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Although carbohydrates are a key factor in defining a low-carb diet, the other two macronutrients - protein and fat - also need to be considered. Here's how we categorize it:


At Diet Doctor we describe the different amounts of carbohydrates in the diet as follows:

  • Ketogenic low carb: less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. It is a ketogenic food or "keto" as it is known in English.
  • Moderately low carbohydrate 20-50 grams per day. Recipes at this level contain between 4-10% energy from carbohydrates in our recipes.
  • Low carb freely 50-100 grams a day. 50-100 grams a day. At this level, recipes contain between 10-20% energy from carbohydrates.

For comparison, a typical Western diet can easily contain 250 grams or more of carbohydrates a day, most of which are unhealthy refined carbohydrates, including sugar.


A moderate or liberal low-carb diet is often more generous in protein than a keto diet. A keto diet is moderate in protein.

And that's the main reason why, when you compare our recipes, you may notice that there are some high carbohydrates that are marked as ketogenic (in green), while there are some that are low in carbohydrates per serving. Despite being served, they are marked. As low carb (yellow or orange). This is due to the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins.

A diet of less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates often leads to nutritional ketosis.

Ketogenic-level recipes contain up to 4% energy from carbohydrates and also maintain moderate protein levels. The 4% energy limit means that if you choose our Cato recipes, you will consume a maximum of 20 grams of carbohydrates on a 2,000 calorie diet.

In most cases, you will eat even less carbohydrates, as some of the keto recipes you use are likely to be significantly lower than the maximum amount of pure carbohydrates.

Our cat's recipes also regulate their protein intake. Our principle is that for Cato recipes with 4% energy from carbohydrates, we accept a maximum of 30% energy from protein. For lower carbohydrate levels we accept slightly more protein:

  • 4% carbohydrate = maximum 30% protein
  • 3% carbohydrate = maximum 32% protein
  • 2% carbohydrate = maximum 34% protein
  • 1% carbohydrate = maximum 36% protein
  • 0% carbohydrate = maximum 38% protein

If a prescription contains too much protein to be classified as low carb keto, we can classify it as moderate.


On a low carb or ketogenic diet, fat is the main source of energy, so it is important to choose healthy types of fat and eat the right amount. However, the right amount is something you have to manage yourself. We have a guide where we explain this in detail: How much fat should you eat if you follow a low carb or keto diet?


The above figures refer to digestible carbohydrates, not fiber. The latter can be taken out of your carbohydrate count, for example, you can eat all-natural fiber from vegetables.

Another term used for digested carbohydrates after fiber reduction is "pure carbohydrates".

However, don't be fooled by "net carb" labels on processed foods like chocolate bars. This is usually a way to deceive you, and these products often contain high levels of sugar and alcohol, which can have a negative effect on your weight and blood sugar. If in doubt, we recommend not eating anything with the words "net carbs" printed on it.