What Does 30 Grams of Carbs Look Like?

The most important factor to getting into a metabolic state of ketosis is to restrict carbohydrates. The classic ketogenic diet prescribes just 5% of calories per day from carbohydrate. Optimal results vary from person to person, which means you may reach your best ketone levels at 20g of carbs per day while someone else may be at 40. However, in the keto world, 30 grams of carbs per day is a standard rule of thumb and you’ll see that term tossed around and plugged into macro calculators everywhere.

But what the heck does 30 grams of carbs look like anyways? I couldn’t tell you when I started this journey. I actually was timid to even eat leafy veggies because I was dodging carbs like Neo dodging bullets in the matrix. Well, that’s exactly the purpose of the post: to develop your intuition for 30 grams of carbs so you can be more comfortable eating the nourishing whole foods we need on a ketogenic diet while skipping the garbage we don’t.

Of course, we will also be talking about net carbs in this post. Each photo is 30 grams of total carbohydrate in the food, and the net carbs will be described below the photo. Let’s review net carbs. Carbohydrates themselves are not “bad” or “good,” they are just molecules where carbon is bonded to water. Fiber is one type of carbohydrate that does not impact blood glucose levels. It is broken down in the large intestine by gut bacteria and is essential for normal and healthy gut function. For whole foods with fiber, we can subtract that number from the total carbohydrate.

Be warned. Food companies do everything in their power to bring down the “net carb” count on their nutritional label and will include garbage ingredients that ruin your gut and do impact your blood sugar but yet can technically be subtracted from the “total carb” count. Your best bet is to stick to whole foods that grow and die.

Okay, let’s go for it! Our tour will start with fruits, move to veggies, then to fats, and end with the garbage we probably grew up eating and are now cutting out of our ketogenic diet. What’s the most interesting and surprising to you?

What Does 30 Grams of Fruit Carbs Look Like?

BLUEBERRIES

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

STRAWBERRIES

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

BANANA

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

KIWI

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

APPLE

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

GRAPEFRUIT

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

TOMATO

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

What Does 30 Grams of Vegetable Carbs Look Like?

KALE

Serving: 12 oz.
Fiber: 12g
Net carbs: 18g
Notes: Overflowing a bit, but those are two bunches of kale 🙂

CARROTS

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

CUCUMBERS

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

RED ONION

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

RED PEPPER

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

ZUCCHINI

Serving: 35 oz.
Fiber: 10g
Net carbs: 20g
Notes: Get your zoodles out! 🙂

CAULIFLOWER (OR BROCCOLI)

Serving: 5.75 cups (20.5 oz.)
Fiber: 14g
Net carbs: 16g
Notes: Cauliflower rice anyone?

SWEET POTATO

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

What Does 30 Grams of Carbohydrate in Fats Look Like?

AVOCADO

Serving: 12.5 oz. (2 large avocados)
Fiber: 24g
Net carbs: 6g
Notes: Ah the almighty avocado, the iconic symbol of keto. Two of these have only 6 grams of non-fibrous carbs! Eat up!

WALNUTS

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

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

Serving: 3.75 oz.
Fiber: 4g
Net carbs: 26g
Notes: Big difference from pecans and walnuts!

FULL-FAT YOGURT

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

What Does 30 Grams of Carbs in Junk Food Look Like?

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

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

STARBUCKS COFFEE DRINK

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: Get ready for the roller coaster energy and….crashh.

ODWALLA JUICE SMOOTHIE

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g
Notes: But it’s non-GMO! But there’s no added sugar!

RED-BULL

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: 4 sips and you’re at your 30g/day quota.

COCA-COLA

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE TORTILLA CHIPS

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

THE LEADING “HEALTHY” ALTERNATIVE TO CHIPS

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

SNICKERS CANDY BAR

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g
Notes: Hear the snickers? The joke is on us!

M&M’s

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 30g

CHEERIOS

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g
Notes: “Heart-healthy” though right?

KIND BAR

Fiber: 2g
Net carbs: 28g

GUMMY BEARS

Fiber: 0g
Net carbs: 28g

That’s What 30 Grams of Carbs Looks Like

We hope this is helpful on your health and keto journey! What was the most interesting or surprising to you? Post in the comments!

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Responses (9)

  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. 🙂

  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! 🙂

    1. Agreed, can we see this? Because none of us are going to sit down and eat 30g of tomatoes or avocado as a daily intake, it’s hardly satisfying or desired, hence most of us will fail. On the other hand if we see a well prepared meal of 30g for breakfast, lunch & dinner we will be more inclined to follow through.Thanks in advance

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