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).
Low-carb diets, especially very low-carb diets, may lead to greater short-term weight loss than do low-fat diets. But most studies have found that at 12 or 24 months, the benefits of a low-carb diet are not very large. A 2015 review found that higher protein, low-carbohydrate diets may offer a slight advantage in terms of weight loss and loss of fat mass compared with a normal protein diet.
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?
Good question. There is no doubt that grass fed, free range, organic is best but it is simply out of the price range of so many. What is more important to start with is to eat real whole food as best as you can find. I certainly don’t buy organic all the time. Do what you can when you can. It is more important to change from cereals to eggs rather then getting hung up on a perfect source of egg. Take a look at my food brands page. It needs updating as I change brands all the time as I find better ones, but is helpful. I really try and make this as easy on ourselves as we can. We shouldn’t need a degree in nutrition to eat well. Some sites complicate things far too much. My motto is “do the best you can as often as you can”. I agree, labels are pretty poor and not standardised (net vs total carbs for example). Good luck 🙂

Hi Gigi, Low carb and keto is about the balance of macronutrients eaten (fat, protein and carbs), not specifically meat or lack thereof. Most people on keto do eat meat, though some people do vegetarian keto. Fat is actually necessary for many body processes. There is no issue for the kidneys with a high fat diet, but if you eat too much protein that isn’t great for the kidneys. It’s a common misconception that keto is high protein (it isn’t). Keto is great for diabetics as it naturally helps stabilize insulin. All of this being said, please know I’m not a doctor and you should consult your doctor on any medical questions or before starting any diet. If you have more questions that aren’t medical questions, I recommend our low carb & keto support group here.
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.
No deep fryers or air fryers needed for these wings! Forget those greasy chicken wings you’d order at a restaurant and opt-in for these homemade guiltless garlic parmesan wings. You won’t find rancid vegetable oil, gluten or a deep frier here — just avocado oil, healthy pecorino romano and free-range, organic chicken for a twist on an otherwise unhealthy classic.
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 there Libby, just to let you and your readers know, I have been low carb for over a year now, ( sometimes I fall down and have processed carbs, mostly when I am travelling away from home) and the good news is I was diabetic, and now I am pre-diabetic, which is huge :O) I have also lost a small amount of weight in the process ( still more to go :O) but this eating plan makes me feel normal again, not always hungry, and I am a lot healthier than I was :O) now all I need to do is make exercise a habit :O) So thank you so much for all the time and energy you put in to this site, and all of these wonderful recipes :O)


The reason why low-carb plans so often fail most of us is that they're not sustainable for the long term. They often fail to provide a "fallback" plan for what to eat when low-carb foods aren't readily available. Birthdays, holidays, work functions … there's likely at least one scenario in which you'll find yourself eating high-carb foods that don't necessarily "fit" into your plan.

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.
Use fat as a lever.  We’ve been taught to fear fat, but don’t! Both keto and low carb are high fat diets. Fat is our source of energy as well as satiety. The key to understand, though, is that fat is a lever on a low carb or keto diet. Carbs and protein stay constant, and fat is the one you increase or decrease (push the lever up or down) to gain or lose weight, respectively. So if your goal is weight loss, eat enough fat to be satisfied, but there’s no need to “get your fats in” once you’re satisfied. 
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