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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596 Comments

  1. 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!!
    Reply: #465
  2. Barbara Morris
    Is the low carb label on Mission Tortillas a lie?
    Reply: #453
  3. Zepp
    They say its 50% carbs.. the rest is fibers.. and if it taste like shit.. its true!
  4. 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
  5. 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...

  6. 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
  7. 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.

  8. Shirin
    Hi Doc :)

    I am sort of following the Paleo but with a bit of dairy and I have a question regarding the carb issue - I make a seed cracker that has chia, pepitas, sunflower seeds, white & black sesame seeds and flax seeds which I eat with lots of butter (yummy!) - would this be considered as too much carb? Also, for nuts (which I love) - how much is too much?
    Thanks for your reply!
    Shirin :)

    Reply: #459
  9. Zepp
    Its only you and your medical/metbolic conditition that can answer that!

    You know there are many people that eat a lot more carbs then that.. and are healty!

    If you eats proper meals and take those crackers for evening tea or at breakfast it cant do any harm.. I think!

    And it goes for nuts too.. nuts are not real meals.. they are tasty, some of them have kind of benefits.. like RS, minerals, fats and so on.

    Soo.. as long nuts and cracker dont is instead of real meals they are part of healty life style.

  10. amber
    Like some people bread is not my problem, it's sweets. I have found that peanut butter and whipped cream calms my cravings. Is it bad to eat that, if not how much is too much in a day?
  11. Melly
    Hello, love this site!

    I'm looking for more ideas for a vegetarian following LCHF. Resources, support and ideas. Thank you, Melly

  12. Zepp
    Start here !

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/vegetarian/a/Low-Carb-Vegetarian-Die...

    And later Google "Low carb vegetarian".. there are lots of links, but I dont know wich is good!

    Laura Dolson is however well knowed!

  13. Rafiq
    I was diagnosed type 2 type 2 diabetic 3 weeks ago. I started LCHF and I have lost 4 kg already.I am 58 ears old and have always continued to play 5 a side football with guys who are aged between 16 and 30 who are friends of my son. In the last 2 years I have begun to slow down and was considering packing up. I felt very stiff after games and increasingly asthmatic. Since my LCHF diet started apart from the first week when I felt quite weak, my stamina, my breathing capacity and my mobility has improved remarkably. Last night my energy levels were such that I could no stop running and my circulation and sweating just felt great. The youngsters could not believe where I had got all the energy from and nor could I. It is like a miracle. My target was to play till 60 but now I am thinking of revising my target to 65. Had I not been diagnosed as a diabetic I would never have changed my diet because I always thought it was about eating less. I will send photos of me playing footbal soon.!!
    Reply: #464
  14. Zepp
    Yes, send in your sucess story!

    "Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com. Let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous."

    In the meen time you can watch this excelent video frome Australia!

    "Low Carb Diet: Fat Or Fiction "

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WNqUbDbVqE#t=100

  15. pearl
    hope this is not too late -eat less yogurt and increase butter
  16. Paul Waulker
    Trying to get on top of this however I'm having difficulty coming to terms with a few things. Grains are apparently out, however seeds are permissible. They way I see it, beans must surely be seeds since they are not in heads as in grains. Why are they not included?

    As I'm on Warfarin I am limited to the amount of green intake or should I say it must be daily which can be not a likely scenario. Tomatoes are suppose to be a "health" item in particular to prostate health etc, what is the alternative?

    Thanks for you input.

    Reply: #467
  17. Zepp
    Its becuse moste of them is high in carbs, goes for lentils too.

    Well you have a special condition.. otherwise one recomend people to eat ther veggies, many eats to litle veggies frome the beginning!

    Becuse, if you cut out tubers, moste fruit, limiting dairys, limiting beans and lentils cuts out all seeds, one probably need the veggies for water soluble vitamines!

  18. Carmen
    Hi, is it possible to eat LCHF Monday - Friday and on the weekend eat regular (over 20 carbs). Then on Monday start all over again?
    Reply: #469
  19. Zepp
    Its always possible to eat real food every day!

