Thirty grams of carbs in two ways

Trettio gram kolhydrater

Both pictures contain 30 grams of carbs – a daily intake while eating moderately strict LCHF. Which would you choose?

In other words: avoid the major sources of carbs (sweets, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes). Then you can enjoy plenty of other good food and still get a good effect on your weight and health.

Pictures from this Swedish blog


Really carb-sensitive people and those who want the maximum effect of LCHF can benefit from keeping the carb intake below 20 grams a day (maybe even lower). They need to be careful not to eat too much carrots, nuts or berries.

Read more: LCHF for beginners


  1. Charl
    I am moderate lchf and believe in it strongly however I feel this picture misrepresents the message of healthy portions and balanced meals. The two pictures are not comparable because with that roll you could also have some greens and meat to make up the protein and fats from picture 1. In other words if I was eating lunch I wouldn't only eat a roll. Thats how this mess started I'm the first place
  2. Lisa
    Charl you have misuderstood the whole idéa. This shows how much vegetables you can eat and get just as much carbohydrates as one single hamburgerbread.
    This has nothing to do whith portions and balanced meals.
  3. Galina L.
    Many people believe that LCarbers eat only meat, cheese and bacon.and one who would attempt such diet would suffer from the lack of fiber and constipate as a result.
  4. Justin B
    I believe what Dr. Eenfeldt is getting at is that wheat, in particular, has been shown to be very anti-health, whereas vegetables are very nutrient-dense and pro-health. It's not always about number tallies.

    Galina, is there an epidemic of constipation in Alaska?

  5. Galina, what I found (n=1) is that once I started consuming most of my calories from protein and fat, the body is remarkably efficient at consuming those, and therefore the amount that goes to waste (literally!) is a tiny fraction of before. It was the very fibers I was eating in vegetables and fruits and grains that was gumming up the system, and I'm still confused by the advice that you need *more* of those very same things to unstick the logjam... wait, what?
    Reply: #24
  6. Peggy Holloway
    Glad to see the PS! That is exactly what I was thinking. I liked the picture but was concerned about the carrots, berries, and nuts! I have to really watch my nut intake as it is my one "snack" item. If I am in the height of "cycling season," I like to have a handful of almonds, partially for the salt, after a ride but the rest of the year, I need to steer away from nuts.
  7. Michelle
    Is there any research on women and low carbs? I know this way of eating is amazing and really works for most, but do any of you think that women in general need a higher ratio of carbs daily?

    I saw this too, not perfect by any means, but going in the right direction?

    Thanks Michelle xx

  8. bill
    For those who may not have followed the link to the Swedish
    website, this was posted there. (If you were in doubt):

    Spinach (40g) - 0.6g kh
    Oliver (40g) - 0.1g kh
    Raspberry (1 dl) - 3.5 g kh
    Almonds (1/2 cup) - 4.2g kh
    Carrot (60g) - 5.4g kh
    Asparagus (42g) - 1g KH
    Beetroot (50g) - 4.2g kh
    Red onion (50g) - 2.9g kh
    Broccoli (80g) - 2.4g kh
    Mushrooms (100g) - 3g kh
    Red cabbage (50g) - 2.2g kh
    Radishes (32g) - 0.6g kh

    There will be a total of:
    30 g carbohydrates
    26g fat
    18g protein
    428 kcal

    It also gives 100% or more of the RDA of:
    folic acid
    Vitamin C

    ...and we need grains why?

    Reply: #14
  9. Markus
    This picture needs to be shown every time a nutritionist claims, that you cannot eliminate an entire food group, or the you won't get enough vitamins and minerals on a strict low carb diet.
  10. Luke
    Is that seriously only 30 grams? Do you subtract the fibre to get the total?
    Reply: #13
  11. Janknitz
    Dr. Enefeldt has two videos of interviews with Dr. Michael Fox, a fertility specialist. You may want to take a look at them.

    He has phenomenal success with his patients achieving pregnancy on an LCHF diet. They have healthy, normal pregnancies and babies. This way of eating optimizes the hormones so that women can become pregnant and have healthy babies.

