How To Decide Your Daily Carb Intake
If you simply remove the unhealthiest carb sources from your diet, such as refined wheat and added sugars, youll be well on your way to improved health.
However, to unlock the potential metabolic benefits of low carb diets, you also need to restrict other carb sources.
There are no scientific papers that explain exactly how to match carbohydrate intake to individual needs. The following sections discuss what some dietitians believe about carb intake and weight loss.
How To Eat Low
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Cutting back on carbs is not very complicated.
Just replace the sugars and starches in your diet with vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts and fats.
Seems pretty straightforward, unless you dont eat meat.
Conventional low-carb diets rely heavily on meat, which makes them unsuitable for vegetarians.
However, this does not need to be the case.
Everyone can follow a low-carb diet, even vegetarians and vegans.
This article shows you how to do it.
Supplement With Healthier Fats
Lowering your intake of carbs may mean you find yourself eating not only more protein but also more fat.
Focusing on healthier fats can help you stay on track if youre following a weight loss or weight maintenance program.
While research has done a lot of flip-flopping as to what exactly makes a particular type of fat good for us, foods like fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and dairy continually show up as quality fats (39,
As with everything, moderation and variety are key.
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Eat Foods Rich In Omega
Omega-3 fats, especially those found in fish, can increase leptin levels . A high omega-3 diet may additionally increase fullness when you reduce your calorie intake to lose weight .
Up until now, these impacts were just seen in overweight and hefty members. There are plenty of ways to eat fish. You can prepare a tuna or salmon salad, bake the fish, or grill it.
Check For Hidden Sugar
Some sources of carbs will be evident and easy to watch forbut others, especially those from sugar, may be more difficult to spot. Added sugar can even pop up in typically savory rather than sweet spots, like salad dressing.
Keep an eye out for some of the common names sugar goes by on food labels, including dextrose, fructose, cane crystals, maltodextrin, xylose, and malt syrup.
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How You Can Eat Carbs And Still Lose Weight
You are what you eat is an old catchphrase you may have heard growing up. Its a reminder that food choices matter, and all foods arent created equal in terms of health value and how they affect your body.
Overeating is often the primary cause of obesity but is largely dependent on what type of foods are overeaten, shares obesity medicine specialist, Betsy Varghese, M.D.
For example, if you overeat foods with low calorie density and high fiber , you can essentially eat a large quantity and still lose weight because the fiber keeps you fuller longer and eating less throughout the course of the day. These foods are also lower in calories compared to processed carbs and high fat animal proteins.
What Can You Eat On A Low
There’s a major misconception about low-carb diets that I hear frequently: “Steak, bacon, butter, cheese, oils, avocado, coconut oil You can eat all of the meat and fat you want, right?!” Not quite. Ultimately, all diets rely on the same principle: Calories in versus calories out.
Some diets cut calories from all macronutrients in equal amounts. Others cut from fat, and some buzzy types cut from carbs. But the end result is the same: You cut calories, you’ll lose weight. If you eat them in excess, you’ll gain weight. So just because you’ve eliminated one macronutrient doesn’t give you free rein to chow down on another type of food!
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Myth: All Carbs Are Created Equal
Fact: There are simple and complex carbohydrates
The main reason is that when people think carbs they think starch, like white rice, pasta, potatoes or white bread, says Bowerman. While many refined carbs dont offer up much nutritionally, there are lots of good carbs healthy foods that provide carbohydrates your body absolutely needs every day to function properly.
In actuality there are three types of carbohydrates: fiber, sugar and starch. Where things get confusing is when we look at specific foods, which can contain different types of carbohydrates. They can either be labeled simple or complex based on their chemical makeup. Complex carbs contain a complex chain of sugars as well as some fiber, protein and/or healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, says Rebecca Lewis, registered dietitian at HelloFresh. The presence of fiber, protein and fats is important because it slows digestion, prevents a spike in our blood-sugar levels, and helps us to feel full and satisfied for longer .
Thats why carbohydrate-containing foods like starchy vegetables, legumes and whole grains are included in many healthy diet plans.
Follow the 10:1 rule: Choose foods where for every 10 grams of carbs, there is 1 gram of fiber.
The simple carbs, often found in processed foods and drinks, are easier for the body to break down, meaning they dont keep you full as long and can lead to erratic blood sugar levels.
Thats not to say that simple carbs are always bad for us.
A Sensible Approach To Carbs
Sort the good from the bad and the ugly with this advice from our dietitian
Low carb. High carb. Good carb. Bad carb. It sounds like the beginning of something by Dr. Seuss. If only dietary carbohydrates were as simple as a childrens book! The reality? Carb is one of those nutrition buzzwords that leads to a lot of confusion.
