How Many Carbs Per Day?

How Many Carbs Per Day?

This varies between individuals.

Many people feel best eating very little carbs (under 50 grams) while others eat as much as 150 grams, which is still low-carb.

You can use these numbers as a guideline:

10-20 grams per day: Very low, can’t eat any carbs except low-carb vegetables. Appropriate if you have a lot of weight to lose or if you have diabetes and/or the metabolic syndrome.
20-50 grams per day: If you need to lose weight fast. You can eat quite a bit of vegetables and one piece of fruit per day.
50-150 grams per day: If you want to achieve optimal health and lower your risk of lifestyle-related disease. There is room for several fruit per day and even a little bit of healthy starches like potatoes and rice.
When you lower carbohydrates below 50 grams per day, you can’t eat any sugar, bread, pasta, grains, potatoes and a maximum of one fruit per day.

I recommend creating a free account on Fitday to log your food intake for a few days. This is great way to get a feel for the amount of carbs you are eating.

Warning For Diabetics: Carbs in the diet are broken down into glucose in the digestive tract, then they enter the body as blood sugar. If you eat less carbs, you will need less insulin and glucose-lowering drugs.

It is very dangerous if your blood sugar drops below a certain level (hypoglycemia). If you have diabetes, consult with your doctor before reducing carbohydrate intake.

Why Does It Work?
Humans evolved as hunter-gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years.

Our diet changed drastically in the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago.

However, this change is small compared to the massive transformation we’ve seen in the last few decades with modern food processing.

It is quite clear that humans today are eating a diet that is very different from the diet our ancestors thrived on throughout evolution.

There are several “primitive” populations around the world that still live as hunter-gatherers, eating natural foods. These people are lean, in excellent health and most of the diseases that are killing western populations by the millions are rare or nonexistent (30, 31Trusted Source).

Studies show that when people eat natural foods that were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors (also known as the paleolithic diet), they lose weight and see massive improvements in health (21, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

The Hormone Insulin
The hormone insulin is well known for its role of moving glucose from the blood and into cells. A deficiency in insulin, or resistance to its effects, causes diabetes.

But insulin also has other roles in the body. Insulin tells fat cells to produce fat and to stop breaking down the fat that they carry. When insulin levels are high, the body chooses not to dip in to the fat stores to provide energy.

On a Western, high-carb diet, insulin levels are high all the time, keeping the fat safely locked away in the fat cells.

Carbs are the main driver of insulin secretion. A low carb diet lowers and balances blood sugar and therefore lowers insulin levels (32, 33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).

When insulin goes down, the body can easily access the calories stored in the fat cells, but it can take a few days to adapt to burning fat instead of carbs (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).

Low carbohydrate diets are very satiating. Appetite goes down and people start to automatically eat fewer calories than they burn, which causes weight loss (37Trusted Source).

The main advantage of a low-carb diet is that you can eat until fullness and lose weight without counting calories. Eat low-carb and you avoid the worst side effect of calorie restricted diets: hunger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *