The invention provides a method of applying a low metal loading catalyst for preparing glycol and propylene glycol from carbohydrate, including cellulose, starch, semi-cellulose, cane sugar, glucose, fructose, fructosan, xylose, and soluble xylo oligosaccharide. In the method, carbohydrate is taken as the raw material, the compound catalyst is composed of catalytic active components selected from one or more components from following components: highly-disperse and low-loading ruthenium, inorganic compounds, organic compounds, and complex of tungsten, or simple substance tungsten, then one-step catalytic conversion process is carried out under the hydrothermal conditions: temperature of 60 to 350 DEG C, and hydrogen pressure 0.1 to 15 MPa, and the high-efficient, high-selective and high yield preparation of glycol and propylene glycol from carbohydrate is achieved. The method takes highly-disperse and high stability low loading Ru-based catalyst as the reaction catalyst, so the usage amount of value metals is reduced, the loss of catalyst carrier is slowed down, and the recycle rate of Ru-base catalyst is increased. The catalyst has the prominent advantages of high activity, high selectivity, and very high cyclicity. Compared to other technologies, which prepare polyol from carbohydrate, the method has the advantages of simple reaction process, high efficiency, good stability of catalyst, and multi-circulation, and has very vast industrial application value.