20 and 50 grams of carbs – how much food is that?

How many carbs are there in common foods? It varies wildly. On this page you’ll find out in a simple way. Like this:

20 grams of carbs in two ways

A low-carb diet restricts carbs, for example recommending under 20 net grams per day on a keto low-carb diet.1

You can eat a lot of vegetables before reaching 20 grams of net carbs, even if you add some colorful peppers and tomatoes. Roughly 20 ounces – more than half a kilo – of vegetables, full of other nutrients (low-carb vegetables guide).

On the other hand, just one half of a hamburger bun can contain 20 grams of carbs, adding up to the entire day’s ration of carbs on a keto low-carb diet. In that case, regular bread is not really an option. But there are low-carb breads that are much lower in carbs.

 

20 grams of carbs in high-carb foods

20 grams of carbs in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes

Just one large potato contains 20 grams of carbs, the daily limit on a keto low-carb diet. As does one half of a large hamburger bun. Or a few bites of rice or pasta.

These foods practically can’t be included at all on a keto low-carb diet, and only in small amounts – if at all – on a more liberal low-carb diet.

Rice can be replaced with cauliflower rice and potato mash can be replaced by cauliflower mash. For a pasta option check out our keto pasta or simply spiralize a zucchini.

Furthermore, there are are tons of other delicious low-carb side dishes that can replace the pasta, rice and potatoes.

More foods to avoid on low carb

 

20 grams of carbs in lower-carb foods

20g_carbs_good

Getting to 20 grams of carbs by just eating spinach (bottom right plate) requires an enormous effort. At 1.4 grams of digestible carbs per 100 gram you’d have to eat about three pounds (1.5 kilos) of spinach. Please note that this is even more than is shown above, this is simply all the spinach we could fit onto the plate!

However, by adding some slightly more carb-rich vegetables like peppers and cherry tomatoes, it’s quite easy to get to 20 grams (top left plate). Full low-carb vegetable guide

Nuts and berries are moderately low carb, and you’ll have to be a bit careful with them to stay under 20 grams every day.

Low-carb fruits and berries guide

Low-carb nuts guide

 

50 grams of carbs in high-carb foods

50 grams of carbs in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes

Adding a bit more bread, pasta, rice or potatoes will easily take you above 50 grams of carbs as well – the suggested limit for a more moderate low-carb diet.

It does not take much – for example just three large potatoes or three slices of bread.

 

50 grams of carbs in low-carb foods

50 grams of carbs in vegetables, nuts, berries

Getting to 50 grams eating only vegetables, nuts or berries is a challenge, but you could do it.

 

 

Really low-carb foods

None of the foods above are extremely low in carbs. How much would you need to eat to get to 20 grams of net carbs when eating other low-carb staples? Get the answers below:

Butter – 44 pounds (20 kilos)
Eggs – 30 eggs (one egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs)
Avocado – 7 avocados (net carbs per avocado: 3)
Cheese – 3 pounds (1.5 kilo)
Béarnaise sauce – 2 pounds (1 kilo)
Meat – an almost infinite amount (meat is virtually free of carbs)
Fish – an almost infinite amount
Olive oil – an infinite amount
Coconut fat – an infinite amount

 
 

More visual low-carb guides

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial).

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More

A low-carb diet for beginners
Low-carb foods
 
14-day low-carb diet meal plan

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  1. Net carbs = digestible carbs, i.e. total carbs minus fiber.

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56 comments

  1. Jean
    Thank you so much this is the cheapest way to reverse diabetes so far. When i get paid i will definatley try the meal plans. I wrote down in my notebook all the stuff listed to avoid and stuff to eat i will have to try and blindly follow it until i can afford the meal plan. Thanks so much.
  2. Bianca Santos
    Sauerkraut! It's low in carbs, it's good for your gut bacteria, you do not need a lot, and it works wonders for me.
  3. 2 comments removed
  4. Rach
    Put hemp hearts, flax and chia in your diet. All three are low carb, high fiber and Keto friendly. They are also full of good fats and other nutrients. You can sprinkle them on top of anything and they are mild flavored.
  5. Jana
    Chia seeds/flax seeds and magnesium citrate!
  6. Jana
    The post was “what if”, eg how much you would have to eat to get 20g carbs. Not the recommendation to eat that much meat...
  7. Stacy
    Rose, I had the same problem when I first started eating a low-carb keto diet. I started using a magnesium supplement and it took several days but now things are moving in the right direction. I take a powdered organic supplement by Natural Vitality called Calm that mixes easily with water. I buy it on Amazon.
  8. Camdogmillionaire
    Kind of funny that blue zones (people with highest life spans) eat about a cup of beans a day. not saying it’s everything but...
  9. Derrick
    wow, i miss dal most of all. I would love your recipe of using pumpkin in dal !!!
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