    Its more about if you need to be in ketosis or not?

    Most people dont need to be in ketosis all the time.

    Its only people that have problems with hyperinsulinemia that need to be in ketosis for a long time.

  20. Mary
    I am confused about total carbs vs, net carbs. I remember reading that LCHF counts total not net. On a keto website, they insist that only net carbs be counted.
    Reply: #471
  21. Zepp
    Its net carbs.. those how is digestible and converts to blood sugar!

    If you look at a European package, there is carbs only those that are digestble, fibers are labled separatly.

    Soo.. total carbs is for Europe and net carbs is for America.

    But there is a thing to notice, some manufacturer of low carb products are freaking lyers, but thats for those that manufacture bread, pasta, candy and such things!

  22. Lindy
    ive been following a LCHF diet for several months and I'm not losing weight. Could medications be to blame? I take serequel for bipolar, lamictal for mood, and Kilonopine for sleep. My pharmacist said that it probably is the serequel and said without diet and exercise I will probably continue to gain weight. I'm 5'5 and have always weighed about 140. Now I'm up 15 pounds heavier but following the LCHF religiously and exercising .....still 15 pounds up. Any insights on medications and effects on successful weight loss following LCHF?
  23. David
    I just started my low carb diet. I find myself reading labels and became confused.
    The label gives me the amount of salt and carbs in grams. I used to know what a gram were when I was in collage. I use very little table salt. When I do, it is Sea Salt. The salt and carb grams are pretty high in some foods. What it high for my diet? I picked up a soup with 560 grams of salt. 25 grams of carbs. I wish to know what I am doing.
    Can you help?
    Thank you
    David
  24. erdoke
    Hi David,
    1 pound is 453.6 grams. In other words 1 kg (kilogram = 1000 g) equals 2.2 pounds.
    The amount of salt you mention is well over a pound which seems to be rather suspicious in a can (?) of soup. Normally nutrition values are provided on the basis of 100 grams of product, often the serving size and corresponding nutrient values are also listed.
    Depending on your health status and goals, 25 grams of net carbs should be the upper limit for a single meal, considering you have no more than 3 meals daily. Net carbs means total carbohydrates minus dietary fibers.
    If you are more used to teaspoons of salt and sugar, 1 teaspoon is around 4 grams of both.
  25. David
    Hi Erdoke
    I must have lost my mind when I hit 75...
    How about mg instead of grams.
    Thank you for your answer. It helped.
    David
  26. channing drew
    Since I have type 2 diabetes with a healthy weight. On a ketogenetic diet, can i maintain my weight, please let me know, thank you.
    Reply: #477
  27. Zepp
    You know.. its about calories in the end anyhow.. so way start starving?

    The only side effect is that you probably lose a litle fat and gain som muscles.

  28. Bebeh
    would excess protein consumption lead to weight gain while on LCHF diet?
    Reply: #479
  29. Zepp
    Mayby, mayby not!

    You know weight dont tell that much about your bodily composistion, your healt and how you feel.

    And then.. whats excess protein.. many do eat to litte protein and to much carbs/sugar!

    Those how like to gain muscles tryes to eat more protein for extra protein syntesis.

    Let say that dayly demand is betwen 1-2 grams/kilo a day.. if one eat more and dont do extra hevy weight lifting you gonna pee the extras out, thats not a good ide and often expensive.

  30. Anna
    Hi there! Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but I am looking for an alternative for the cream cheese in the oopsies. I can't eat cheese (lactose intolerant). I have tried mayonaise and a little coconut oil, but my oopsies are looking a little flat in the oven at the moment - and they have spread out in the pan. "Oops" is right.... Any tips?
    Reply: #481
  31. Zepp
    Im altso lactose intollerant and I can eat cheese, becuse there are no lactose in cheese, its gone with the wey.
  32. Anna
    Thanks Zepp
    That's really interesting. I didn't know that.

