What Does 30 Grams of Carbs Look Like?

Dr. Anthony Gustin is a board-certified sports chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, entrepreneur, podcast host, and founder of Perfect Keto.

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The most important factor to getting into a metabolic state of ketosis is to restrict carbohydrates.

The Standard Ketogenic Diet (which is the best variation for most people) prescribes just 5% of calories per day from carbohydrates. Your body is different from the next person’s, so you may reach your best ketone levels at 20g of carbs per day while someone else may be at 40.

However, in the keto world, 30 grams of carbs per day is a standard rule of thumb and you’ll see that term tossed around and plugged into keto macro calculators everywhere.

But what the heck does 30 grams of carbs look like anyway? When I started keto, I couldn’t tell you what it looked like. I was too scared to even eat leafy veggies because I was dodging carbs like Neo dodging bullets in the Matrix.

And therein lies the purpose of this guide: to develop your intuition for 30 grams of carbs so you can be more comfortable eating the nourishing whole foods we need on a ketogenic diet while skipping the garbage we don’t.

Of course, we will also be talking about net carbs in this post. Each photo is 30 grams of total carbohydrate in the food, and the net carbs will be described below the photo.

Carbohydrates themselves are not “bad” or “good,” they are just molecules where carbon is bonded to water. But fiber is one type of carbohydrate that does not impact blood glucose levels. It’s broken down in the large intestine by gut bacteria and is essential for normal and healthy gut function. For whole foods with fiber, we can subtract that number from the total carbohydrate count.

For example, if a food has 12 grams of carbs but 7 grams of fiber, you’d net 5 grams of carbs.

Be warned. Food companies do everything in their power to bring down the “net carb” count on their nutritional label and will include garbage ingredients that ruin your gut and do impact your blood sugar but yet can technically be subtracted from the “total carb” count. Your best bet is to stick to whole foods that grow and die.

Oh, and before we get into it, we’ve whipped up a free keto-friendly meal plan so you can stick within your allotted carbs and remain in ketosis. Click here to get the free keto meal plan now.

Okay, let’s go for it! Our tour will start with fruits, move to veggies, then to fats, and end with the garbage we probably grew up eating and are now cutting out of our ketogenic diet. What’s the most interesting and surprising to you?

What Does 30 Grams of Fruit Carbs Look Like?

BLUEBERRIES

Serving: 1.45 cups
Fiber: 5g
Net carbs: 25g

STRAWBERRIES

Serving: 2.75 cups
Fiber: 5g
Net carbs: 25g

BANANA

Serving: 1 medium banana (5.5 oz.)
Fiber: 3g
Net carbs: 27g

KIWI

Serving: 14 oz.
Fiber: 8g
Net carbs: 22g

APPLE

Serving: 7.5 oz.
Fiber: 7g
Net carbs: 23g

GRAPEFRUIT

Serving: 2 medium grapefruits (1 cup)
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g

TOMATO

Serving: 28 oz.
Fiber: 8g
Net carbs: 22g

What Does 30 Grams of Vegetable Carbs Look Like?

KALE

Serving: 12 oz.
Fiber: 12g
Net carbs: 18g
Notes: Overflowing a bit, but those are two bunches of kale 🙂

CARROTS

Serving:  11 oz.
Fiber: 8g
Net carbs: 22g

CUCUMBERS

Serving: 30 oz.
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g

RED ONION

Serving: 8 oz.
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g

RED PEPPER

Serving: 33 oz.
Fiber: 11g
Net carbs: 19g

ZUCCHINI

Serving: 35 oz.
Fiber: 10g
Net carbs: 20g
Notes: Get your zoodles out! 🙂

CAULIFLOWER (OR BROCCOLI)

Serving: 5.75 cups (20.5 oz.)
Fiber: 14g
Net carbs: 16g
Notes: Cauliflower rice anyone?

SWEET POTATO

Serving: 120g (4.28 oz.)
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g

What Does 30 Grams of Carbohydrate in Fats Look Like?

AVOCADO

Serving: 12.5 oz. (2 large avocados)
Fiber: 24g
Net carbs: 6g
Notes: Ah the almighty avocado, the iconic symbol of keto. Two of these have only 6 grams of non-fibrous carbs! Eat up!

WALNUTS

Serving:  8 oz.
Fiber: 16g
Net carbs: 14g

PECANS

Serving: 7.5 oz.
Fiber: 14g
Net carbs: 16g
Notes: This serving also has 1500 calories – don’t ignore calories especially if your goal is weight loss.

CASHEWS

Serving: 3.75 oz.
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g
Notes: Big difference from pecans and walnuts!

FULL-FAT YOGURT

Serving: 26 oz. (4 containers)
Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

What Does 30 Grams of Carbs in Junk Food Look Like?

