How many carbs per meal?

Answered on January 23, 2014
Created January 22, 2014 at 5:57 AM

I know there is a lot of debate and maybe more so, uncertainty, concerning this topic. Still..

What I want to know is this, as someone who is not concerned about losing weight, what is a good max number of carbs I should have with any one meal (2-3 hour period), or is there no max? Cronometer with the Paleo ratio tells me I should eat 146g carbs a day, I know I have read lots about potentially harmful effects of insulin spikes, thought the details/data to support those potentially harmful effects escapes me. I want to err on the side of caution, even if my erring is ultimately meaningless, why not, Thoughts?

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4 Answers


on January 23, 2014
at 03:23 PM

what is your activity level like? I don't understand why people automatically assume carbs = weight gain. I went from 0-15 grams of carbs a day to now 100-250 grams a day while not dropping my fat intake which is usually between 80-110 depending on the day. Depending how active you are I would start at 100 grams a day and adjust. BTW my only substantial carb source are sweet potatoes.


on January 23, 2014
at 06:50 AM

Eat what ever you want to eat, as long as it's not harm to your health.

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on January 22, 2014
at 06:13 AM

If you don't have weight issues just eat what you feel comfortable consuming. Eat good safe complex carbs and not junk. Then don't worry and be glad you don't have the issues many struggle with. If I eat 150g of potato with my meal it pretty much fills me up, so I don't eat more than that and if I'm having a lot of other food I cut the starch down.



on January 22, 2014
at 06:06 AM

On most low-ish carb diets, when we talk about carbs, we usually talk about "net" carbs. The number you gave us (146 gr) is possibly not net, but with fiber included. To enable the net carbs calculation on Cronometer, you must check its checkbox on its preferences page.

So, speaking for net carbs, the amount can vary a lot, depending on the individual, exercise etc. For the average person, Mark Sisson recommends between 70 and 80 gr of net carbs per day. I believe Robb Wolf is consistent with that approach too. For Dr Kruse, he believes in a seasonal Paleo diet, which is more ancestral in nature (ketogenic in the winter, up to 50 gr of net carbs per day, but can be up to 100+ gr in the summer). The Jaminets go for about 130-150 gr of net carbs. Chris Kresser on the other hand, he believes in individualization of the patient, so some might need very low carb, some might need more carbs. So, take your pick.

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