Let’s Talk About “Carbage”

Does everyone know what “carbage” is? Sue and Wl know! Yes, the word was coined as a combination of “carbs” and “garbage.”

Ben, it’s not your fault that the definitions you found in your Google search were completely and totally wrong! First of all, the Collins English dictionary is British English, not American English, and gives these definitions:
1. snack food that is of limited nutritional value but low in carbohydrates
2. a term used by overenthusiastic proponents of low-carbohydrate dieting to describe carbohydrates in general
No. 1 should say high in carbohydrates (not low)
No. 2 is clearly biased and judgmental in its use of the word “overenthusiastic” and shows no understanding of low-carb eating to say it refers to “carbohydrates in general.”

I first heard the word “carbage” from Jimmy Moore, health blogger and podcaster since 2004. I knew instantly that “carbage” referred to refined carbohydrates: that is, any foods containing white flour, white sugar, and/or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). It also includes food products made from starchy foods and containing industrial vegetable/seed oils (canola, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, safflower, soy, and sunflower oils). Food products would include potato chips, corn chips, etc.

For diabetics, “carbage” has to extend even further to include any foods that spike blood sugars above what is normal. And that includes almost all grain-based products, many legumes, most fruits, and all starchy vegetables. It does not refer to foods whose carbohydrate content does not spike blood sugar, such as green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, portion controlled nuts and seeds, and low-carb fruits, such as avocados and olives.

When I did a Google search on “carbage” and added the words “Jimmy Moore” I found this podcast from November 2018 (just after Jimmy and Christine Moore published Real Food Keto), so I listened. (“What Is Carbage?” occurs at [32:29] in the 53-minute podcast.)

For anyone who wants a more in-depth review of “Real Food Keto,” I’ve provided the link to the podcast here:


If you could buy only one book on real food nutrition, this is the book!