Feedback—Your FAQs Answered

I have been low carbing (not excluding carbs all together, just switching to healthier ones) for over 3 years and have dropped my weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, etc. I appreciate that you don’t advocate a low carb diet – but where do you draw the line? How much carb is high, medium and low?

We believe that the type or source of the carbohydrate and fat are more important than the amount. In the end the choice of how much carbohydrate is up to the individual. A moderate carb diet would be around 40–50% of energy intake as carbs; and high over 50% of energy intake as carbs. Here’s what Prof Jennie Brand-Miller and her co-authors say in The Low GI Diet.

In 2002, the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA advised that a range of carbohydrate intakes could adequately meet the body’s needs while minimising the risk of disease. Specifically, they advised the following ranges:

45–65% OF ENERGY

25–35% OF ENERGY

15–35% OF ENERGY

We like these figures because they allow for individual tailoring. The American Heart Association even ruled that as little as 40% of energy intake as carbs could be eaten and still be good for the heart. Chances are your diet already falls within these flexible ranges and, if so we encourage you to stick with what you have. If your preference is for more protein and more fat than you are currently eating, then go ahead—just be choosy about quality. We believe that you are the best judge of what you can live with for the rest of your life and, anyway, there is plenty of room for flexibility. We recommend you consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrate a day, even during active weight loss. Whatever the number, the type of carbohydrate is important. And that’s where the GI comes to the fore.’
The Low GI Diet is published by Marlowe & Company in the US; Hachette Livre in Australia and New Zealand and Hodder Mobius in the UK.

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