Understanding the role of carbohydrates can help you eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight both important ways to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Heres what you need to know.
There are only three nutrients that contribute calories to the diet: fat, protein and carbohydrates. Yup, thats it. Just three. Most foods contain a mix of these nutrients for example, yogurt contains carbs, protein and fat. Carbs are the bodys main source of energy carbs from food turn into fuel for the body. Some nutrition textbooks divide carbs into simple and complex . Simple carbs, like jam and honey, are broken down quickly by the body, causing a faster rise in blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as oatmeal, have more fibre, so are digested more slowly and dont raise blood sugar levels as much. This keeps you full for longer and keeps blood sugar more stable.
grains bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats
sugary foods: candy, ice cream, pastries
snack foods: chips, pretzels, crackers
sweet beverages: soda, juice
sweeteners: jam, honey, syrups.
Good vs. bad carbs
Are low carb diets OK?
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Watch Your Energy Intake
Ultimately, to avoid weight gain, energy intake should not be more than energy output.
Avoiding large portion sizes and limiting intake of saturated fats and added sugars will help to keep your energy intake in check.
Regular exercise is also critical for long-term weight loss success.
If you are not sure where to start or finding it difficult to manage your weight, seek help from a dietitian. Dietitians can guide you to a healthy way of eating that is based on the latest research and tailored to suit your health and lifestyle.
What Are Good Carbs To Eat
There are two broad categories of carbohydrates, based on their molecular structure and what they contain:
Simple carbohydrates are mostly sugars and not as healthy for your body as complex carbs. They include white bread, potato chips and cookies.
Complex carbs are sugars but they usually also provide other nutrients like fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals. They include minimally processed whole-grain bread, oatmeal and whole fruits.
Complex carbs are typically more filling and provide better blood sugar stabilization, Pratt notes.
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Myths About Carbs That Are Preventing You From Losing Weight
The minute a beach vacation, a high school reunion or a friends wedding pops up on the calendar, we immediately wage war on carbohydrates.
Definitely no potatoes.
But is banishing carbs really the best plan of attack to slim down, tone up and feel your best? Not to mention, where do carbs come into play when it comes to our overall health? And why have they become the scapegoat for our muffin top?
People love to say things like I am on a low-carb diet or I’m not eating carbs right now. Typically, they’re referring to pasta and bread, but what many don’t know is that dairy, fruit and vegetables have naturally occurring carbohydrates! says Courtney Ferreira, RD, owner of Real Food Court nutrition consulting. If you are eating broccoli, you are eating carbs.
So before you ban every carbohydrate from the menu know the facts.
Carbohydrates are a actually a macronutrient and they play a very vital role to your overall health, productivity and yes, your weight-loss success.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 45 to 65 percent of the calories we eat come from carbs. Since it makes up such a large chunk of our diet, it’s worth it to school yourself on the myths that are misinforming how you consume this important nutrient.
How Many Carbs Should You Eat
There is no fixed definition of exactly what low carb means.
It is important to experiment and figure out a way to match your carb intake to your own goals and preferences.
That being said, these guidelines are reasonable:
100-150 grams per day: This is a decent maintenance range, and is good for people who exercise a lot.
50-100 grams per day: This should lead to automatic weight loss, and is a good maintenance range for people who dont exercise that much.
20-50 grams per day: With a carb intake this low, you should lose weight quickly without experiencing much hunger. This carb range should put you into ketosis.
Vegetarians could easily go into the lowest range, but such a diet would be impractical for vegans. The 100-150 gram range would be more suitable for vegans.
It is recommended to use a nutrition tracker for at least a few days/weeks while you are fine-tuning your carbohydrate intake and making sure to get enough protein and fat.
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Spice Your Meals With Ginger Or Pepper
Another effective way to eat less is to add spices such as ginger and pepper to your meals. Both spices have several health benefits and additionally help curb hunger.
A recent study found that taking 2 grams of ginger powder diluted in hot water during breakfast reduced hunger after the meal . In a different study, the effects of capsiate in sweet peppers and capsaicin in hot pepper were studied. It found that these components help curb hunger and increase the feeling of fullness .
Skipping Meals Will Not Make You Lose Weight
It sounds simple enough dont eat and the weight will come off but skipping meals can fail. Not only will starving yourself result in feeling tired and lethargic, your body is more likely to miss out on essential nutrients. Then when you do eat, youre more likely to overeat and to make poor food choices. Over the long term, skipping meals is unlikely to help with weight loss at all.
The important thing to losing weight and keeping it off is to make small, achievable changes to your eating and exercise habits:
Choose from a wide range of foods every day.
Eat less-processed foods.
Have a regular pattern of eating.
Increase the amount you move each day to burn extra energy.
