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?

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:

Do you have more questions?

Here’s more Q & A from my mailbox.

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456 Comments

  1. sasha
    it is not possible to overeat because the foods are ric in fat and oil therefor you cant eat too much of it
  2. sasha
    bixby are you eating enoughoil and fat dont overdo the protein
  3. sasha
    hi vanessa eat less protein eat loads of fat
  4. Charlotte Elizabeth Martindale
    Hi, I get migraines (not just headaches) when I eat no carbs at all, is it at all possible to eat a teeny bit of oat bran or oats?
    thanks
    Reply: #405
  5. Zepp
    I would rather sugest that you ad some tubers to your meals.. and/or more starchy veggies!

    Are you sure its not transitation problems?

    Becuse salt defiency is a comon beginners problem.

    Take some salt in a glas of water.. drink it.. if it vanish.. it was salt defiency.

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

  6. Charlotte
    possibly, though I am prone to migraines when I have low blood sugar.
    You mean like carrots??
    Reply: #407
  7. Zepp
    Yes.. carrots and a few potatoes!

    Low blood sugar is altso a beginners problem.. in the transitation.

    And its that how force your body to use more fat.

    Another beginners problem is lower blood preasure.

    Becuse insulin make the kidney to reasorb more salt.. and water comes whit it by osmos.. and then your blood volume increse.. making the preasure higher.

    And are you eating properly?

  8. Charlotte
    Fab, I'll try that
    Thank you!
  9. riezqah
    hi i fpound out about the lchf lifestyle a month ago i really needed to lose weight and just as i was starting the programme i found out i was pregnant, can i continue with lchf eating plan? and will it make me lose weight? and i have heard losing weight while pregnant is not good, i also purchased the low carb gourmet cook book you suggested- karen barnaby

    looking forward to hearing from you thanks

    Reply: #410
  10. Zepp
    Dont go hardcore.. when pregnant!

    But you can always eat healty food!

    Losing weght when pregnant is probly the wrong time!

    One supose to eat for two.

    And one dont need to eat sugar and flour.. but keep the tubers and starchy veggies!

  11. Olivia
    I'm new to lchf and come from a typical bodybuilding background diet. What's your view on protein supplements and BCAAs with training? Any resources or links would be appreciated
    Reply: #412
  12. Zepp
    Well.. bodyboulding and banting is different things.. but I asume you alredy konow about that.. and about deff!?

    For body building its about extra energy, protein and hard training.

    LCHF is like ketodeff.. for those needing that.. but I think you are healty and slim alredy?

    Here som advices frome the coach!

    "Carbless Massing"

    http://ironaddicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19002

    And about deff on ketogenic diet.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1373635/

    And here about overall competition on ketogenic or low carb.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Performance/dp/098...

    You alredy know that BCAA is for your amino acid demand on high strenius excersise and positive muscle growt!

    High proteins could convert to glucose.. and then get you lower ketosis.. but it newer rise your blood sugar that way.. it mostly fill up your glycogen stores.. soo you can use it for those extra strenius workouts!

    Its nothing strange, its those SAD advices that strange!

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

  13. Maria
    I have been on a LCD for 7 weeks and I had my blood test done and I have hyperliposis. The lipids in my blood were fine before The Dr. Told me no to eat so much fats and to eat more lean meats.
    i am eating between 20-25 grams of carbohydrates What should be my distribution of proteins and fats . Right now i do 55% fats, 39% proteins and 6% carbs. Any comments? . Thanks
    Reply: #414
  14. Zepp
    Hyperliposis is anthoer word for obese.. its fat accumulation.

    Protein is for your essentiall demand.. and that is about minimum 1 gram/kilo a day!

    Carbs as little you can or like.. rest of it is fat.. up to your energy demand.. up to 80E%.

  15. sonia
    can we eat lentils on this diet?
    Reply: #416
  16. Zepp
    Yeah.. 1-5 a day!

    Joking.. lentils are high carb food, the same goes for peas and beans.

    http://www.fineli.fi/foodclass.php?classif=igclass&class=peabean...

    Green beans like Harri coverts are low on carbs.

    You know one can eat litle of much things if one dont let carbs beeing the major energy source!

    And that goes for starchy tubers too.

    But in reality.. its rediculus to coock an handfull of lentils, beans or a quater of a potato.. one need other foods to, to get ones energy anyhow.

    Its more like if one dont eat at home, then its not that much a catastrofy if one get and eat a few of those.

  17. sonia
    thanks Zepp.

    I am currently eating 1200 calories, so if I do walking as exercise and lose lets say 230 calories a day, do i need to eat more (to make the 1200)?
    thanks

  18. Zepp
    Well 1200 Kcal is very litle for anyone thats not a child.. thats the first thing to think about!

    The second thing is.. how do you get all nutrients frome that litle food?

    And you must count the weight you lose to your energy consumption!

    I dont recomend starving diets.. and LCHF is about losing weight.. whitout starving.. its about homonial regulation of apetite and energy utilitazion!

    Have you read this.. perticaly the "on demand approche"?

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

  19. sonia
    Thankyou that is very informative.

    may I ask are you a doctor or a nutritionist?

    Reply: #420
  20. Zepp
    No I have no medical excaminition at all.. Im just one of those on LCHF that being around for a couple of years.

    But I do have a university diploma in mechanical engiering from Chalmers University.. if Im aloved to brave little?

    So my answers is much frome that I read a lot.

    But those on Duke is doctors.. trust them.. I do anyhow.

  21. sonia
    cool...nice to talk to you Zepp

    today my legs and glutes are hurting from walking yesterday....seems like hard work in the beginning

    bye

    Reply: #422
  22. Zepp
    Yes that is transitation problems.. I.E. glucose shortige!

    Your muscles is used to have glucose for energy.. now that is in shortige.. and your magical body reserv glucose for vital, life dependant things.. like parts of your brain, parts of your kidney and all of your red blod cells.. its hurt!

    If one dont overdo it.. one can think about it as excersise.. first its pain.. if one prevale.. one get another fysical capasity.

    Its the same with transitation to be a fatburner.

    http://www.ketotic.org/2012/05/keto-adaptation-what-it-is-and-how-to....

    Some do get salt defiency and some others get magnesium shortige in the begining.

    Use preferely mineral salt to your food/cooking!

  23. Brenda
    I've read certain types of foods can cause migranes, consult your doctor and find out certain foods to avoid.
  24. sonia
    do you mean like sea salt and iodised salt when you mentioned mineral salts?

    normally i just use table salt

    feeling very lightheaded today....i think its salt shortage

    Reply: #425
  25. Zepp
    Take a pinch of salt in a glas of water.. drink it.. if it gets better in an half hour.. then it was salt defiency.

    Mineral salt is whit other minerals too.. its good, often its magnesium and potassium salts whit the normal salt.

  26. sonia
    wow you're a genius, i do feel like myself after half an hour of taking salt water
    thanks
    Reply: #427
  27. Zepp
    That was not that much becuse of genius.. its writien in almoste ever book about low carb!

    And here comes the explanation.. if going low carb.. ones insulin drops like a stone!

    Insulin have many aims.. one of those is to stimulate the kidney to reasorb more sodium.. and water comes with it by osmos.

    Soo.. in reality.. it was low blood preasure you felt.

    Our body regulate blood presaure by reasorb sodium.. and that make our blood volume to increse.

    There are a lot of other hormones regulation blood volume/preasure.. mostly the Renin-Angiotensin system.. but they have to adapt to your new diet regime.

    And on top of that.. in moste low carb book its writen like that one shall drink a glass of broth every day.. for sodium and for other mineral salts like magnesium and pottasium!

  28. Stevem14
    I found a descent LC bread that is supposedly low in carbs...
    It's from Mahler's Bakery and is called "California Lifestyle Cinammon Walnut w/Flax & Soy"
    I don't know this for sure, because it does contain oat flour and "cultured" wheat flour...
    Raw, it tastes pretty bad, but toasted its edible... If anyone has the time and or patience, here in
    Southern California, can you test it for me/us? The package says 7g (total) with 5g dietary fiber and 2g sugars. I WILL be learning how to make oopsies this weekend, but I just need to find some LC bread substitute. Changing the food I have eaten for 50+ years is one thing, but I need
    to find some way to find a little comfort for stress relief...
    Here is their web site:
    http://www.mahlersbakery.com/Products.htm
    I found that Mother's Market carries it.
    Steve
  29. erdoke
    Steve,
    I found it easier to completely replace bread with vegetables and nuts. Walnuts and raw bell peppers for example make a perfect companion to any meat, yogurt, etc.
    By the way, is it 7 g carbs in 100 g bread or in one serving which might be as low as 20-25 g?
    Reply: #430
  30. Stevem14
    I am having trouble with the whole "giving up bread" thing. Will power is not my strong suit...
    I am learning how to make my own with nut flours now, but there will be times... well you know...
    when I get lazy or I am out of town for a few days. My wife has trouble cooking scrambled eggs, so I have to do this myself.
    Anyway, it is 7g per slice or 34g/1.2oz...
    Reply: #431
  31. erdoke
    If you don't buy it, there is no problem with will power later on...
    In fact I don't see any reason for eating bread. Nutrient wise it has definitely no benefits over veggies and nuts and there are so many different types of the latter two to chose from.
    I can easily fill up my stomach with walnut and Greek yogurt for example, often adding some raw cucumber and/or bell peppers. For a big breakfast just add a few eggs with more vegetables and some butter before starting on the yogurt and nuts and it is guaranteed to last even until the evening.
  32. Maria
    I am so pleased since May 12 to July 14 I have lost 12.8 lbs. Yeah! I have not starved myself and I don't miss the empty carb's calories. Yeeeaah!
  33. Mumsies
    I am really into deep ketosis according to my blood meter. This morning I was 3.1 and now at 1:30 am I am 5.9 with a blood glucose reading of 106 (I am a non medicated type 2). o.0 Wow!

    I am heading to get something from the kitchen because, frankly that makes me feel a bit nervous but I don't feel bad. Today I ate 2 eggs for breakfast and 2 for lunch with bullet proof coffee then had steak, squash and cauliflower for dinner so a good day. Those eggs and coffee really get me into ketosis so I am going to back off on them tomorrow.

    What is annoying me is that regardless of my blood ketones I am still having trouble making the scales budge but I now think that my liver is sluggish and possibly fatty which would explain a lot and is why I was eating the eggs for the choline.

    Any comments?
    thanks!

  34. erdoke
    Mumsies,
    I think you should add a bit more fat and vegetables to your eggs. Make sure that daily protein intake is not more than 1-1.2 g per kg of lean body mass.
    Some nuts are also low in carbs and high in fat: walnut, Brazil nut, pecans, etc. I have them with Greek yogurt or sour cream and hot green peppers and/or fresh cucumber.
  35. VishAl
    Sir it has been 15 days on lchf but now iam feeling headaches and light headedness very much and feeling very weak though....i do swimming also my stamina has increased my bp and sugar is also controlled iam 36 ...pls suggest me for this bloody headache
    Reply: #436
  36. Zepp
    Its probably transitation problems?

    Many do feel awfull in many ways!

    Some are psychological, others are fysiological!

    First of all.. weaknes is that you got glucose shortige.. and you are not converted to use fat as major fuel!

    Another problem in transitation is salt/sodium shortige.. IE.. its low blood presaure!

    Take a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water.. drink it.. if it goes away in half an hour.. it was salt shortige!

    Here some more advices!

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

    Take notice on the drinking a glass of broth a day as a measure to keep the salts/electrolytes on normal levels!

    And if it persist.. for good sake take a step back and lower the carbs later!

    "Keto-adaptation: what it is and how to adjust"

    http://www.ketotic.org/2012/05/keto-adaptation-what-it-is-and-how-to....

  37. Terry
    I am doing some learning about ground seeds and nuts such as Linseed and LSA which typically seem to be high in fat and protein.
    Am I correct in thinking that one should take the total carbs and subtract the fibre to give a net carb value for these types of products? I have been reading that the body absorbs zero carbs from the fibre content. Is this correct?
    Reply: #438
  38. Zepp
    If you look at European values you dont need to count at all!
    Becuse fibers are separated from digestible carbs!

    http://www.fineli.fi/food.php?foodid=30991&lang=en

    And one need to mill all seeds to make them digestible.

    Reply: #439
  39. Terry
    Thanks Zepp.

    What do you think of this then...

    http://www.food.com/recipe/best-low-carb-bread-bread-machine-102631

    I tried it today and even a couple of slices does virtually nothing to my blood sugar!

    I'm not that fond of linseed or soy flour as a flavor, so next time I'd exchange it for coconut flour instead of soy (which has less carbs anyway by the looks) and LSA instead of Linseed. Plus I added salt.

    It rose unbelievable well in my bread machine - pushed the lid open while baking!

    Reply: #440
  40. Zepp
    Well I dont think any thing special.. becuse I dont use bread substitute anymore!

    Those few slices I eat a year I dont care!

    Im not a baking person!

    If you like baking.. there are a lot of recepies!

    Heres our LCHF baking Queen of Sweden.. take a tour in here bloog.. or by heres book!

    http://www.mariannslchf.com/

    Gun Penhoat Ada MI do the translation to english.. she is Swedish!