    Absolutely this is best for women. We do NOT need more carbs.

  12. Galina L.
    @Randal L.,
    I know , I know that we don't need grains in order to get fiber, but it is what people tell me all the time. It is the strangest mass misconception, somehow people are sure that without fiber they wouldn't have any bowl movements, and grains are the most important source of fiber. Another thing I can't get myself to understand during many years I spent in US - is eating cold cereal with milk for a breakfast.
  13. Zepp
    In Europe we only wright digestible carbs as carbs, and fibers is written separatly!
  14. Zepp
    We need grain fibers to fart a lot.. to make the polar ices melt??
  15. moreporkplease

    "In Europe we only wright digestible carbs as carbs, and fibers is written separately!"

    And the problem with that is - Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, a professor at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul & the world expert on dietary fiber, informs us many people actually can digest the supposedly undigestible fiber. To be safe, you really should probably count the fibers back as part of the carbs. This is exactly why Dr. Westman doesn't subtract out the fibers at all. Many people are overeating carbs, probably, because of this.

  16. Eric Anderson
    Two Questions:

    What is the doctors opinion or experiance with Low Dose Naltrexone 4.5 mg? Several studies indicate that blocking opiods and sugar/grain cravings helps reduce carbohydrate consumption

    I use a modified fast (360 calories on low day) that allows me to eat on up day. ADF has reported great benifits in animal studies and I have lower glucose and my blood ketones are about 1 on modified fasting and 1.65 on eating days

    I find for me a Modified Alternate Day and HFLC combination is easy and works well for weight nd blood levels and health

  17. moreporkplease # 15

    Nope, the tiny fraction of fibers that your body can digest should absolutely NOT be added to carb column. They should be added to the fat column since the fibers are converted to short chain fatty acids (SCFA) by methane producin bacteria in your colon. SCFA are by the way actually saturated.

    That's the reason why a vegan cow actually gets som 3/4 of their calories from SCFA (saturated fat) and in the process of doing so burps and farts so much methane that it is being accused (mostly by human vegans) for beeing the nr one cause of global warming.

    I´ve written a long blog post about gorillas (55 E % SCFA) on this subject here:

    What should be added back to carbs thus is about half of maltithol, a sugar alcohol often used in low carb candybars that is claimed to be 0 % net carbs but converts to sugar in the body with about 50 % efficiency.

  18. Oh, forgot... there is an exeption to the rule above. Some root veggies like the carrot actually has a fiber consisting of fructose-chains that breakes up when it is coocked. That's why over coocked carrots tastes a lot sweeter (fructose) than raw ones. So some of fiber content in over cooked carrots should actually be counted as carbs (even as sugars). If you eat them raw in a cole slaw or only wook them gently you don't have to worry about that.
  19. Healthy carbs are always preferable than the fattening foods like whole grain we can completely replace the fattening foods with only vegetable and fruits which gives us energy as well as helps in burning the fats of the body.
  20. I was just about to say the same thing Zapp. Does this include fibre within the total?
    Reply: #22
  21. A great visual! I used to think bread was the Staff of Life, now I think it is the Shaft.

  22. Zepp
    As it is from a Swedish blogg.. its without fibers.. only sugars and starches!

    And lika Per wrights.. you can count some of the fibers as short chain fats.. like butyrate!

    If one like to read more about fibers and butyrate.. go to Paul Jaminets blogg.. he have written about this for some years ago.

  23. moreporkplease
    @Zepp, @Per

    The problem with this "fiber=fat" theory is that I am not a vegetarian gorilla & I don't have a gorilla's digestive tract or microbiome. Don't know about you, tho'. :D

    "On the internet, no one knows if you're a . . .gorilla." :D

    So please toss a really good RCT on this our way, or else I, like Dr. Westman, am sticking with Dr. Slavin.


  24. Bret
    I have found the exact same thing to be true. In fact (sorry if this is "TMI" for anybody), I have genetically inherited intestinal difficulties. My dad just got through a painful struggle with diverticulitis, after an entire adult lifetime of inflammatory colitis. Nothing quite like that has happened to me, but my first 28 years of high-carb eating produced some, shall we say, unpleasant results on the other end. Not a trace of such problems for the past year that I have been on LCHF.