    Then I can only presume there must be something else in cheese that my body doesn't agree with. Cheese really upsets my tummy and soft cheese seems to be the worst. It also seems to give me a skin breakout
    My version of the oopsie was a flop (texture, taste was good). I will omit the coconut oil next time. I've seen versions with peanut butter and also with mayo. Will experiment with the mix.

    Reply: #483
  33. Zepp
    Thats rather looks like some allergy?

    Mayby to Biogenic Amines then?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenic_amine

  34. Bebeh
    1. is constipation a phase in following an lchf diet?
    2. when in an lchf diet, is one allowed to take fiber supplements such as pure psyllium husks?
    Reply: #485
  35. Zepp
    1. Yes its a comon beginners problem!
    2. Yes those is the most used fiber supplements.
    3. Dont let it go to far, take some home cures, like husk, magnesium, other whole seeds like linsseeds, and fibrius veggies like asparagus.
    Reply: #486
  36. Bebeh
    thanks!
  37. Kathy
    I am experiencing extremely low blood sugars (in the 35-50) range, not only during the night, but now during the day.. I'm not sure what I should eat to bring them up, without "Blowing" the LCHF diet. We keep nothing in the house in the higher carb range. I am working with my doc to lower my insulin (I titrate each night, if needed) but many times if I lower my insulin by even one unit, my sugars soar the next day. Anyway, back to the problem at hand - what should I eat to bring them up quickly, and still stick to the diet. thank you.
    Reply: #488
  38. erdoke
    Hi Kathy,
    Is your blood sugar low only due to the diet or are you also on some medication?
    Reply: #489
  39. Kathy
    I've been on medication (Metformin/long acting insulin), but until I started strict LCHF, my sugars were high (A1c of 8.2, now it's 5.5). We have reduced/removed meds, and we are reducing insulin, but I am constantly in the low blood sugar range. If I eat more carbs or reduce my insulin, my sugar goes too high (180's). i eat about 10-15 carbs per day. I go back to see my doc in a few weeks. I want to ask if I can stop the insulin all together. On a recent trip to Vegas, I forgot to take my insulin twice, and my sugars were in the 50's/ 60's in the mornings. I'm really just asking what I can eat to bring my sugars up, without going off LCHF. Cheese sometimes works, but not always.
    Reply: #491
  40. erdoke
    Without any hypoglycemic symptoms I would not be worried about lower than average blood glucose. High levels of fat adaptation can also contribute to low BG.
    How about meat, especially red meat consumption?
    Reply: #492
  41. Zepp
    Its dependant of how much insulin you excret by your self!

    If you eat that little carbs and have a functional pancreas then you shouldnt need to ad any insulin at all.. for the carb part of your meals!

    You know its when glucose levels rise to high levels that one need insulin.. and then it cut out fatburning, glukoneogenes and glycogenolysis!

    I.E. insulin lower glucose by limiting fat for fuel!

    If you tolerate Metformin its not importante to set that out in a hurry, it mostly affect gluconeogenes.

    If you realy get hypoglycemia and get bad sensations of that, its dextrose you shall take.

    If you get low blood sugar and dont get any bad feelings by that, its insulin that you shall lower.. or cut out totaly.

    And then.. 35-50 seems to be little low, take a check on your glucose meter, it can be wrong.

    It should be at least 70?

    I think its wrong if you dont get any bad hypoglycemic side effects?

    And at least.. im no doctor!

    Reply: #493
  42. Kathy
    I do experience symptoms of hypoglycemia - otherwise I wouldn't worry about it. Shakiness, sweating, headaches, unclear thinking, inability to properly speak. I do eat meat, red meat only once a week. Anyway, thanks for your help, much appreciate it.
    Reply: #494
  43. Kathy
    Zepp,
    I only take one dose of long acting insulin before bed, not to regulate my carbs during meals. I do agree, I probably need to stop taking it now, as I was prescribed the insulin when I couldn't get my blood glucose lower. I'm sure my Doc will advise at my next visit.
    I have no doubt both of my glucose meters are correct, they are both only a few months old, and I always test twice if I get extremely low readings. I *DO* experiece hypoglycemic symptoms - see my above reply to erdoke.
    Thanks for replying, Zepp.
    Replies: #495, #500
  44. erdoke
    In that case your self diagnosis is quite clear, Kathy and all you have to do is share these details with your doc.
  45. Zepp
    Everything says that you should cut out all insulin then!

