If you are giving the keto diet a try, you may be a little confused about the total amount of carbs you can have compared to net carbs daily. So, what sets these two things apart, why is it essential you get it right, and how many net carbs can you have?
As a rule of thumb, most people get 20 grams of net carbs every day while following the keto diet, which can be increased or decreased based on things such as current weight, activity level, and age.
How Many Net Carbs Can You Eat Each Day On a Ketogenic Diet?
You are allowed up to 20 net carbs for the most success while on the keto diet each day. This can range for individuals, especially those who are more active and work out a lot every week.
With that said, sticking to 20g of net carbs a day will help you reach the state of ketosis much quicker and will keep you in that state longer.
What is the Difference between Carbs and Net Carbs?
Not every carbohydrate is used by the body the same way, so you don’t have to eliminate all carbs while on keto.
Everyone knows that eating plenty of greens is one of the best paths to success when it comes to getting healthier. However, greens and other whole foods are full of fiber, and fiber has carbs.
Luckily, these carbs are not digested the same way and never enter your bloodstream, which means they don’t interfere with ketosis. So these carbohydrates okay to consume even for someone on the keto diet.
Another carb that doesn’t have to be added to your daily intake is sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are artificial sweeteners used in “sugar-free” food, candy, and beverages. These, too, are not absorbed into your bloodstream and do not pose a risk to your state of ketosis.
How to Calculate Net Carbs
If you’re trying to follow a strict ketogenic diet, it is important to keep track of your net carb intake every day. Going over your limit just once can increase your blood sugar enough to throw your body out of ketosis.
Thankfully, it isn’t hard to calculate your total net carbs. There are no tools or tricky math formulas needed! You simply take the number of total carbs in an item and subtract the amount of fiber and sugar alcohol.
In this example label, you have a total of 6 carbohydrates per serving (Total Carbohydrates). If you remove the dietary fibers and sugar alcohol (4g), you are left with 2g of total carbohydrates. That means you still have 18g of carbs left for the day.
Formula: Total Carbs – Dietary Fibers – Sugar Alcohol = Net Carbs
Should You Eat Under 20 Grams of Net Carbs a Day?
While there are no set guidelines for eating a very limited amount of carbs on a low carb or ketogenic diet, and many people do choose to eat extremely low to no carbs, there are some health problems associated with people who choose to cut these foods out completely.
Too many carbs are bad for your health, but having some carbs is vital for your body’s daily performance. Choose complex carbs over simple carbs to get the most out of your limited carbohydrate intake.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of your body’s energy; they aid in digestion and help you feel full longer. Carbs are responsible for providing the necessary fuel to your kidneys, brain, heart muscles, and central nervous system.
Summing Things Up
Not all carbs are created equal, so they should not be treated with equal concern. When tracking your carb count on a keto diet, make sure you are keeping your net carb and total carb count separate, and pay attention to complex carbs and simple carbs to get an accurate net carb count.