    Isn't it funny how people jump to that fiber/constipation response? It seems to be a key piece of the high-carb dogma. Jonathan Bailor mentioned recently on one of Jimmy Moore's podcasts that a cup of blueberries will produce more fiber than a serving of whole wheat bread any day. But of course the high-carb mainstream apologists don't want to hear that.

  25. EatMoveSleep
    I would guess most people eating LCHF would not eat that much veg a day.

    If that photo accurately represents 30g of Carb (regardless if counted grams were to double if fiber was counted), and IF most LCHF eaters don’t eat near that much or other carbs (no grains/sugar); Then should this mean that most LCHF eaters are in/near nutritional ketosis as carb consumption is slow low? (blood containing more than 0.5 nM/L of ketones)

  26. Galina L.
    True, I don't eat a hey-stock of veggies a day. it is difficult with two meals a day, one of two is eggs-based and no snacking. Veggies became the hedonistic food.
  27. moreporkplease #23

    You don´t need a RCT to know that you have methane & SCFA producing becteria in your colon... just eat some fibrous food and if you start farting in a few houres time, you know you you got them.

    Seriously Moreporkplease, every human has them. In the blogpost I liked to above about gorillas You´ll find a link to a scentific study were gorillas and human guts are compared. In short gorillas are a lot more effective att producing SCFA than human due to their much longer colon. They can get 55 % of their calories from SCFA, we can get maximum 10 %.

    I have a lot of respect for Dr Westman and have had the privilige to listen to him live. I doubt that he has stated that the ordinary fibers (made up of chains of glucose) that you find in grains and green veggies, can be converted to sugar accessible for the human body. I havn´t heard of any human enzyme or any strain of our microbiota that would be capable of doing that. That statement would really need a good scientific reference!!!

  28. Funderaren
    I dont think we should be to scared of the fibercount in these vegetables. If every person ate their carbs like to one on the picture, we would be a very healthy sociaty.

    Refined sugar and starch is the problem, not vegetables.

  29. Michelle
    @ Funderaren, I agree with you. I eat a huge amount of veg (low sugar) and have no problems. We are all different, but the carbs should come from fresh produce.
  30. 1 comment removed
  31. FrankG
    The discussion about "net carbs" vs. "Total carbs + fibre" is a frequent one on Diabetes forums; where every gram of carbohydrate has to be accounted for and in many cases balanced with an injection of insulin. Although I do agree with the points above regarding gut microbes converting fibre/cellulose to fatty acids I also know (from personal experience) that what is labelled as "fibre" can in some cases also raise Blood Glucose levels... my suspicion is that this is just another way in which food labeling is misleading and that what the food manufacturer has labeled as fibre was in fact starch or even sugar... anything to make their "food" appear healthier :-)

    I also do not find that a lack of plant fibre leaves me anything but regular -- I think this is an hold over from the Victorian obsession with their bowels and pioneers such as Kellog who somehow convinced us all on that cereal was part of a complete breakfast! Grains may help to speed things through your gut.. most likely by causing inflammation!

  32. moreporkplease

    In short, you don't have a human RCT. Ok. No data.

    "I have a lot of respect for Dr Westman and have had the privilige to listen to him live. I doubt that he has stated that the ordinary fibers (made up of chains of glucose) that you find in grains and green veggies, can be converted to sugar accessible for the human body."

    You doubt, do you? Well - Listen to Westman say it himself, at about 18:05 until 18:45 mins. in this video:

    Here he discusses the Slavin research and explains how it changed the way he teaches the diet vs what he wrote in the new Atkins book. This video was made in Jan. 2012, so you're more than a year behind on this. But hey, no one is perfect, right? :D

  33. @mooreporkplease

    OK, so You don´t understand how science works and thinks the word science = RCT. No, not all! Not all good science need RCT:s to be good science. You don´t need RCT in physics. And you don´t need RCT to figure out biochemical pahhways in the body of living organisms. This qustion is about the biochemical pathway of fibre. The cases were you need to conduct a RCT is when your testing out a new drug or if your testing what diet works best for weight reduction or diabetes care.

