Nutrition Foundation

Personalise carbohydrate


If someone has signs of significant insulin resistance and they wish to improve it, a reduction in the amount of carbohydrate they eat may be important. A reduction in carbohydrate can also be helpful for people that have reasonably good metabolic health but have some improvement goals. Reducing carbohydrate can often be very affective at helping weight loss and reducing belly fat.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The amount of carbohydrate that will suit someone needs to be personalised. However, for the past few decades, diets have typically contained approximately 250-300g of starchy carbohydrate and sugar per day. For someone that is insulin resistant this will pose a significant challenge to their body, placing the body at war with itself.

Why can carbohydrate be a problem?

When someone with insulin resistance eats a lot of carbohydrate it will cause a significant challenge to the blood sugar level.

Starchy foods are digested by our gut into glucose. The glucose then passes from the gut into the blood, raising our blood sugar level. The body responds to this by releasing insulin to bring the blood sugar level back down. If someone is insulin resistant the body will need to release more insulin. This whole process creates a vicious cycle that will worsen insulin resistance, and put the body in a state of continuous fat storage, which can cause weight gain and frequent hunger.

Starchy carbohydrate foods include most ultra-processed foods, rice, bread, potatoes, pasta, and breakfast cereals.

To improve health consider

  • Personalise carbohydrate intake based on your level of insulin resistance and the goals you wish to achieve.
  • There are a variety of low carbohydrate diets that can be followed. Low carbohydrate diets means eating less than 130g of carbohydrate a day, and sometimes a much lower amount.


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