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Serving: 1.8 slices
Fiber: 6g
Net carbs: 24g

STARBUCKS COFFEE DRINK

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: Get ready for the roller coaster energy and….crashh.

ODWALLA JUICE SMOOTHIE

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g
Notes: But it’s non-GMO! But there’s no added sugar!

RED-BULL

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: 4 sips and you’re at your 30g/day quota.

COCA-COLA

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE TORTILLA CHIPS

Serving: 42g (1.5 oz)
Fiber: 1g
Net carbs: 29g

THE LEADING “HEALTHY” ALTERNATIVE TO CHIPS

Serving: 42g (1.5 oz)
Fiber: 1g
Net carbs: 29g

SNICKERS CANDY BAR

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: Hear the snickers? The joke is on us!

M&M’s

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

CHEERIOS

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g
Notes: “Heart-healthy” though right?

KIND BAR

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g

GUMMY BEARS

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 28g

30 Grams of Carbs in an Infographic

Want a simple, free reminder to print off or save that shows you exactly what 30 grams of carbs looks like?

Pin this to Pinterest or even just save it to your desktop so you don’t go overboard on carbs in your ketogenic diet.

 

30 grams of Carbs

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That’s What 30 Grams of Carbs Looks Like

In practice, it’s easy to go over your net carbs on the ketogenic diet, unless you plan appropriately.

We don’t want that for you, so we’ve whipped up a free meal plan so you can stick within your allotted carbs and remain in ketosis.

Click here to get the free keto meal plan now.

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Responses (49)

  1. Hmmm. It’s helpful, but… there’s always a “but” isn’t there? It’s just that we’re not going to sit down and eat the whole 30 grams in one food. What would be more helpful is to show what amount to eat at each meal to make up a day’s worth of 30 grams of carbs. I’m not generally going to weigh and measure my food and look up carb counts, but I do like visuals. 🙂

  2. This was SUCH a helpful email – thank you so much for putting out this article!

    It was perfect to read and to see the illustrations.

    Excellent job. Excellent.

  3. This is so helpful, I’m having trouble getting into Ketosis and always wonder if I’m eating to many veggies but with this illustration, I might only have to cut back a bit. This is the best website to get information that is easy to understand. A visual of a full breakfast, lunch and super under 30grams of carbs for a full day’s worth would also be nice! 🙂

  4. Very helpful. I would find it more to see what amount to eat at each meal to make up a day’s worth of 30 grams of carbs. The visual reference you have shown is very helpful. Thank you. Also, what is your recommendation of Keto for 41 year old woman wanting to get pregnant and bring on Keto.

  5. it is easy to understand cause it is visual but ,the problem is how do I measure how much micronutrients I consume in the day is there any advice

  6. is there any app ? to help to track down the micronutrients I consume . I really like the idea of putting carbs visual

  7. Good to see the foods that have the most carbs and fibre ratio.
    I like the idea of carrot, cauliflower and broccoli, kale and carrots being staples in my diet.

  8. Agree! Thanks for writing it. I was going to say the same. Having them show what a meal /meals look like would be better 🙂

  9. I find that 1 meal a day seems best for me I do bullet coffee around 9 to 10 AM. starting at 3 pm organic chicken broth with MCT oil coconut oil and Kirkland pesto 1 tablespoon each. salad home cured cucumbers feta cheese thinly sliced tri-tip roast romaine lettuce frozen pumpkin seeds. I drink vitalizer water using ozone injection to increase oxygen uptake. I stay in full ketosis with no hunger. The main problem in the USA culture is people eat too often and too much food. Weight gain is fueled by fear-based thinking.living unstressed is not being obsessed with getting enough food or when or how. These photo food portion shots prove my point. Enjoy verity just not a week’s worth in one day.

  10. You forgot to show full cream milk. About 5g of carbs per 100ml. Meaning going for that half-liter of delicious full cream milk might very easily put you over the daily limit

  11. Whole wheat bread can spike your blood sugar significantly and most of the ones out there are highly processed and fall into the category of junk food based on that.

  12. Thank you for sharing! This was certainly a reality check! It helps so much to actually “see” how many!

  13. I use the “Lose It!” app and I love it. It allows you to set your own macros and track all the foods you eat. Their database of foods is amazing. Almost anything you can imagine is in there, and if it isn’t, you can create your own foods & recipes, or scan bar codes. I upgraded to the premium version and think it is very much worth the low price to be able to track more info and get more detailed breakdowns, but the free version is also really good.

  14. This is basically what the Atkins diet was years ago,it is the only. Diet I ever lost weight on,but of course we didn’t have supplement ketones back then,still have receipes from the Atkins era. Eggs were a big part of the diet,also you made your own condiments.always said if you hang in there long enough you will see history repeats.

