Your body uses carbohydrates as its main fuel source. Complex carbohydrates (starches) are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. They're then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they're known as blood sugar (glucose). In general, natural complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and they have less effect on blood sugar. Natural complex carbohydrates provide bulk and serve other body functions beyond fuel.
Hi Cyn, The numbers are general guidelines but will vary depending on many factors, such as activity level, insulin resistance, weight and more. There is no single magic number, just conventional recommendations that are a good starting point. I will have a macro calculator coming soon that will help determine what is best for each person, but even then it’s an approximation. The only way to know for sure is to test. If keto is your goal, it’s usually best to start lower and then see if you can stay in ketosis when increasing.
A low-carb diet can be extremely effective for dropping excess fat, and studies show it may also help reduce the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. As it eliminates foods we have a tendency to overeat (can you say bread basket?), you end up saving calories. And since carbs spike blood sugar, you'll have more stabilized blood glucose levels, too.

This is a wealth of information. My husband and I are starting the keto diet tomorrow and I knew nothing about it. When I sat down to look up information about it, I found this. Thank you! This is everything I need to know in one place. We are not as healthy as we’d like to be and I am optimistic this will help us obtain our goals, along with an exercise plan.


It is very interesting to read about the keto/low card diet.I love to change my lifestyle as I an TYPE 2 Diabetic.I subscribed for a free printable low carb meal .The initial email stated that that I will receive an email for instructions to access the members area .Your free download will be there.However it is very deceiving ,I never got the 2nd email with instructions which is frustrating and not good .Hopefully this is not a way to get us to pay to get the printable version.
Have a hamburger but not the bread bun, load it up with veggies and cheese. Instead of a sandwich, have the fillings on a salad or wrapped in nori (seaweed) sheet, wrapped in slices of ham or other deli meats. And instead of cheesecake with a biscuit base and sugar-laden filling, have a base made of ground almonds topped with cream, cream cheese, and berry filling.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Hi, I have been giving ditch the carbs a go…so far only in the form of bread,pasta,rice, this was quiet hard for me as I didn’t realise how much I got through a day! I’m a fussy meat eater as I was a veggie for a number of years so still only eating veggie quorn. I don’t drink fizzy drinks or alcohol. I have already cut out cakes/biscuits apart from the odd biscuit! I have lost weight and I still need to loose more…I really want to change my children’s diet also but I have one child who will eat/try anything and a two year old who won’t eat vegetables, luckily she has never been keen on pasta,rice or potatoes anyway but think I will struggle with her…so any tips welcome! She loves all fruit which I let her have as she doesn’t eat veggies but not sure if this is wise!
Anyone who's dieted knows how demoralizing it feels when you've been working so hard to lose weight, only to watch it come back even faster than it went away. Since it's only human nature to feel so darn defeated, we can't help but kick ourselves and say "I give up!" That leads us right back to where we started: diving head first into the bread basket and eating way more than half of our calories from carbs per day.

If you want to lose weight, then cut the carbs down until you start dropping. It’s always a balancing act. After decades of Weight Watchers and other crazy diets I now don’t count a single thing. It is the most intuitive way of eating for me for over 3 years now. I pretty much stay at goal weight and still enjoy my red wine, 90% chocolate at weekends and some occassional low carb baking.


While some low-carb diets allow for the carbohydrates found in plant-based foods, others restrict them almost entirely — namely, the ultra-trendy ketogenic diet. Since these foods contain the highest amount of water and dietary fiber, it's crucial to consider both the short-term side effects (constipation) and the long-term ones (increased risk of GI cancers and decreased immune function).
Absolutely go for the wine! As long as you go for an unsweetened wine and limit yourself. I only have a glass at the weekends as I know all my good intentions go out the window once I’ve had a glass and it’s harder to say no to more dark chocolate. If your weight loss ever stalls, you may need to reassess how many glasses you have as the alcohol will always be metabolised before anything else so weight loss will often stop. As for gluten, all my recipes are naturally gluten free because all my recipes are grain free. Read my post on Gluten free vs Grain free to truly understand. Beware of GF products because they are so high in carbs because they are made with rice flour, tapioca starch etc. And remember, gluten free junk is still junk 😉 Good luck Mary, keep coming back and asking questions.
Note: Many of the meals on this page include a side of healthy vegetables or healthy fruits. Although fruits and veggies are typically not low carb (under 10 g of total carbohydrates), that doesn't mean that they aren't good for you. Even if you're following a low carb diet, you should still eat plenty of fruits and veggies. In addition, you should consult with your doctor before embarking on a low carb diet. 
Net carbs is simply total carbs minus fiber and non-digestible sugar alcohols, like erythritol. (This doesn’t apply to high glycemic sugar alcohols, like maltitol.) We don’t have to count fiber and certain sugar alcohols in net carbs, because they either don’t get broken down by our bodies, are not absorbed, or are absorbed but not metabolized. (Read more about sugar alcohols here.)
Hi Sam, it won’t work. You will be incredibly hungry and you won’t have any energy. The idea of the keto diet is to get your body used to use fat to burn energy not carbs. Since you won’t be eating carbs energy has to come from “something” and it can’t be protein. I can’t recall what happens when you have too much protein when doing Keto but it was something scary. In general, I do not recommend the Keto diet without some sort of supervision by your doctor or nutritionist that can watch your process and progress.
Hi I’m only new to LCHF and you’re information has been amazing, thank you! I have one question though I’m doing well cutting out sugar, breads etc but just wondering do I need to portion control my meals? Typically I have a 2 egg one letter with cheese, spinach and mushrooms for breakfast. Then warm chicken salad with rocket, cucumber, tomatoes, Persia fetta and a poaxhed egg. Dinner yellow curry with brocoli, carrot on cauliflower rice. Snack a low carb cheesecake, nuts maybe a smoothie.
You’re very welcome, Judy! I’m glad it’s helpful. If you are keto (as opposed to low carb), unfortunately peaches would not allow you to stay in ketosis. You can check my keto food list to help determine what is keto friendly. Of course, there are worse things than fresh fruit 🙂 but in the end our bodies still see the sugar. That being said, it doesn’t mean you sabotaged the whole day. Just pick up again – you got this!! (And for next time, try some fresh berries in moderation when you’re craving fruit.)
Low-carb diets may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets. That may be due not only to how many carbs you eat but also to the quality of your other food choices. Lean protein (fish, poultry, legumes), healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unprocessed carbs — such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products — are generally healthier choices.

I am starting on low carbs as I have been advised that my body doesn’t deal well with carbs and I am at risk of diabetes. I also need to lose weight. I understand your principles of ‘doing the best you can’, avoiding processed foods etc, but wondered if there is a general rule of thumb to go by when reading food labels, such as aiming for food with no more than 2% carbs?

The keto diet is one of the most effective that I’ve come across and one of the more straightforward (as opposed to easy!) to follow. In a nutshell, when you’re on a keto diet, you eat a very low-carb, high-fat diet. That means goodbye pasta and bread, hello cheese and oils. It’s pretty much the opposite of what we’ve been taught our entire lives. But it works if you follow the keto diet food list. Plus, you can make many favorite recipes keto-friendly.
Oh, by the way : We are prematurely killing our beloved pets with carbs. Dogs and especially cats need to eat meat, but commercial pet food is mostly corn & wheat, which was bad enough before being poisoned by weed killer (“Round-Up” which is soaked into all American grain today) …. Huge numbers of cats and dogs now suffer & die from kidney failure, and the only explanation is what we are feeding them. My kitties now get chicken and tuna, which is a lot cheaper than any ‘gourmet’ canned food. Cooking for them is kinda fun, for that matter. 
×