Low Carbohydrate Intake

The key principle of the ketogenic diet is to induce a state of ketosis, in which the body shifts from using glucose as its primary energy source to using ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat. To achieve this state, it is important to limit carbohydrate intake to a specific range.

Carbohydrate Intake Guidelines

The recommended amount of net carbohydrates to consume on a ketogenic diet typically ranges from 20 to 50 net grams per day, depending on factors such as individual goals, activity level, and metabolic rate. However, it’s important to note that each person’s carbohydrate threshold for maintaining ketosis can vary.

Net carbs refer to the carbohydrates that are absorbed by the body and have an impact on blood sugar levels. To calculate net carbs, you simply subtract the grams of dietary fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates in a given food. This distinction is important because dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate, is not broken down into glucose and does not raise blood sugar levels like other carbohydrates do. In the context of a ketogenic diet, tracking net carbs helps ensure that you maintain a low carbohydrate intake while still consuming adequate fiber, which is important for digestive health and overall well-being. By focusing on net carbs, individuals following a ketogenic diet can make more informed choices about the foods they consume and better manage their carbohydrate intake to remain in a state of ketosis.

Generally speaking most people will be able to achieve a state of ketosis consuming 50 grams of net carbohydrates or less per day. Feel free to complete the calculations below to determine your exact intake. We recommend carbohydrate intake be 10% of your daily calories.


Calculating the ideal carbohydrate intake for men and women involves considering several factors, including age, weight, height, activity level, and body composition. To determine the appropriate carbohydrate intake, you can follow these steps:

Calculate your daily caloric needs

Use a basal metabolic rate (BMR) calculator or a total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) calculator to estimate the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. These calculators take into account your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.

Determine your ketogenic macronutrient ratio

On a ketogenic diet, the macronutrient ratio typically consists of approximately 70-80% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. However, this ratio can be adjusted based on individual preferences and goals. We will be completing the “MCT OIL Ketogenic Diet” which is 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates

Calculate your carbohydrate intake

Multiply your total daily caloric needs by the percentage of carbohydrates in your chosen macronutrient ratio. Then, divide the result by 4 (since 1 gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories) to obtain the number of grams of carbohydrates you should consume daily.

For example:

If your total daily caloric needs are 2,000 calories and you choose a ketogenic macronutrient ratio with 10% carbohydrates:

(2,000 calories) x (0.10) = 200 calories from carbohydrates

200 calories รท 4 = 50 grams of carbohydrates per day

Final Step: Calculate Net Carbs

To calculate net carbs from your total carbohydrate intake, you need to subtract the grams of dietary fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates. Here’s an example using a daily intake of 50 grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of fiber:

  1. Begin with your total daily carbohydrate intake: 50 grams of carbohydrates
  2. Determine your total daily fiber intake: 20 grams of fiber
  3. Subtract the fiber intake from the total carbohydrate intake: 50 grams (total carbs) – 20 grams (fiber) = 30 grams

In this example, the net carb intake would be 30 grams per day. By calculating net carbs, you can ensure that you’re maintaining a low carbohydrate intake while still consuming enough fiber for optimal health and digestion, which is important when following a ketogenic diet.

Quick Summary

The ketogenic diet aims to induce ketosis by shifting the body’s primary energy source from glucose to ketones, derived from fat breakdown. This necessitates limiting carbohydrate intake, with the typical range being 20-50 net grams per day, dependent on individual goals, activity levels, and metabolic rates. Net carbs, absorbed by the body and affecting blood sugar levels, are calculated by subtracting dietary fiber from total carbs. Dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate, doesn’t convert into glucose or raise blood sugar levels. By tracking net carbs, individuals can maintain a low carbohydrate intake, adequate fiber consumption, and stay in ketosis. An individual’s ideal carbohydrate intake can be calculated by considering factors like age, weight, height, activity level, and body composition, and applying this data in a ketogenic macronutrient ratio. A net carb calculation example is also provided for clarity.