When To Eat Carbs On A Standard Keto Diet
The most common and beneficial type of keto diet for most people, SKD has a dietary macro breakdown of:
- Fats: 7080% of your calories
- Protein: 2025%
- Carbs: 510%
Youll strive to keep your daily net carbs in the 2050g range .
Eat most of your carbs in the afternoon and evening. Contrary to what most people believe, theres no scientific evidence to support the idea of carbing up heavy in the AM and working off these carbs throughout the day.
In fact, there are loads of studies to prove that eating carbs in the morning actually sets up your body for a neverending carb cycle of cravings and crashes. You can thank your bodys hormones for this.
See, sleeping puts your body into a fasted state overnight, which causes glucose and insulin to both rise in your system. As a result, your blood sugar and insulin levels are highest in the AM.
When your insulin levels are elevated, its almost impossible for your body to use the carbs you eat. Insulin, as its job as a storage hormone dictates, tucks away the energy from your breakfast and prevents you from burning these carbs for fuel.
When insulin levels normalize later in the day, blood sugar levels decrease and fat burning becomes possible again.
Your hormones also need to adjust according to the time of day.
Cortisol levels are highest in the morning too. Known as the cortisol awakening response, this stress hormone can increase as much as 3875% as part of your bodys circadian rhythm, or your natural sleep/wake cycle.
How Are Carbohydrates And Sugar Related
First off, all carbohydrates you consume break down into sugar and are absorbed into the bloodstream.
As your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases insulin. This allows sugars to be transported into your cells to be used for energy.
On a normal diet, carbohydrates are our main source of energy, whereas fat is the primary source concerning the Keto diet.
Not all carbs are created equal though, and there are 2 forms of carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates aka starches are und in whole grains, starchy veggies, breads, and more. They also take longer to digest so gradually raise your blood glucose.
Simple Carbohydrates are easily broken down , and provide an essential source of energy.
They can tend to spike your blood sugar levels quickly and are present in healthy foods but also run rampant in in sodas, cookies, donuts, and other treats.
How Many Carbs Should I Eat Each Day
This all depends on whether youre doing low-carb or keto, and even then theres some variations based on what works for you. This infographic will show you the differences between low-carb and keto diets.
Most keto dieters aim for under 20 net carbs per day. If you need help planning your meals, check out my 28 Day Keto Meal Plan!
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What’s The Serving Size
Theres no official definition on how many carbs a day a ketogenic diet is, but a vast majority lose weight around 20 grams per day .This will vary depending on your activity level and your carbohydrate tolerance.But lets just say youre trying to stay around 20 grams per day. How much cashews can you eat to stay around this daily limit?
If you eat the Serving Size of 1 oz of cashews youd eat 8 grams of carbs, so youre probably doing okay.But if you eat the whole bag, youd eat 256 grams and blow it.32 Servings Per Container multiplied by 8 grams of Total Carbohydrate is 256 grams.
What Are Net Carbs And What Are Total Carbs
Not all carbs have the same effect on your system.
Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D. says, Fiber, it turns out, is a form of carbohydrate, but is not a carbohydrate that has any effect on blood sugar or insulin response.
He adds, Therefore, the idea of focusing on net carbs, meaning the carbs that are left over when the fiber is removed from the equation, does make a lot of sense because it is these residual carbohydrates that strongly influence blood sugar and, consequently, insulin response.
Carbohydrates can be divided into 2 main categories, impact and non-impact.
- Impact Carbs: Impact carbs have a high glycemic index , and can dramatically affect your blood sugar levels. Some examples are white bread or rice, potatoes, and sugar. Unless they are immediately used to fuel some physical exertion, any surplus is stored as body fat.
- Non-Impact Carbs: Non-impact carbs come from the fiber in fruit, veggies, and whole grains, along with sugar alcohols. These low-GI carbs have a very low impact on blood sugar and are digested far more slowly. Because of this, they dont tend to play havoc with your insulin.
Put simply, if you deduct fiber and sugar alcohols from the total amount of carbohydrates you consume, youll be left with net carbs.
Net Carbs = Total Carbs Fiber
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Finally Determine How Much Fat You Should Be Consuming
Phew, we made it! This is the easiest part. The remaining calories are what will come from fat. Heres how to see how many calories are coming from protein, carbs, and fat. Keep in mind that there are 4 calories per gram for protein and carbs, and 9 calories per gram for fat.
Multiply total carbohydrate grams by 4. In our example, we used 20. So, 20g X 4 = 80 calories.
Multiply total protein grams by 4. In our example, we used 112. So, 112g X 4 = 448
- 80+448=528 is your total calories so far. You have 2,000 calories in total.
- 2,000-528=1,472 left over. Now divide this leftover amount by 9 to get our total for fat.