    I gave you a link to a scientific paper about the relevant issue. You cave me a 30 second clip from a video link were Eric Westman does not get into the issue i depth. As I stated earlier some polyfructose fibers like the one found in carrots can convert to fructose when heated. Otherwise than that I don´t hear Eric Westman making the claim that fiber overall (cellulose) can convert to sugar that raises blood sugar in humans.

    If I should speculate my guess is that Westman´s stand has moore to do FrankG notion, that food with added fibers might contain stuff that really isn´t fibers. There are also artificial "fibers" made of polyfructose added in junk food. I don´t know how it´s labeled in the US but so called "resistant starch" has been shown to not always be resistand depending on the microbiota. But I simply havn´t read any link that has shown har real fiber should convert to sugar in humans. So your claim really needs moore scientific backing than a 30 second video clip that can be interpreted in a multitude of differnt ways and doesn´t provide any credible biological mechanism for a molecular biologist like me. ;-)

  34. I am so thankful to have found your blog. I've been transitioning to high fat/low carb and have found your site invaluable. I really enjoy the fact that I'm not hungry while eating high fat/low carb. I LOVE the visual contrast between the hamburger bun and all those veggies and fruit. I can't imagine why I ever ate so much bread to begin with. I will continue to follow all of your information. Thank you for all of your work!
  35. We should take complex carbohydrates, or carbohydrates with high fiber content. This is because they will take longer to be digested, and thus not cause as great a blood sugar level or insulin spike.
  36. Tracey
    When I started with LCHF I was so excited because I thought I wouldnt have to weigh/measure foods.
    However, it seems that everyone is doing just that. Am I missing something?

    An example of my daily food :
    2cups of coffee with a quarter cup of cream each
    2 eggs, some avo, cheese for breakfast
    Maybe a salad for lunch with feta and tuna
    Fatty meat and some veg for dinner

    I have no idea of values. . .

    Reply: #37
  37. Zepp
    Well its more in the begining.. to make sure that one eat the right way.. then when you know.. you know and your apetite system take care of the rest.

    Some/a lot of peopel, just eats the right thing and get it very easy.. some other that lose there apetite totaly or used to jojo-dieting mayby have to count in the begining to know the new and right proportions!

    And then.. its often when we is explaning.. then one have to be more precise and give some numbers and soo!

    Many dont count anything.. just eating the right stuff!

    Try the easy metod first!

  38. Eric Anderson
    If you look at the data for low carb vegetables like Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage etcetera they have about 125 calories (100 Carbohdrates + 25 Protein) per pound (454 grams) So 20 ounces in some combination of these vegetables can get you 30 grams or 120 calories from carbohydrates. If you add nuts or fruit like berries to the mix the numbers and weight changes.
    DO not forget to account for even trace carbs found in eggs, cream, cheese etcetera if a significant portion of your intake.

    After some time you can observe your intake and follow simple rules or approximations. I plan on 40 to 50 carbohydrate calories from dairy like cream, eggs, cheese etcetera and the 50 to 60 calories at each of two meals like 5 to 8 ounce serving of a vegetable OR 100 grams of Macadamamia nuts or less OR 175 gram can of Black olives. (Have a list of 5 to 10 carbohydrate sources and amounts that works for YOU. Watch the Voleck and Phinney interviews and note each person can vary in glucose, insulin, and ketone response on the same amount or percentage of carbohydrates. Test and measure for yourself! Eric

  39. 1 comment removed
  40. gbl
    I just eat however much vegetables I can afford, but I am having trouble with cruciferous. I find it hard to digest more than a little, not often and that usually in soup. That leaves a lot of green peas, green beans, lettuce, some spinach, kale (somehow easier to digest than cabbage et al), and root vegetables, including beets. I make quarts and quarts of bone broth, and almost always have a broth vegetable soup. Another way.

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts