Is 30 carbs a day Keto?

In the opening paragraphs, we’ll provide a quick answer to the main question. Yes, generally speaking, 30 grams of net carbs per day or less is considered a ketogenic diet. The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) typically recommends 20-50 grams of net carbs per day to achieve and maintain ketosis. At 30 grams of net carbs per day, most people will be in ketosis.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.

Why Low Carb?

The main reason for following a low-carb diet like keto is to help the body enter ketosis. Carbs must be kept very low to achieve this. Typically below 50 grams per day. The fewer the carbs, the more effective the diet appears to be for reaching ketosis, losing weight or improving type 2 diabetes.

Ketosis is a metabolic state that can be caused by a low-carb or ketogenic diet. It is characterized by high blood ketone levels. The point of the ketogenic diet is to induce this metabolic state in which fat is burned for energy instead of carbs.

How Many Carbs per Day on Keto?

There is no consensus on the exact number of carbs required to induce ketosis. However, it’s generally accepted that a ketogenic diet contains no more than 50 grams of net carbs per day. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended to keep net carbs below 20-30 grams per day when starting out on a ketogenic diet until you know how many carbs you personally need to get into ketosis.

Net carbs are total carbohydrates minus fiber:

Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber

Fibrous foods like vegetables are often high in carbs but contain very few net carbs. Net carbs are what really impact blood sugar and ketone levels.

Is 30 Carbs a Day Considered Keto?

Yes, 30 grams of net carbs per day is generally accepted as a ketogenic diet. Consuming 30 grams of net carbs or less should typically result in ketosis. However, some people may need to go slightly lower to induce ketosis, especially individuals who are less metabolically flexible.

Here are some key points about consuming 30 grams of net carbs per day:

  • 30 grams falls within standard ketogenic diet guidelines (20-50 grams per day)
  • Most people will achieve ketosis at this intake
  • This level allows for a good range of low-carb vegetables
  • Ketosis likely within 1-3 days of restricting carbs to 30 grams
  • May need to adjust lower for some individuals

Unless you are very active, 30 grams of net carbs should put most people into ketosis fairly quickly. It allows for plenty of low-carb veggies and a moderate intake of nuts, seeds and dairy if desired.

Benefits of a 30 Gram Ketogenic Diet

Following a ketogenic diet with only 30 grams of net carbs each day can provide many health benefits. Here are some of the top benefits you may experience:

  • Weight loss – Ketosis suppresses appetite and boosts metabolism.
  • Lower blood sugar – Even without diabetes, keto improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Reduced insulin – Carb restriction lowers blood insulin levels substantially.
  • Improved mental focus – Ketones provide an efficient energy source for the brain.
  • Increased energy – Common initially while adapting to burning fat instead of carbs.
  • Better cholesterol – Triglycerides typically decrease and HDL goes up.

For people with obesity, metabolic syndrome, high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, the benefits can be even greater with keto diets. There is strong evidence that low-carb diets like keto improve most major risk factors for heart disease and metabolic health.

Foods to Eat on 30 Net Carbs

With only 30 net grams of carbs to work with each day, food choices have to be made wisely. Emphasize the most nutrient-dense options that can provide lasting satiation and energy.

Here are some of the best foods to base your 30-gram keto diet around:

  • Non-starchy vegetables – Greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, etc.
  • Meats – Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, turkey, etc.
  • Fish and seafood – Salmon, trout, shrimp, tuna, etc.
  • Eggs – Whole eggs with the yolks.
  • High-fat dairy – Cheese, butter, heavy cream, plain Greek yogurt.
  • Nuts and seeds – Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Avocado – Whole or as oil.
  • Healthy oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.
  • Low-carb condiments – Salt, pepper, spices, mustard, hot sauce.

Non-starchy vegetables will be your main source of carbs and nutrients. Try to get at least 3-5 servings per day. Moderate amounts of nuts, seeds and full-fat dairy are also good options on keto.

Foods to Avoid on 30 Net Carbs

With only 30 net grams left for carbs each day, you’ll need to avoid all high-carb foods. Restricting these foods will allow you to keep carbs low while eating nutritious keto foods.

Here are the main foods to avoid on a 30-gram keto diet:

  • Grains – Wheat, rice, oats, corn, pasta, etc.
  • Bread and baked goods – Buns, tortillas, cookies, cakes, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables – Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, winter squash.
  • Legumes – Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts.
  • Fruit – Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages – Soda, juice, sports drinks, specialty coffee drinks.
  • Sweets and desserts – Candy, ice cream, chocolate, etc.
  • Processed low-fat products – “Diet” foods made with sugar substitutes.

Cutting out all sugary and starchy foods leaves room for nutrient-dense protein sources, healthy fats and low-carb veggies.

Sample 30 Net Carb Keto Meal Plan

To give you an idea of what a day eating 30 net carbs looks like, here is a sample one-day meal plan:


  • 3 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup coffee with 1 tbsp heavy cream


  • 4 oz grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup mixed greens salad with 2 tbsp olive oil dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • 5 oz salmon cooked in 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cups broccoli cooked in 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 oz feta cheese


  • 1⁄4 cup blueberries
  • 1 oz cheddar cheese
  • 10 olives

This provides 28 grams of net carbs, keeping carbs low while maximizing nutrition from nutritious, minimally processed whole foods.

Tips for Success on 30 Net Carbs

Here are some tips to help you achieve success on a 30-gram net carb ketogenic diet:

  • Track net carbs – Use an app to ensure you stay under 30 grams each day.
  • Emphasize fat – Eat fat until satisfied to moderate appetite and reach calorie needs.
  • Plan meals and snacks – Having low-carb options on hand helps avoid temptation.
  • Drink water – Stay well hydrated, aiming for a minimum of eight 8-oz glasses per day.
  • Add salt – Up sodium intake a bit to replace what is lost from carb restriction.
  • Get enough protein – Shoot for 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
  • Move your body – Engage in regular exercise for fitness and fat burning.
  • Monitor ketones – Check urine or blood ketones to ensure you reach ketosis.

Potential Downsides of a 30 Net Carb Ketogenic Diet

Although safe for most people, very low-carb diets like keto do have some potential downsides to be aware of:

  • Keto flu – Headache, fatigue and irritability for several days when starting keto as the body adapts.
  • Constipation – From lack of high-fiber carbs. Drink plenty of water and increase non-starchy veggies.
  • Nutrient deficiencies – Some micronutrients like vitamin C, magnesium and potassium may need special attention.
  • Bad breath – Caused by ketone production and typically goes away in a few weeks.
  • Reduced athletic performance – Until the body becomes keto-adapted, endurance may be compromised.

These issues often resolve within 1-3 weeks as the body adapts. Drinking plenty of water, getting enough salt and eating nutrient-dense foods can help minimize adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lose weight eating 30 grams of carbs per day?

Yes, substantial weight loss is definitely possible consuming 30 net grams of carbs or less. Entering ketosis through very low carb intake is linked to reduced hunger and increased fat burning. However, calories still count. Pair carb restriction with a moderate calorie deficit for best results.

Will 30 grams of carbs kick me out of ketosis?

In most cases no, 30 grams of net carbs per day will not kick you out of ketosis. Consuming up to 50 grams of net carbs and maintaining ketosis is possible for many people. Those who are very active or more metabolically flexible may even tolerate more.

Can I build muscle on 30 grams of carbs per day?

It is certainly possible, especially for those new to strength training. Experienced lifters may benefit from more carbs on heavy training days. Make sure to consume enough protein (0.6-0.8 gram per pound of lean mass) and calories to support muscle growth.

Is 30 grams net carbs enough to lose weight?

It can be for many people, but not everyone. Some individuals, like petite women or those with a slower metabolism, may need to go lower to reliably lose weight. Monitor your results and adjust carb intake if needed.

Can you stay in ketosis at 50 grams of carbs per day?

Maybe. Up to 50 grams of net carbs per day can maintain ketosis for some people. But there are no guarantees. 30 grams or less gives a bigger buffer and higher chance of staying in ketosis long-term.

The Bottom Line

Consuming 30 grams of net carbs per day or less is sufficiently low enough to induce nutritional ketosis for most people. This level still allows for a variety of low-carb vegetables and moderate amounts of nuts, seeds and dairy for a well-rounded, nutrient-rich ketogenic diet.

A 30-gram net carb ketogenic diet can provide impressive benefits like: weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, improved cholesterol markers and more. Strict carb monitoring and emphasizing healthy fats will be key to success.

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