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What Does Low Carb Mean

What Does Low Carb Mean?

I’m sure by now you’ve run into someone who defiantly says they eat ‘low-carb’ or keto. But they all seem to eat different things! Confused? Today we’ll learn “What Does Low Carb Mean?”.

So…What Does Low Carb Mean?

Eating low carb simply means = you eat less carbs then the USDA recommendations = which is 200 plus grams/day.

But usually a low carber will eat somewhere between 60-130 grams of carbs/day, sometimes a bit more.

Very low carbers will eat less = sometime 50 grams of carbs a day, 25 grams, or basically none.

So Why Eat Less Carbs?

The primary reason why people go low carb is to lose weight.

  1. Carbs require water to digest them
  2. The less carbs you eat…the less water you need
  3. So you drop water weight quickly…it’s mostly water that you lose (the joke’s on you if you think you are losing tons of fat, you aren’t)

Sorry to inform you of this water reality…

After you lose the water your lower carb diet naturally feeds you less calories, so you lose weight. There is nothing magic about it.

Some people also do a low carb diet to try to get their body to burn fat rather than glucose and resort to eating mostly saturated fat (butter), a little protein and very few carbs…this is called a Low Carb High Fat Diet (LCHF) or a keto diet.

More on that in a minute…

But Back To The USDA Carb Recommendations

If you eat whole foods carbs from plants you would have a helluva time eating 200 grams of carbs per day. Too much fiber…you would burst!

Eat carbs from refined processed foods and…well…you could top 250 , 350, 500 carb grams/day…really the sky’s the limit!

It’s easy to pig out on refined food carbs – they have very little fiber and because of there’s no fiber you never feel full! Fibreless carbs also wreak havoc on blood sugar control, insulin resistance and your gut microbes…in a bad way.

Let’s Say You Ate These Refined Carbs In A Day

Just your typical carbs for a day, nothing out of the ordinary…

  • 1 Cup Orange Juice = 26 grams carbs
  • 5 Cups Cheerios = 31 grams of carbs
  • 1 Cup Milk = 13 grams of carbs
  • Bagel = 30 grams carbs
  • A Can Of Coke = 39 grams carbs
  • White Burger Bun = 21 grams carbs
  • 2 Cups Cooked Pasta = 86 grams carbs
  • Venti Café Mocha = 53 carbs

This adds up to 299 grams/carbs!!!…(less than 10 grams fiber) Yikes!

And to make matters worse…the USDA recommendations take into account refined carb consumption, including 12 teaspoons of sugar!

(that’s 48 frigging carb grams from sugar!

Per day!


But…like I said…if you eat whole foods carbs good luck getting up to 200 grams of carbs/day.

Let’s Say You Ate These Whole Food Carbs In A Day

  • ¼ Cup Barley Flakes = 13 grams of carbs
  • 1 Cup Blueberries = 17 grams of carbs
  • 1 Cup Cooked Sweet Potato = 34 grams of carbs
  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa = 34 grams of carbs
  • Veggies/greens raw or cooked = 10 grams of carbs

This adds up to 108 grams of carbs!  And 19 plus grams of fiber.

So It Really Comes Down To The Carbs You Choose To Eat

Eat real food and you’ll naturally eat low carb without trying!

Don’t and you won’t.

This is really important!

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes involves changing what you eat. This includes eating less refined processed food carbs! And if you just have Insulin Resistance you have to eat less processed carbs too!

So Is Super-Low-Carb (LCHF) or Keto An Option?

(less than 60 grams carbs/day — sometimes as low as 20 grams carbs/day)

No! It’s unsustainable, increases your risk for heart disease and stroke and it’s the total opposite of what your body needs to get better!!!!

To learn if the Keto Diet is Safe For Prediaebetes you can check out my blog post about the 3 KETO Truths You Need To Know.

To learn how to manage your carb intake and still eat healthy and protect your heart you can read my blog post: Do I Need To Count Carbs? 

What Does Joan Do?

There’s something way more important than lowering carbs for the sake of eating less carbs —– fiber.

I eat whole food fibery plants and make my food choices based on fiber NOT carbs.

No fiber and I usually pass. Hey….I got millions of gut microbe mouths to feed! Happy microbes mean healthy Joan – which is always my end goal.

And I don’t count stuff (carbs, proteins, fats) either. It’s not sustainable and no fun!

I don’t want my meals to be a math lesson! I mean…really????!!!…for millions of years mankind existed without the use of detailed counting of every last morsel.

and…you really don’t have to if you eat real food.

Eat the processed stuff and you better start counting or who knows how many carbs you’ll eat!

When I’ve figured out my carbs (for the sake of science) they usually are at about 100-150 grams carbs/day without ever trying to limit anything, that’s how life works when you eat real food.

You can learn all about what Joan does here!

Click on the box and you can download a FREE eating plan that reverses Insulin Resistance, Prediabetes and even Type 2 Diabetes!

That’s the answer for the question, “What Does Low Carb Mean?”.


About the Author Joan Pasay

As a Nutrition & Lifestyle Therapist I felt compelled to start Power In The Group. Why? To guide and support women like you with Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance so you can regain and nourish your health...without all the confusion. Together we can enjoy the richest quality of life for ourselves, with our families, and within our society...wanna come along?

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