Protein and Fats in a Four-Part Lower Carb Meal: Healthy Eating JUMPSTART Video Series

Rina answers common questions about low carb eating, in this patient-friendly educational video series. Here is a transcript of her video session. Created in 2022 for the Healthy Eating JUMPSTART program.

How much fats do I need to add on a low-carb meal plan?

In the setting of low carb meal plan where you may be limiting your carbohydrate intake, it is important to always reference back to the 4-step process: first incorporate adequate amounts of protein, then non-starchy vegetables, followed by some fats to help you feel full and satisfied, and lastly you may incorporate some complex carbohydrates. One of the important adaptations here is to listen to your hunger cues. We want to prevent situations where you end up feeling hungry all the time between meals because you are avoiding fats, but you also don’t need to consume excessive amounts of fat as a little bit can go a long way. Together, that means using fats to help flavor our food and to make for a more enjoyable and satisfying meal.

How much protein do I need to add on a low-carb meal plan?

Figuring out how much protein is right for you may take some time, and it can also be adapted based on your hunger cues and activity level. There is no need to count your protein intake as long as you follow the 4-step process for creating a balanced low-carb meal and eating to satisfaction. As a reminder, the 4 step process is 1: choosing a protein source, 2: add non starchy vegetables, 3: add some fats, and 4: add some complex carbs. A good place to start with protein is include around 4-5oz protein at each meal, which is generally a bit larger than the size of your palm and the thickness of a deck of cards. You can also add more or less depending on your hunger level.

Rina Hisamatsu, MPH, RD, is a registered dietitian and health educator for the Michigan Collaborative for Type 2 Diabetes. In this JUMPSTART Video Series, Rina answers patients' commonly asked questions and concerns about a lower carb lifestyle. These brief, under 5-minute videos can be shared with patients individually or sent as part of a playlist of patient educational videos.


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Support for the Michigan Collaborative on Type 2 Diabetes is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network as part of the BCBSM Value Partnerships program. BCBSM’s Value Partnerships program provides clinical and executive support for all CQI programs. To learn more about Value Partnerships, visit Although Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Collaborative on Type 2 Diabetes work in partnership, the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by MCT2D do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of BCBSM or any of its employees.