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What Is Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome, originally known as Syndrome X and now increasingly known as the Hyperinsulinaemia Syndrome1, is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
The worlds obsession with low-fat diets over the last few decades has resulted in a slew of health problems. The low-fat approach to dieting promoted by the American Dietetic Association and others, promoting the consumption of mass-produced crops such as sugar cane, wheat and corn has resulted in an obesity epidemic.
One of the other byproducts of these guidelines was a rise in the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. And while metabolic syndrome is caused by multiple factors, it also CAUSES multiple diseases.
These are some of the current diseases that are attributed to metabolic syndrome:
Opt For Solids Instead Of Liquids
Did you know that it is easier and quicker to overconsume calories in liquids than in solids? Much as all foods, whether solid or liquid, influence how many calories you consume, it takes a shorter time to drink a bottle of milk than to eat a bowl of cereal. You may also try to eat less solid food, but most people dont pay attention when it comes to liquids.
Liquid and solid calories also affect appetite differently. Solid foods require more chewing, allowing more time for fullness signals to reach the brain. Chewing also allows the food to stay in contact with the taste buds longer, promoting the feeling of fullness .
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Al Roker Explains Why The Keto Diet Works For Him
Volek and his team at Ohio State are also studying the benefits of low-carb diets on other diseases and conditions, including for some types of cancer, as well as for mental health.
Depending on which version of the eating plan you do, whether its keto or just a lower carb diet, you can still eat some carbs its just a matter of tracking them closely.
As always, talk to your doctor to make sure an eating plan is right for you and remember: there is no one-size-fits-all diet. The best is the one you can stick with long-term.
Single Food Diets Dont Work
Plenty of diets are based on the belief that the digestive system can’t process a combination of foods or nutrients. Commonly, carbohydrates and proteins are incorrectly thought to ‘clash’, leading to digestive problems and weight gain.
The opposite is often true foods eaten together can help the digestive system. Such as, vitamin C in orange juice can increase iron absorption from a meal rich in plant-based iron like beans and rice, lentils and other legumes.Also, very few foods are purely carbohydrate or purely protein most are a mixture of both. The digestive system has enzymes that are perfectly capable of breaking down all the foods we eat so single food diets should be avoided.
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Grams Of Carbs In Lower
Getting to 20 grams of net carbs by just eating spinach requires an enormous effort. At 1.4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams youd have to eat about three pounds or 42 cups of spinach. Please note that this is much more than what is shown above. This is simply all the spinach we could fit onto the plate!
However, by adding some other low-carb vegetables like peppers and cherry tomatoes, its quite easy to get to 20 grams . One large yellow bell pepper, half a large zucchini, one cup of cherry tomatoes, and five cups of spinach total up to 20 grams of net carbs.
Nuts and berries are moderately low carb, and youll have to be a bit careful with them to stay under 20 grams every day. One cup of raspberries and 3/4 cup of blueberries add up to 20 grams of net carbs. One cup of walnut halves plus 1 1/2 cups of hazelnuts also add up to 20 grams of net carbs.
Change Your Cooking Methods
Cooking your own meals is a great way to keep your meals healthy and your calorie intake under control.
Nonetheless, some cooking methods are better than others if youre trying to cut back on calories.
Grilling, air-frying, steaming, stewing, boiling or poaching are healthier options than frying in oil.
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What Not How Much
Humans require energy to live, and we get that energy from food and drinks. Our most important source of energy is carbohydrates. Once your body uses up its storage of carbohydrates, it will use protein and fat for energy. Processed carbs have a high glycemic load, which means they spike our blood sugar levels, making us tired and hungry. These foods affect hormones and alter our metabolism so that we store fat and gain weight.
Our bodies can usually manage these blood sugar spikes, but over time, a person can develop diabetes and other health complications, says Dr. Varghese
Simple Ways To Eat Less
To lose weight by eating, you have to make a few changes to your diet and eating pattern. If you are constantly snacking on chips, then eating, spending hours over the weekend in the gym, it will be almost impossible to lose weight. You, therefore, have to find a balance between the two.
Exercising can cause an increased appetite. You may get disappointed because instead of losing weight, you end up gaining a few more pounds. Theres no need to stress out about it but rather form new eating habits gradually that will help you eat the right amount and, over time, help manage your weight after establishing methods of weight loss that work for you.
The trick to losing weight fast is to carefully choose the quality of the foods you eat while reducing your portion sizes. This, along with exercise, helps you burn more calories than you consume. Ensure you do not starve yourself in the process of trying to eat less as your body needs energy to function properly.
Still not sure how to train yourself to eat less? Try slowly making changes to your eating behaviors. You can start by keeping track of how much food you eat, switching to whole foods, limiting mealtime distractions, and eventually using portion control dinnerware.
Heres how to eat less food and not be hungry:
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