Low Carb

Questions and Answers About LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat)

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?

Yes.

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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576 Comments

  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? http://www.fitintegrity.com/uploads/9/5/1/6/9516119/no_sugar_no_starc...

    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 😉
    Thanks!
    Melsy

  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 :)
    Reply: #570
  6. mandana
    Hi,
    I have fatty liver and high collestrol,can I go on this diet? Is it safe for me?
  7. mandana
    Hi,
    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?

    Thanks!

  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
    Hi,

    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.

    Thanks.

  13. Dave
    Can I eat fiber 1 for breakfast ( 1/3) of a cup?
  14. Mariane
    Klaudia, the same thing happened to me. I actually gained weight when I started LCHF. Maybe because I am 50 years old and only have about 1o-15 lbs to lose. I actually didn't lose weight until I started intermittent fasting. That really seems to work for me. I have lost about 6 lbs in 2 months. Read Dr. Jason Fung's posts. He talks all about intermittent fasting.
    Good luck, hang in there, it works!
  15. Kathryn
    Discouraged for my husband, he has been on LCHF diet since March 2015, happily he lost 25 lbs. and test results for fatty liver have greatly improved, but other health markers have not improved as great as we had hoped. He is eating around 50 grams of carbs a day, sometimes less. He also is suffering quite badly with reflux, we thought it had improved in the beginning so he stopped taking meds but symptoms reoccurred so he is back on Nexium. Should he stay on the diet and cut back further on the carbs, will the health markers get better as time goes on? We thought so highly of the diet from the beginning but we are a little discouraged. Has anyone else gone through this? Any advice/encouragement would be appreciated.

    Liver ALT was 95 now 24
    Liver AST was 52 now 22
    LDL was 3.45 now 4.06
    HDL was 0.87 now 1.05
    Fasting Glucose was 5.7 now 5.9
    Hemoglobin A1C was 6.2 now 5.9

  16. Tenika
    Hi. I was wondering about peanuts? Mine are the normal roasted ones, no coating just regular nuts. The kind you can find in a restaurant whilst waiting. Is that okay to consume? Also, I wanted to know, if you're on a strict no carb diet, how long will it take before you start to see results?
  17. Julio
    Hi I am a type 2 diebatic , I went from size 38 down to 32 jn 8 weeks just by walking 2 hours per day and not eating processed carbs , stopped taking all medication after only 2 weeks. Found your website and followed your advice to cut back on carbs even further 20 to 40 and Dr Fungs IF advice on 24 hour fast which I pursue on a daily basis. My question is to do with coffee and tea . I check my sugar after a good night sleep and it is always between 6 and 7 but after 1 or 2 cups of coffee my readings are 8.3 to 9 for hours with no food taken and only drop back to 5.6 after a 2 hpur walk. Please explain , thank you Julio.
  18. Jen
    Hi,
    just like a couple of the comments on this page, I also have been following LCHF for a couple of weeks; very strictly in fact. I exercise smartly, I only get my carbs from veggies and do not eat dairy. I'm a little confused about how much protein to include and maybe it's this that is scuppering any weight loss; too much protein? I thought I would have lost a couple of pounds? I am also in my 50s; I really hope that age is not a factor in failure? I will remain patient but am a little worried that I'm doing the wrong thing?
  19. Zoe
    Can a LCHF diet help with -weight gain-, would meals have to be more frequent (if underweight and struggling with meals) or would the diet, over time, cause weight gain if the body needed it?
  20. sally smith
    Reading your question i am keen to hear of any positive reply - like you I am 54, i have been LCHF for 7 weeks, (I know only a brief time compared to your 2 years), I haven't lost a pound. I remain the same, sometimes gaining sometimes loosing a miserable 1lb, I just don't understand. I have given up all i love, am terribly constipated, have sore calfs, and feel like a dead weight. I cannot understand why nothing is happening. I am on HRT tablets and wandering if you are too?? I am so depressed with all this as have been on holiday and totally kept up LCHF and deprived myself of everything i love, even holiday cocktails!! Couldn't read your answer so maybe you can help?
    Thankyou, I wouldn't recommend you moving to Alaska and living in an Igloo, but totally get yor point!!!!
  21. Jennifer
    I was wondering how many carbs per day should we limit to?
    Thanks
  22. Val
    Are rice and noodles made from the Konjac vegetable where the packaging states that there is less than one gram of protein, fat, saturates, carbs, sugar and 4.1 - 5 g of dietary fibre a good alternative to pasta and rice? Sodium is less than 5mg and no gluten. Ingredients show purified water, konjac flour, corn flour and firming agent (526). If it is a good alternative, is the konjac vegetable grown in the ground?
  23. Lisa
    Zepp,
    Where did you go? I hope all is well in your world. The LCHF information you have provided has been extremely helpful.- thank you
  24. Joe R
    I have just started a very low carb diet (4 days). I am probably eating no more than 20g of carbs a day. I enjoy eating on this diet but my main goal is too lose body fat. However, being that I am a very muscular guy. I am finding that my body really feels good on this diet but I am not losing a single pound.
    I definitely think I am eating too much. But, all the information on this site says not to calorie count.
    Previously on a regular diet (mostly carbs) I would just keep my calories around 1,500 a day. (Btw, I am 6' 240lbs). I trained my body to live on very little calories and after a while I stopped losing weight (I was just tired and half asleep all day).
    My question is: Am I normal or do I have to be incredibly restrictive on the LCHF diet as well? After all the diets I have been on not losing weight really is frustrating to me.

    Thanks

    Reply: #575
  25. Eric
    Hey Joe,

    I am no expert, but I have been through many diets over the past couple of years. In my experience, if you are 6' you need much more than 1500 calories, whether you are trying to lose weight or not. Keeping yourself so low in calories for long enough puts you into starvation mode, and you feeling half asleep all day means you weren't eating enough. Whether you go LCHF or higher in carb I'd recommend doing the 15 X goal bodyweight for daily calories, as a beginning estimate, and work around with the macros and calories until you find a combination that works with your body. Also, intermittent fasting is a great idea also.

  26. Elizabeth
    Are there never any answers to these questions?
    Reply: #577
  27. Bjarte Bakke
    What's your question Elizabeth?
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