How 20G of Net Carbs Measures Up with This Keto Carbohydrate Food Chart
You’ve started the high-fat, low-carb keto diet and you’re excited to see results (rapid weight loss and more energy? Yes, please!). You know you’re allowed roughly 20g of net carbs a day, give or take depending on your body. But what does that amount of carbs look like on your plate? Is it one sweet potato; a cup of blueberries; two bunches of spinach? Sometimes it helps to see things visually. Here’s a handy carbohydrate food chart to help guide you. But first, a quick primer on the keto diet, macronutrients, and total carbs versus net carbs.
What is the keto diet?
When you’re on the keto diet, you eat loads of fat (75% of your daily calories), a fair amount of protein (20%), and very few carbs (less than 5%). By restricting carbs, you’re changing the way your body burns energy. Instead of using glucose, your body switches to burning fat for fuel. This puts you into ketosis — when your liver converts fatty acids into molecules called ketones to use as energy. Burning fat for fuel carries enormous benefits — it accelerates weight loss, reduces inflammation, and boosts energy. Learn more about the keto diet with this keto beginner’s guide.
Figuring out your macros
When on keto, you eat a certain amount of fat, protein, and carbs. Together these are known as macronutrients (aka macros). When you have a goal, be it weight loss or to build muscle, counting your macros is an important piece of the puzzle.
To achieve and remain in ketosis, you need to keep your total carb intake around the 30g mark, and your net carb intake around 20g. Net carbs are the carbohydrates in food that your body can digest and use for fuel. To calculate net carbs, you take a food’s total carb amount and subtract fiber and sugar alcohols. Learn more about net carbs and how to calculate them here.
You may need a little more than 20g of net carbs, depending on your body. Experiment and see what works best for you. Learn more here about finding your ideal carb intake. On the Bulletproof Diet, certain strategies, like drinking Bulletproof Coffee and Brain Octane Oil and doing intermittent fasting lets you push that number up to 35g of net carbs a day, while staying in ketosis.
This keto carbohydrate food chart looks at what 20g of net carbs looks like when it comes to your favorite keto vegetables, starch, fruit, and fat (that are also Bulletproof-approved).
These amounts are for the foods in their raw form, so just be mindful if cooking them. You can check out the Bulletproof Diet cooking roadmap for guidance on how best to cook various foods to make sure they retain their nutrient value.
Note: In some instances, the figures you see are rounded-off to the nearest ten.