  15. Agree, with Ma and Roxanne, I want to see what I can eat right then and there, I don’t wanna count out either!

  16. My favorites…macadamia nuts. If using the above example, 30g of carbs would be almost 1 and 3/4 cups with fiber of 18g net carbs of 12g! Plus loaded with fat!

  17. well if ypu think about it there were 3 zucs divided by 20 is abut 7 per zuc and i usually eat half a zuc in an omlette or zuchini pie so like 3 good carbs only if you pace it right its filling and if you add egg and cheese and sliced avocado its super filling!!:)

  18. A great visual. Thanks.

    Have you also created one which shows what 100 grams of fat looks like?

    Appreciate the time you’ve invested here.

  19. I like the visuals! I would love to see visuals of meals. Example, __ cup of spaghetti sauce with meat on 1 cup of zooodles equals __ carbs.

  20. Dr Dubin wants me to try this. I’m a gym nut ,biking ,kayaking ,yoga etc. BUT I have hypothyroidism and Even though I eat healthy and very small potions I have gained weight. I have tried everything and cannot life se a pound. Any suggestions. Oh U was on nutrition-system and weight watchers with no results. Any suggestions?

  21. This is certainly a good start to show us about carbs etc, but meal size portion amounts would be very, very helpful.

    That way we could work out how many carbs are in what we eat.

  22. Remember that you should spread that 30 grams of carbs throughout the day between meals.

  23. Atkins is low carb, high fat and high protein.
    Too much protein will turn to carbs in your body.
    So it is similar but not the same. It is unlikely that you will achieve ketosis on the atkins diet. If you do get into ketosis then you probably won’t stay there.
    Test your ketones and eat high fat, high protien with no carb and you will see what I mean.

  24. I’ve struggled with hypothyroidism and weight issues my entire life. Even though my levels are monitored closely and stable, I still struggled to lose weight. I’ve tried every diet, diet pill, colonics, even considered surgery. But I’ve noticed a huge difference since I started the ketogenic life. It’s as if my body was designed for it. I actually felt horrible all the time…like carbs was more of a dead weight then energy. I didn’t notice how bad I truly felt till I cut out carbs. I felt amazing. The sad part was my body craved carbs.. Even tho it made me feel so bad. I truly believe my metobolic system just didn’t know what to do with carbs… Just knew it needed energy and was trained to use sugar so it asked for it (with cravings) but didn’t have the genetic make up to process. When I got into a ketosis state… It woke up my body, metabolic system and fat burning signals. It responds well to less carbs. I’m sorry this got so long… But your doc might be on to something. Good luck.

  25. I love the comparison between healthy carb and junk carbs! Thank you. I can just eat 1/3 of an item at each three meals and I’m set. So simple.

  26. Your food guide doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t seem helpful. The portions, where given, don’t seem accurate. For example, a “serving” of tomato is 28 ounces. Really? 1 and 1/4 pound of tomatoes is a serving? I love tomatoes but that’s ridiculous. Other entries appear just as nonsensical. You just destroyed any credibility you had for me. There are lots of better and more accurate resources.

  27. Carol Simoes, the title says “what does 30 grams of carbs look like”. It doesn’t say that one serving is 28 oz of tomato. Most people will not eat 28 oz of tomato so you just calculate that eating 1/4 of the amount will give you about 7 grams of carbs.

  28. in cucumber there is 2.6g carbs per 100g and not 26gram !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. I think some great visuals might include what a reasonable plate of food looks like that might contain 8-10 grams of carbs….including servings of “bad” foods like rice, beans, etc…
    For 3 squares, that leaves a few grams for a snack.
    I really don’t care about candies, sweets, sodas, etc…but rather what people think of as “staples” that have found their way onto the “bad food” list…
    I mean, I like steak and potatoes. What would a plate of baked potato, maybe some string beans, ‘shrooms and a decent steak look like? I know eating a whole, large baked potato would kill my “keto count” for the day, but what if I had, say, 1/2 of a medium and the skin, and a little pile o’beans? Pictures like that would be easy to remember and give me confidence that I could still “sample” a bit…

  30. This is what I’ve been seeking all week. Your site and articles along with others are so helpful to us Keto fans. Keep up the good work it’s well appreciated.

  31. Thank you for this.
    This would be perfect IF the measurements were in grams as well.
    No idea what a “cup” of something is!

  32. VERY helpful! Having difficulty getting into ketosis. Wish I could talk to you personally! Thank you for the free info.

  33. CinJP…
    A cup is 8 oz. Use google and do the conversion.
    BTW, I absolutely love this site! Great examples of carbs etc. I’m new to the diet and was very confused. This has helped clarify things regarding how I’ve been feeling ding I started..I was eating too much while trying to be in ketosis!
    Thank you🙏🏾

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