    Reply: #441
  41. Terry
    Yes, my demand for bread has become very low as well. There are only a few occasional meals I want it, such as burgers! Burgers arn't any good unless you have some bread to hold the ingredients between!
    This bread recipe sounds Ok though so I will use it in the time being. Thanks also for the link, I will get her bread book when it is available!
  42. Susan Hawthorne
    regarding the salt in the water - how much is a pinch? :) should the water taste salty? I do put a pinch of Himalayan Pink salt for each 8 oz in my jug of water that I carry around with me (32 oz and drink three a day). Is that enough? Thanks :)
  43. Susan Hawthorne
    New question (can't find anything about this on this faq) I get bad leg cramps every night. I've tried magnesium (ReMag and Mag oil spray), and it helps a little but hasn't stopped it. Do you know any thing else to try? I eat LCHF - this hasn't caused the cramps - I was getting these cramps when I was eating the typical high carbage way, lol.
    Reply: #444
  44. erdoke
    I suggest that magnesium is taken in the form of magnesium-citrate and together with vitamin B6. Make sure to have 400 mg of magnesium daily during the first week then it is probably OK to take it every other day.
    Maybe supplementing zinc might be necessary as well.
    Regarding your question on salt I would say it must be more than enough, it is at least as important to take similar or even higher amounts of potassium. Fruits and vegetables usually contain sufficient amounts.
  45. Msnfnp
    What kind of salad dressings are recommended?
    Reply: #447
  46. Ash Simmonds
    LCHF has long needed a comprehensive reference manual on the science of all this stuff to dodge the naysayers, finally - there's, well, something:

    --> http://ketopedia.com/wiki/Principia_Ketogenica

  47. Zepp
  48. mary
    Looking for a recipe I heard about with coffee, coconut oil, butter, need to know the types of or brands to buy also. how to make. it was sweet with splebda. sounded good for a sweet craving. thanks
    Reply: #449
  49. Zepp
    Its Magic Bullet coffe!

    They make it in a blender.. preferably a Magic Bullet blender!

    http://www.eatlowcarbhighfat.com/?p=324

    Its a part of "banting" on LCHF.. the last resort so to say!

    You know.. if fat is good.. the more is better.. or?

    http://authoritynutrition.com/3-reasons-why-bulletproof-coffee-is-a-b...

  50. elle
    I hope you can help me!
    I am on the ketogenic diet for a neurological disease (as well as hopefully weight loss).

    My problem is that I am allergic to the casein in (all) dairy.
    I have also recently tested as sensitive/intolerant to coconut and egg whites.

    Any suggestions on how I can maintain a strict level of keto w/out these major ingredients?

    (it is difficult for me to be up and cooking- so the easiest/quickest way is best!)

    Thank you so much!!

  51. Annie
    Hi
    I am on week 2 of LCHF diet but have put weight on. Is this normal? I have not cheated.
    I have eaten a lot of full fat yogurt!!
  52. Barbara Morris
    Is the low carb label on Mission Tortillas a lie?
    Reply: #453
  53. Zepp
    They say its 50% carbs.. the rest is fibers.. and if it taste like shit.. its true!
  54. thotho
    i am 35 years old and i want to try the LCHF but i am on herbalife program drinking formula 1 shake mix as a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch and eat normal at dinner, how bad is it,should i stop drinking the shake as i want to start the LCHF? PLEASE HELP!!!!
    Reply: #455
  55. Zepp
    Yeah spend your money on real food instead!

    You know this Herbalife. is just low calories.. you can eat real food and make it less calories if you want!

    Here is a way to say it!

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

  56. Boris
    Hi everyone...
    This was probably discussed here already but there are just to many comments to read them all.
    So i'm sorry if this is a repost...

    Anyway..
    So i'm eating LCHF for a couple of days now... I like it, i feel better and everything... BUT....

    I'm constantly hungry! When i eat i feel like i could just eat huge amounts of food and never get full... And even if i somehow manage to eat so that i feel full at the moment... i somehow feel hungry after an hour or so... And it's driving me nuts...

    Also is eating like 4 eggs every day too much? Or are eggs ok no matter the quantity?

    Thanks for any kind of help!
    Boris.

    Reply: #457
  57. Zepp
    Its lack of glucose spikes.. and if one get those one get a reward.. namly Dopamin.. then you get satisfyed!

    Its about eating for reward!

    It goes over after some more days.. at least if you get your energy/fat/calories.

    One shouldnt eat more then 20 eggs whith majo a day.. becuse then it gonna be excesses of calories.

    Eggs is one of the most nutrient food one can eat.

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