Keto carbs per day! Carbohydrates are one of the macronutrients found in food and provide one of the body’s possible sources of energy. Eating low carb, or a keto diet restricts carbohydrates to promote weight loss and improve health through ketosis. Here’s a guide to understanding what carbohydrates are and the potential benefits of reducing them in the diet.
Keto carbs per day! What are carbohydrates?
“Carbo” is short for “carbohydrate.” Like the other macronutrients like protein and fat, carbohydrates provide energy (calories) to our body.
There are two basic types of carbohydrates in foods: starches and sugars.
Starchy foods generally do not taste sweet. However, because starch is just a long chain of sugar (glucose) molecules attached together, once it is digested in the intestine, it is absorbed into the blood as pure glucose, raising blood sugar levels.
Do I need to eat a minimum amount of carbohydrates?
The short answer is no. In fact, you technically don’t need to eat carbohydrates at all. When carbohydrates are restricted, your body uses fat and ketones instead of sugar as its main source of energy. Aside from red blood cells and a small portion of your brain and kidneys, which require glucose, cells can use fatty acids or ketones for fuel.5
Your body is capable of producing glucose for any cell that needs it, even if you don’t eat carbohydrates. This is because the liver can convert amino acids (found in protein) and glycerol (found in fatty acids) into glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.
In fact, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine states the following in their 2005 manual “Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, fats, fatty acids, cholesterol, proteins and amino acids ”:
The best carbohydrates on a keto or low-carb diet
By choosing carbohydrates wisely, you can still keep your blood sugar within healthy limits while nourishing your body with important vitamins and minerals. Adding some carbohydrates to your diet can also make the low-carb lifestyle more sustainable, fun, colorful, and varied.
Here are some of the best sources of carbohydrates on a keto or low-carb diet:
- Kale or kale
- Green leafy vegetables
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
How many carbohydrates should I eat per day?
Healthy, physically active, and normal-weight people don’t have to restrict carbohydrates at all, as long as they choose higher-quality unprocessed carbohydrates.
However, for people with a variety of health problems or weight problems, it is often beneficial to keep carbohydrate intake relatively low. The lower, the more effective for weight loss and for metabolic health problems such as type 2 diabetes.
At Diet Doctor, we define three different levels of carbohydrate restriction:
Medium Low Carb: 20-50 grams of pure carbs per day
- ketogenic – less than 20 grams of pure carb per day.
- Medium Low Carb: 20-50 grams of pure carbs per day
- Low Carb Liberal: 50-100 grams of net carbs per day.