- 1,472/9 = 163g of fat
Why Does The Country I Live In Matter
It’s because food labels differ between the USA & Canada, and the rest of the world. These two countries include the amount of fiber in the total carbohydrate value, visible in the Nutrition Facts table. On the other hand, if you live in Australia, this number will have already been subtracted from total carbohydrates.
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Pros And Cons Of Myfitnesspal
MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular calorie tracking apps, and its free . The app prioritizes social networking and progress sharing with friends, which sets it apart from other apps.
With a massive food database, you can find almost any food you desire on MyFitnessPal. However, the main reason for their massive database is that anyone who uses the app can submit anything they want. This makes it difficult to know which food item in the database you should choose.
The free MyFitnessPal app also doesnt track net carbs, only total carbohydrates and fiber. This makes it a bit more tedious for keto dieters to use because they have to make their own net carb calculations.
Heres a quick list of the pros and cons of MyFitnessPal:
- Great for tracking packaged foods with barcodes
- Option to import recipes directly from your favorite keto recipe websites
- Some foods and recipes will not be accurate
- Cant track net carbs on the free app
- Can only use macronutrient percentages
The Truth About Net Carbs Vs Total Carbs
Watching your carb intake may be second nature to many of you by now, but if youre new to eating keto youll probably start to hear words like carb count, macros, and net carbs thrown around a lot. Today, were going to go over net carbs vs. total carbs, and which you might want to focus on counting on your keto diet. If you havent read our post on keto and fiber, we recommend you read it now!
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Should You Be Focusing On Net Carbs Or Total Carbs We Dig In
Walking through my local grocery store last week, I passed by the aisle with protein bars, granola, and generally healthy-ish snacks, and something caught my attentiona giant “keto-friendly” cookie that proudly proclaimed it had just 3 grams of net carbs on the front of the package. Cool, I thought, I like cookies and I’d rather not jack up my blood sugar.
But flipping over the package revealed that this seemingly innocent cookie had 26 grams of total carbs. What gives?
According to the company, most of those carbs come from allulosea type of sugar alcoholwhich means it basically “doesn’t count,” as your body can’t metabolize it like regular sugar, and some of those carbs come from fiber, which isn’t absorbed, so that “doesn’t count” either. At least that’s what several companies marketing their products to low-carb, keto dieters are claiming. But honestly, it seems too good to be true.
Here, we asked some nutrition experts for their thoughts on net carbs, whether it ever makes sense to count them , and what might be more important to focus your attention on while sticking to a low-carb diet.
How To Calculate Keto Macros
Youve likely heard macros and calculating/sticking to/going over your keto macros being mentioned as part of the keto diet.
So, if youre new to a ketogenic diet, then youll be wondering what macros are.
And if youve tried keto already, then youll be wondering about the best way to calculate your macros on keto, how to track your macros, and what to do if you go over them.
Well be covering everything related to figuring out Keto diet macros in this article.
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Carbs On Keto: How To Time Your Carbs To Stay In Ketosis
On keto, youre trying to transition to a fat-burning metabolic state where you burn ketones rather than glucose as your bodys primary energy source. To do this, youll need to eat large amounts of fat, switch to moderate protein intake, and keep your daily carb intake to an absolute minimum.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Keto Diet
Theres no doubt that a ketogenic diet may help spur weight loss and anecdotal reports of drastic transformations are easy to find. I have clients who have lost a significant amount of weight on a keto diet, but they were obese when starting and had quite a bit of fat to lose. These individuals have fairly drastic body transformations, says Keatley.
In Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, 20 people with obesity who followed a very low calorie keto diet for four months lost an average of 44 pounds , mainly from body and visceral fat. In Nutrition Metabolism, normal-weight adults who followed a non-energy restricted keto diet for six weeks lost about 4 lb in both fat and lean body mass.
But long-term studies show that theres not much of a difference in weight loss between keto and other diets. One meta-analysis published in October 2013 in the BMJ compared adults on a ketogenic diet with those on a conventional low-fat diet. After at least a year, those on the keto diet lost an additional two pounds compared with the group who slashed fat. The bottom line is that diets, including keto, may help you lose the same amount of weight in the long run. With that news, know that there may be a better option out there for you, says Keatley.
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Can You Eat Carbs And Still Lose Weight
Yes, definitely! The keto diet is about eating quality foods within optimal quantities to facilitate nutritional ketosis which is when your body switches from burning sugars as fuel to burning fat.
These quality foods referred to also include whole, nutrient-dense carbohydrates that are high in fiber.
As the keto diet limits carbs to around 20 grams per day, its clear that carbs are very much still a part of the keto diet, albeit in smaller, healthier quantities that facilitate efficient fat burning.
Do You Need To Count Calories On Keto
If you have a headache from all those numbers, theres some good news
If youre counting macros already then youll be counting calories by definition, as each gram of fat, protein, and carbs equate to a certain number of calories. Focus on maintaining your macro balance and you wont need notebooks overflowing with numbers.
