with your doctor.
This is the first thing you would want to know about Ketosis and how many carbs you have on keto. The goal of carbohydrate restriction is to force your body to use fat as its primary energy source instead of glucose from carbohydrates. Fat is a very energy-dense molecule, and some of that energy is converted into ketones. Most of your body’s cells can use ketones instead of glucose for energy. When your body switches to using fat and ketones as its primary energy source, you are in nutritional ketosis.
Watch this video to learn more about Ketosis and How Many Carbs Can You Have on Keto:
freeFITNESSHUB adheres to strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for its content. Tertiary references are avoided. You can read our editorial policy to learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up to date.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019). How Many Calories? Keep an Eye on the Menu. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/how-many-calories-keep-eye-menu
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018). Calories on the Menu
Information for Consumers. https://www.fda.gov/media/121009/download
- Wikipedia. (2021 Updated). Ketogenic diet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenic_diet
- Wikipedia. (2019). Ketogenesis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenesis