How Many Grams of Carbs Per Day Should You Eat on Keto?
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How Many Grams of Carbs Per Day Should You Eat on Keto?

See examples of 30-gram servings of fruits and vegetables, and find out exactly what a safe snack looks like on keto.

How Many Grams of Carbs Per Day on the Keto Diet

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet — but just how many grams of carbs per day is considered low enough?

Most people following a ketogenic diet will consume just 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates each day. If you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, this breaks down to 25–50 grams of carbs per day. (Don’t worry, you’ll dive into the math below). 

This guide will help you determine how many grams of carbs per day to consume on keto. You’ll also learn how these amounts translate into various food sources (both good and bad). 

But before you go any further, here’s one thing you should understand: Every human body is different. While 30 grams of carbs per day is a good rule of thumb for most people, the truth is that age, activity level, weight loss goals, and body composition play a role in determining how many carbs you can consume and stay in ketosis. 

How to Calculate How Many Grams of Carbs Per Day 

Knowing how many grams of carbs to eat per day on keto can be tough. Why? Because keto goes directly against the teachings of the Standard American Diet. In fact, the USDA and most dietitians advocate for a high-carb, low-fat diet to prevent weight gain, suggesting that 45-65% of total calories should come from carbohydrates[*].

On keto, you’re trying to transition to a fat burning metabolic state where you burn ketones — rather than glucose — as your body’s primary energy source. To do this, you’ll need to eat large amounts of fat, switch to moderate protein intake, and keep your daily carb intake to an absolute minimum. 

To enter (and remain) in ketosis, the macronutrient guidelines for the average person include:

  • 5-10% of calories from carbs
  • 20-25% from protein
  • 70-75%, or remaining calories from fat 

The Difference Between Total Carbohydrates and Net Carbs 

Here’s an important thing to note: On keto, you will always calculate your net carbs — not your total carbs — for the day. 

Your net carb intake is equal to the total amount of carbs you consume (in grams), minus the grams of dietary fiber. Net carbs are calculated because dietary fiber does not raise your blood glucose levels (blood sugar) — which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid on keto. 

Calculating Carbs By Hand 

Unfortunately, knowing daily macro percentages isn’t too useful when you’re reading a nutrition label. To help calculate your macros (i.e. protein, fat, and carb intake), try translating these percentages into grams. 

One gram of carbohydrates is equal to four calories, while one gram of protein and fat provides four and nine calories, respectively[*]. 

If you plan to consume 5% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, you would multiply 2,000 by .05, to get 100 calories per day. To translate into grams, divide 100 by 4, for 25 calories per day. 

If your carbohydrate intake equals 10% of your daily calories, the same calculations would result in 50 grams of carbs per day.

Calculating Carbs Through the Keto Macro Calculator 

The amount of carbohydrates you consume will be impacted by your age, activity level, and even bodyweight. To calculate how many macros you should consume, be sure to use the keto macro calculator for the most accurate results. Use the keto calculator to enter your information and calculate your macros.

Your Keto Carb Limit: Which Carbs Are Best?

If you’re eating just 25-50 grams of carbs per day, you’ll want to make those carbs count.

Carbohydrates include sugar, starch, and dietary fiber[*]. Carbohydrates are found in dairy products, grains such as bread, white rice, and quinoa, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes as well as green, leafy vegetables. 

Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs: The Keto vs. SAD Debate

When it comes to good carbs and bad carbs, once again keto takes a different approach than most nutritionists. The Standard American Diet (SAD) encourages people to eat complex carbohydrates, such as those found in lentils, beans, brown rice, whole grains, and starchy vegetables[*]. 

They tell people to veer away from simple sugars (or “bad carbs”) found in white rice, white bread, and processed snack foods, as most of the nutrition has been stripped away.

Most foods considered “healthy carbs” by USDA dietetics are eliminated on keto, as they spike your insulin levels (thereby kicking you out of a ketogenic state). 

A keto meal plan consists of carbs that rank low on the glycemic index — a tool measuring how much a particular food raises blood sugar levels[*]. 

On keto, you’ll consume whole foods that rank very low on the glycemic index (and have very low net carb counts), including green, leafy veggies, healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and MCT oil, and high-quality protein. 

What Does 30 Grams of Carbs Look Like?

As stated earlier, most keto dieters consume between 25-50 grams of carbs per day when following a 2,000-calorie diet. For most people, the average seems to be 30 grams of net carbs per day. But what does 30 grams of carbs actually look like?

Below, you’ll find examples of how to hit your 30 gram carb limit on keto — both in healthy and not-so-healthy ways.

Fruits 

On keto, always choose fruits that are low in sugar. This means selecting low-carb foods like berries and avocado (yes, it’s a fruit), and avoiding high-sugar fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas. 

If you’re wondering why you should do this, simply look at the serving size of the fruits below. You’ll get more bang for your buck by eating handfuls of berries than you would from eating a small banana.

Blueberries

How many grams of carbs per day: blueberries

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

Strawberries

How many grams of carbs per day:  Strawberries

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

Banana

Banana

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

Kiwi

Kiwi fruit

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

Apple

Red apple

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

Grapefruit

How many grams of carbs per day: Grapefruit

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

Tomato

Tomatoes

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

Vegetables

Keto-friendly vegetables include leafy green vegetables such as kale, lettuce, broccoli, and asparagus. Meanwhile, you’ll want to avoid starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. 

Kale

Kale

Serving: 12 oz.
Fiber: 12g
Net carbs: 18g

Carrots

How many grams of carbs per day:  Carrots

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

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

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

Red onion

Red onions

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

Red pepper

Red bell peppers

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

Zucchini

How many grams of carbs per day:  Zucchini

Serving: 35 oz.
Fiber: 10g
Net carbs: 20g

Cauliflower or broccoli

Cauliflower

Serving: 5.75 cups (20.5 oz.)
Fiber: 14g
Net carbs: 16g

Sweet potato

How many grams of carbs per day:  Sweet potato

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

Fats 

Many times, a whole food will contain a mixture of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It’s important to take note of foods not classified as carbs that still contain traces of carbs in them. These foods include nuts, seeds, vegetables, and dairy products.

Avocado

How many grams of carbs per day:  Avocado

Serving: 12.5 oz. (2 large avocados)
Fiber: 24g
Net carbs: 6g
Notes: Two of these have only 6 grams of non-fibrous carbs.

Walnuts

Walnuts

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

Pecans

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

Cashews

Serving: 3.75 oz.
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g

Full-fat yogurt

Fage yogurt

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

Grains and Sugars

You won’t find any grains or empty sugars on a keto diet plan, mainly because they rank so high on the glycemic index. Below, you’ll see that grains, candy, soda, and other high-sugar foods will quickly eat up your carb intake for the day.

Whole wheat bread

Slices of wheat bread

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

Starbucks coffee drink

How many grams of carbs per day:  Starbucks drink

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

Odwalla juice smoothie

Odwalla smoothie

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g

Red Bull

Can of Red Bull

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: Four sips and you’re at your 30 grams per day quota

Coca-Cola

How many grams of carbs per day:  Coca Cola

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

Gluten-free tortilla chips

Tortilla chips

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

Harvest Snaps snack

Harvest Snaps

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

Snickers candy bar

Snickers

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

M&M’s

Bowl of M&Ms

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

Cheerios

Cheerios

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g

Kind bar

Kind bar

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g

Gummy bears

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 save it to your desktop so you don’t go overboard with carbs on your ketogenic diet.

Infographic on how many grams of carbs per day

 

Share this Image On Your Site

How Many Grams of Carbs Varies According to Your Goals

On the keto diet, most people eat between 25-50 grams of carbs per day, or 5-10% of their total calories. This stands in stark contrast to the diet you grew up on, where you were told to eat high amounts of carbs, without too much protein or fat.

The exact amount of carbs you consume will depend on your body composition, activity level, and fat loss goals. However, using the Perfect Keto Macro Calculator is a great place to start. 

On the keto diet, your goal is to burn ketone bodies — rather than glucose — for energy. To do this, you’ll eat a high-fat, low-carb diet. Keto foods include high-quality meat, nuts and seeds, plenty of healthy fats, and low-sugar fruits and vegetables. If you are looking to get started, be sure to visit the Perfect Keto recipe library for plenty of low-carb meal ideas. 

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55 thoughts on “How Many Grams of Carbs Per Day Should You Eat on Keto?

    1. 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!!:)

    2. 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?

      1. 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.

  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. 🙂

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

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

  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

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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🙏🏾

  21. For past eight days I have measured and calculated all calories, fat g, protein g and carbs g. Keeping excel sheet on my laptop
    I am under limits for macros.
    Weight loss 5 lbs.
    I understand first week will be water only?
    Why am I not loosing weight?

  22. Those of you asking for exact macro info and easy to use pictures just need to do some internet research. I made an extensive spreadsheet with tons of food and the macros, calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, net carbs, and sugar. Then removed all the foods that weren’t optimal nutrition, and processed. It’s easy to create meal plans that I like instead of relying on being told what to do. That’s just lazy. If you want the success, put in the work. It’s not that hard

  23. Useful … but I agree with most … knowing what 5 grams of carbs looks like might be more useful. Also can u explain how there is 30grams of carbs in a Starbucks coffee (which in your visual appears to be a black coffee)

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