You should bear in mind that if youre going Keto for weight loss purposes, youll need to recalculate your macros from time to time for best results.
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So How Do You Calculate Net Carbs
First, subtract all grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates.
Then consider the sugar alcohols in the product, if any.
Absorption rates of sugar alcohols vary, and therefore some have more of an effect on blood sugar levels than others. For example, the popular sugar alcohol erythritol has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels, and therefore doesnt count towards net carbs, says Martin. So, in that case, youd subtract any grams of erythritol from the total carbohydrate count as well.
To calculate net carbs for a product containing erythritol, simply subtract the grams fiber and erythritol from the number of total carbs. For example, a food product with 20 grams total carbs, 3 grams fiber, and 4 grams erythritol would contain 13 grams net carbs, Martin says.
Of note: Some sugar alcohols do count towards net carbs. Maltitol, sorbitol, isomalt, and glycerin contribute about half a gram carbs per gram. So, you would only subtract half of their amount from the sugar alcohol equation, says Martin. For example, if there were 4 grams of maltitol instead of erythritol in the above equation, you would only subtract 2, she explains.
Most keto product manufacturers are aware that all of this is a lot of work and therefore use only erythritol in their products. The other sugar alcohols like maltitol might be found in sugar-free or reduced-sugar versions of candies, chocolates, and ice creams. Just check the labels.
Beans And Starchy Vegetables
If you have room in your carb allotment, beans, and starchier vegetables are an excellent choice because they tend to be very nutrient-dense compared to other higher-carb foods. In addition, beans have a lot of slowly-digested carbohydrates and resistant starch.A half-cup of beans contains approximately 15 grams of carb, with the exception of soybeans.
Starchy vegetables vary in their carb content and some numbers might surprise you. For example, a half cup serving of mashed potatoes contains about 15 grams of carb per serving. The serving size of starchy vegetables and size will also vary the carbohydrate count. For example, thick cut potatoe fries will have more carbohydrates per piece as opposed to thinner sliced ones. In general, one 3-ounce potato contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate.
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Whats The Purpose Of Limiting Carbs
To understand why you need to know about net and total carbs, its good to have a solid understanding of the role carb-limitation plays in the keto diet:
The entire goal of a ketogenic diet is to get and keep your body in a state of ketosis. This iswhere the body relies on fat for energy rather than carbs , and your ketone levels are at least 0.5 mmol/L when you test them .
The only way to achieve ketosis is to drastically restrict your carb intake long enough so your body trains itself to produce ketones from stored and consumed fats and use them for energy. Once youre in ketosis, the goal is to stay there and optimize its many benefits. The only way to do this is to continue to limit your carb intake.
But by how much exactly?
What Is The Best Carb Tracking App For Keto A Side By Side Review Of Cronometer Vs Myfitnesspal Vs Carb Manager
If we compare the results of tracking the exact same meals side by side, we can see that MyFitnessPal, Cronometer, and Carb Manager are within 60 calories and 3 grams of net carbs of each other.
With 2,121 calories, MyFitnessPal had the lowest energy estimate for the day. However, this wasnt far from Cronometer , which is known for being a highly accurate tracking app.
From a net carb perspective, I noticed that MyFitnessPal was the least accurate . There was also a 1.5-gram difference between Cronometer and Carb Manager, which I traced back to Cronometers greater precision and a discrepancy between each apps spring mix listing.
Overall, these discrepancies are small enough that they will not make or break your results. This means that the best app for keto ultimately depends on your preferences.
If you want to track your macronutrients, net carbs, vitamins, and minerals with greater precision , then Cronometer is the best choice.
On the other hand, if you would rather have a larger database of foods and recipes to choose from, then youll find Carb Manager or MyFitnessPal to be the better option.
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Adverse Effects Of Sugar Alcohols
The most common adverse effects experienced by those who consume sugar alcohols are gastrointestinal effects. Side effects include bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence. However, the extent to which these side effects are experienced will differ from polyol to polyol and on the amount consumed.
Sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine but highly fermentable in the colon will induce the most discomfort such as sorbitol, mannitol, and isomalt, whereas sugar alcohols that are more easily absorbed in the small intestine are less likely to induce such adverse effects with erythritol being the least likely to cause gastrointestinal adverse effects due to its high absorption rate .
Xylitol has been found in many studies to be better tolerated than polyol disaccharides, polysaccharides, and hexitols. This is consistent with the fact that xylitol is a monosaccharide that is more easily absorbed and less fermentable than larger polyol compounds .
However, a subset of individuals who chronically experience gastrointestinal discomfort, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome, a functional gastrointestinal disorder, have often been advised to avoid polyols, sugar alcohols, and other complex forms of carbohydrates that are fermentable. One dietary approach that advocates this is the low-FODMAP diet.