    It cant be healty to take insulin and then get hypoglycemia!

    Then other hormones need to strugle and rise glucose levels.

    I recomend that you take a phone call to your doctor.. or cut out insulin by your self!

    Othervise you need to up your carbs!

    And then.. in the long run and whitout insulin perhapps even whitout metformin.. 10-15 grams of carbs is very limiting.. mayby it is to limiting.. not that you need to eat carbs, but it limit foods that could provide other nutrients.. I.E. read veggies, some few tubers/nuts/legymes/fruits/others that could be healty!

  46. chad
    Are all beans high in carbs? Do you promote any beans/legumes on LCHF?
    Reply: #497
  47. Zepp
    There range frome 15 to 50% carbs!

    And as E% frome 50 to 65 E%

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

    Its about if you have them as a big source for energy!

    If you eat them as a part of your meals its just a small part.

    I did eat chili con carne today.. it was good, I made it whit a lot of minced meat and butter, only one can of baked beans for two persons.

    I figure that I got about 30 grams of carbs on that meal!

    http://www.fineli.fi/food.php?foodid=11090&lang=en

    You know you can eat almoste anything.. its about your healt and your goals!

    If I was very sensitive I could limit the beans to 15 grams.. the thing is to know!

    Grean beans as we call Harri coverts are special popular in LCHF comunity.. its almoste a veggie!

    Cooked and whit garlic butter its yummi to a steak!

    Grean pies is just 10% carbs, and those are altso eaten in small portions.. who eats a whole plate of pies?

  48. Ben
    A couple of questions from a beginner. Is it bad to stay in ketosis for a long period? If you're really restricting your carb intake, how do you get a good source of fiber? Supplements?
    Reply: #499
  49. Zepp
    There are no bad effects of ketos if one is healty and it is dietinduced, its DT1 that can get acidos but thats about lack of insulin.

    Insulin regulate ketones too.

    And in the long run ketosis dont get that important, as fat oxidation get higher.

    Why should you restricting carbs like it was a competition?

    Eat your veggies, look for fibrius ones, eat some few tubers occasionaly and mayby a fruit as dessert.

    Well if you restrict it to much then you need to take phsyllium seeds or others.. thats altso an advice for begginers if they get constipation tendensys!

    Make a distinction on transitation stage and how you eats in the long run!

    Hers one explanation to get it going.

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

    And heres the biochemistry explanation!

    http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/is-ketosis-dangerous

    And at last.. its moste about eating real food, avoiding the obvius bad junk carbs and not be scared of healty fat!

  50. ANNA
    Kathy

    There are some great links like this one found via the Edify website with more info about diabetes and LCHF lifestyle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=FcLoaVNQ3rc...

    I am a medic but certainly no expert on diabetes so I would strongly recommend to you that you consult with your endocrinologist about your change in lifestyle, your diet and how to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia and implement a controlled weaning off your insulin (presuming you are getting the desired response from the diet modifications). As you would be well aware, hypoglycemia can put diabetics into a coma and can be fatal. If you're eating extremely low carbs then your medication would almost certainly need to be titrated and adjusted.

    If your endocrinologist is not open to it, find one who is!

    Regarding your hypo question - The LCHF movement seems to promote berries as a quick 'sugar' source - have you tried those when feeling hypo? Non fructose alternatives may also be useful such as Brown Rice Syrup? I sense that if you need the glucose urgently (hypo) then fruit would be a far better option than processed sugar and choosing lower carb/sugar options and/or low GI might be good.

    Good luck with your adventure! Let me know what you think of the link about the 'lies' of diabeties.
    :)

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