Questions and answers about LCHF

Frågor och svar om LCHFHere are common questions and answers about low carb high fat (LCHF) nutrition and health:

Is saturated fat dangerous?

No. That is an old and disproven theory. It’s been a mistake from the beginning. More.

I started eating LCHF / very low carb and I feel dizzy / a headache / tired?

Dizziness / headaches and similar symtoms are common during the first week as your body adapt to a very low carb diet. These symptoms usually go away in a few days.

Adding a bit more carbs to the meals reduces the symptoms but can slow the adaptation (and weight loss).

Another possibility is that you are dehydrated / low on salt. When starting a very low carb there is extra loss of salt and fluids through the kidneys in the first weeks, until the body adapts. Drinking some extra fluid and putting some extra salt on your food during the first week can avoid this problem and often cures the symptoms. Alternatively you can drink some buillon a few times a day.

Do you use blood pressure medication? A very low carb diet can lower high blood pressure, and medication may need to be reduced in that case. Low blood pressure may result in dizziness.

Why are Asian rice eaters thin?

Probably because they do not eat a lot of sugar or refined starch. More.

What about gallstones and LCHF?

High fat food can give you short term trouble if you already have gallstones. Low fat food gives you gallstones in the long term. More.

Can you eat LCHF if you’ve had your gallbladder removed? Yes.

Can you eat low carb cookies / bread / pasta and lose weight?

That is probably not a good idea:

Do you get cancer from eating red meat?

Highly unlikely, although favoring unprocessed meat is the healthiest choice. Replacing meat with processed carbs may be one of the worst things you can do for your health and weight. More. 

Do you get hypothyroidism on a very low carb diet?

No, hardly on a well-formulated low carb diet, meaning you replace the energy from carbs by eating more fat. In scientific studies on LCHF there are no problems with the thyroid and I see no new thyroid issues in my patients going strictly low carb.

However, starvation can lead to hypothyroidism, and if you remove carbs AND fat from your diet you will be starving. So you do need to eat carbs or fat to fuel your body.

Bottom line: A LCHF diet is fine for your thyroid. More.

Is there scientific proof that LCHF is good for weight / blood sugar / cholesterol / blood pressure?


Are studies showing better weight loss on low carb diets sponsored by the meat industry or the Atkins foundation?

Yes, a few of them are. But repeated independent studies show the same results.

Does insulin play a role in weight gain / loss?

Yes, it’s absolutely crucial in most cases. Some bloggers have objections but they do not change biochemical facts. More.

Can you drink alcohol on LCHF?

Sure, in moderate amounts. But beer and sweet drinks need to be avoided. Choose wine or non-sweetened liquor. More.

Is salt dangerous?

No. At least not in moderate amounts. More.

What’s a good LCHF breakfast except for eggs?

Perhaps this.

Can you eat fruit on LCHF?

Only occasionally, as an exception, if you want to be strict and get the maximum effect. Fruit contains a lot of sugar. Fruit is candy from nature.

Why are Americans obese?

This is why.

More knowledge

This talk by me from the Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 summarizes the history and science behind the ongoing revolution in diet and health.

More theory and practice

Here four of the world’s biggest experts on the subject explain the theory and practice of various kinds of carb restriction:

LustigYTLow Carb Explained

Low Carb LivingThe Science of Low Carb

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  1. Pauline
    Just wondering would you recommend this diet for endurance marathon runners.
  2. byron
    Hi need some help please i am a 38yr old male in my first week of banting my eye lids have become very puffy i am concerned it may have to do with high cholesterol does this happen or is banting just not for me
  3. MerryKate
    Robyn, diabetics have not been given bad information. The ketosis that happens on a ketogenic diet is not dangerous because it is regulated by insulin levels within the body. It's simply the metabolic process of burning your own body fat for fuel. Controlled ketosis is perfectly safe and it is a normal function of every human body during sleep.

    Ketoacidosis is unrestrained, abnormally excessive ketosis. It results from a combination of of low insulin and high blood glucose. When this normal system gets out of balance, you get a very high level of ketones which in turn produces an acidic reaction. The blood pH drops to become more acidic than normal. It is this low pH, acidic condition known as acidosis which is dangerous, not the ketones themselves.

  4. Melsy
    Good day,
    Can you please update this link?

    I keep getting: 404 - Page Not Found
    Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist
    Please check the URL. Otherwise, click here to be redirected to the homepage.

    I really want to read this article 😉

  5. dkd4
    Hi there, as a very keen LCHF person ... who was a paleo person for a year...I am a wee bit disappointed. I started this journey more than a year ago cause I wanted to get fit and fab. I was this mad high performance biker in the dark (6 days a week) but lost no weight..after 2 years I gave up. So I begun my journey to find a healthy new me. Unfortunately the results have not been grand. I have lots more energy, I feel much better than I have for a while in terms of stretching etc -- and I believe that I am in a Ketonic state -- the breath smell. Sadly I have gained 7 kilos and I was trying to lose 25. I remain buoyant and committed -- I have read and watched all the videos...I am even an intelligent woman - really I am. My carbs have to be less than 20 gms a day - cause I am so vigilant... I have found other blogs with loads of advice -- even the calorie counting LCHF. So my question to you ...just because I am 54 year old woman ..does that condemn me to be overweight?...Do I have to move to Alaska and live in an igloo and chew on carabou to find my abs that have been missing since my last child? thanks :)
  6. mandana
    I have fatty liver and high collestrol,can I go on this diet? Is it safe for me?
  7. mandana
    I have fatty liver and high collestrol,can I go on thisn
    diet? Is it safe for me?
  8. asd
    Hi Doc! i came across your site via ketowarrior dot come guy!
    So i had a question for you.

    I started only 3 days ago, and the first thing that i noticed was the insane amount of mental clarity i had! Secondly, i felt so physically energetic all day. and lastly, i surprised myself by keeping myself at under 80 grams of carbs a day (not accounting for the 30 grams of fiber i got from my lentils) which made me more disciplined!

    So here is the question and its about cheat meal/day. A) Can i have them? Do you recommend them? If yes:
    B) how often? C) do i go HCLF on those days? D) do i go on a caloric surplus or do i just eat the same amount of calories by eating junk?


  9. Vince
    Hi I've been doing lchf for about 3mths now and do feel good , my question is tho
    what if I don't have a gallbladder which I don't , do I need to modify things
    how does eating this way change when one does not have a gallbladder ,
    my ketone levels so far have only ever been 0.2 , how do we gallbladder less
    folks have to modify things how is it different for us or is it not ,
    thanks .
  10. Farid
    Hi Doc,
    How Effect of LCHF is on fatty liver?
  11. Debbie
    Hi Doc,

    I've been doing LCHF eating for about a month now and can definitely see the results in my weight loss. I went to the doctor to get my cholesterol, thyroid and triglyicirides checked and the results were that my thyroid, liver, triglycerides were all OK, and good cholesterol was at 2.08, which she said was good; however, my bad cholesterol was at 4.3 and it should be less than 3.4.
    I don't have any other results to compare this to prior to eating LCHF, so I'm not sure what has peaked my bad cholesterol.

    Can you give me some advise? Should I continue then have a retest in a few months time?

    Thanks, Debbie

  12. Klaudia

    I started the diet about 10 days ago and have been following it very strictly, yet i do not seem to be losing any weight, in fact I actually gained 2 pounds. Is that common in this diet? Does the weight loss start a bit later into the diet?
    If anyone could give me feedback it would be very appreciated.


  13. Dave
    Can I eat fiber 1 for breakfast ( 1/3) of a cup?
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