Nutrition Foundation

Lower carbohydrate diets for reversing insulin resistance

Low carbohydrate diet options

All the dietary approaches described below follow the core Nutrition Foundation principles. They also have a focus on reducing sugar and starchy carbohydrate.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the best diet. It is also common for people to change their dietary approach a number of times. The "right" diet will improve health and fit with a person's life.

High protein diet

A high protein diet focuses on eating foods with plenty of protein and less carbohydrate and fat. The higher protein amount tends to reduce hunger. A high protein diet is often helpful for people that wish to improve insulin resistance and weight.

Very low carbohydrate diet

A very low carbohydrate diet is also known as a ketogenic or "keto" diet. This means no more than about 50g of carbohydrate a day. It involves completely cutting out all sugary and starchy foods. The amount of fat eaten is usually increased. Some people are able to eat more fat and get good health improvement, whereas other people need to be careful not to eat too much fat.

Low carbohydrate diet

A low carbohydrate diet means some starchy foods can still be eaten, but only in smaller amounts. Sugary foods are minimised. A low carbohydrate diet has under 130g of carbohydrate per day.

Moderate carbohydrate diet

A moderate carbohydrate diet allows for more starchy foods, but typically this is less than what someone would have previously eaten. The amount carbohydrate eaten will be around 130-180g per day. A moderate carbohydrate diet still requires that ultra-processed food and sugar are minimised. For some people a moderate carbohydrate diet is sufficient to improve insulin resistance, but this will not work for everyone. If health improvement is not achieved with a moderate carbohydrate diet then a lower carbohydrate diet may be more successful.


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