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. Zepp
    Its about that often peopel think they eating high fat becuse they ad a lot of dairys!

    Milk is high fat, protein and laktose.. a combination that some dont lose weight on.. butter is almoste fat!

    http://www.fineli.fi/food.php?foodid=689&lang=en

    For others.. milk is food with a lot of nutrishment!

  2. Hi I start too weeks ago the LCHF diet and a follow rules and I can't lose any pounds please help me
  3. Zepp
    You just started.. and its not a quick fix!

    Its normal to lose some few pound of water in the begining?

    Then one get transitation problems.. and after that its starts.

    Its about if one have a lot of fat, the body does burn that in the midell betwen meals, and one eat less becuse of that.

    But first one have to get in to a fat burning state.

  4. Dewald
    I am curious.. What are the views towards peanut butter when embarking on this LCHF diet? It is a high fat product? I also want to know if this diet will be better/worse or the same for my goals in the gym. I intend on putting on allot of muscle and I logically it would make sense that this diet is excellent for that(with the extra protein and all), but there are always pitfalls so I thought I would rather ask the professionals
  5. Dewald
    oooooh and one last question.... Are there any signs except the loss of muscle, to predict the loss of muscle...(Something that kind of shows you are going to lose muscle unless you consume an energy source.) I realize that question sounds moronic, but maybe it has a clever answer..
  6. Zepp
    Peanut butter is high carb and bad fats!

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

    In transitation fase you will lose strenght becuse of glucose shortage!

    Body builders use Cyclic Ketogenic Diet!

    They use it to stay as lean they can.

    "Very-low-carbohydrate diets and preservation of muscle mass"

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/9

    Carbless Massing

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

  7. Lorraine
    Hi
    I am interested in this eating plan, but I am a vegetarian.
    I see no mentions of legumes - are they a carb? or protein? Could I eat them instead of meat?
    I would be worried that I'm not getting enough iron and protein.
    Thanks
    Lorraine
  8. Zepp
    There are many vegetarians how eating by this plan!

    You know.. its the same essential nutrients one need, and its the same molcules even if it comes from meat or vegetabels!

    Do you eat eggs, chees, butter, dairys.. its much easyer then.

    Legumes is different vegetabels, but no one is forbiden, its more about how much you can eat without they affect your blood sugar.

    And they is not typical lowcarb.

    "Legumes contain relatively low quantities of the essential amino acid methionine, as compared to whole eggs, dairy products or meat. This means that a smaller proportion of the plant proteins, compared to proteins from eggs or meat, may be used for the synthesis of protein in humans. The portion of plant proteins not suitable for the synthesis of human proteins is instead used as fuel in the human metabolism."

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

  9. Melanie
    Hello! I began a standard ketogenic diet with a calorie deficit of about 400 almost two weeks ago and just a few days into it I started to get a positive result on the Ketostix. As of today, I have lost about 7 pounds and while I'm assuming most of it is water weight, I'm afraid that I may have lost some muscle, too. I say that because I've continued to exercise daily using dumbbells and bodyweight without adding carbs pre/post workout. I didn't really want to lose weight (BMI of 21) I just would like to lose around 3-5% body fat. Anyway, my question is because I want to preserve muscle, should I just eat more or do I need to add some carbs around my workouts. Thanks!
    Reply: #135
  10. Zepp
    Ketosis seems to be muscle sparing as a weight lose metod!

    Its your protein intake that should be level to your training activity.

    "Although more long-term studies are needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn, it appears, from most literature studied, that a VLCARB is, if anything, protective against muscle protein catabolism during energy restriction, provided that it contains adequate amounts of protein."

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/9

  11. Melanie
    Okay, thank you. I was concerned that if my protein intake is too high then I would be kicked out of ketosis (I've been consuming around 95-114 grams). I think it might be better for me to forget about trying to be in a ketogenic state but still stick with the LCHF way of eating.
  12. Zepp
    It seems to be a normal amount of proteins for a training person of normal weight!

    About 1,5 grams/kilo.. 3 grams/pound!

    The amino acid demand is for your protein syntesis about 0,85 grams/kilo.. but on a ketogenic diet one use some for gluconeogenesis.. and that put you on a minimum of 1 gram/kilo.

    If you then is an active training person you break down muscle protein.. this make that you need more amino acids.. becuse there is always a spill in the protein syntesis.

    That gives that one can rise the proteins.. to about 1,5 grams/kilo!

    And if one is an traning person on a elit level one can need about 2 gram/kilo.

    To the question on carbs and training.. if one is in the elit of any sports, then one use more carbs.. becuse one training a lot and one do it in high intensity.

    The higher intensity the more glucose one use.

    Its about what you is training/compet.. if you do a lot of high intesity work.. then you need more carbs!

    Its becuse you want to use both glycolysis and betaoxidation at maximum levels, in your competition.. if you is competing?

  13. Melanie
    I appreciate the explanation. I'm just training for my own personal benefit right now but I like to include high intensity workouts such as Tabata training. My next step will be to find out the best carb source to use around my workout because I'm sure not just any carb will do! Thanks again for your help!
  14. Zepp
    Then you should know that it is the intra muscular glycogen that you use for high intesity exercise.

    So it is rather that carbs you have eaten the day befor or in the morning thats end up as intra muscular glycogen!

  15. Melanie
    Hmmm... So would slow digesting carbs be better?
  16. Zepp
    High digesting carbs is only good for hypoglycemia or after a glucose depleting exercise!

    They are unnatural in every other situation!

    You know.. bodybuilders use Cyclic Ketogenic diet, they have a carb loading day.. to stay as lean as posible and to have the intra muscular glycogen to make those high intensity exercise for extra muscular growth!

    If you is a normal healty person that only need to stay healty.. then I suggest you find a eating pattern that include som starchy vegetabels or tubers, but in limited amounts!

    Then you dont need to be woryed about any glycogen defiency.. if this a case?

    There are no magical things about this.. only physical.. and normal healty persons seems to coop with using some slow digesting carbs as energy.

    Its this eating pattern of sugary junkfood thats the problem for moste peopel.. or drinking it!

  17. Melanie
    Now that I can do! Thank you so much for your help!
  18. I'm eating LCHF for 6 months now and feeling very good with lots of energy. I do not loose al lot fo weight so I'm afraid I'm already on a normal weight. Two questions:
    1. Can I eat 70% chocolate and if so how much?
    2. Can you drink once in while Diet Coke?
    3. Is it possible to gain weight from the allergy medication Desloratadine Actavis?
    Hopefully somebody can give me the answers!!
  19. Zepp
    Try 90% instead.. its not that sweet!

    Only you can tell if you can eat it.. its not poison what I know.

    I use Lindt 90% if I get peckish, and one only need a bit or two to get satisfyed.

    Its the same with diet Coke, many can drink those without any side effects.. some even say it helpt them to stay away from worse things.. but you know, its not healt food!

    I realy do hope one dont put on weight on Desloratadine.. becuse I use it to.

    Its an antihistamine, thats supose not affect ones melatonin.. like older antihistamins did.. one got sleepy.

  20. Lila
    I am in my 3rd day of LCHF diet. I have had some symptoms from this transition, mainly feeling a little bit nauseous, dizzy, light headed, one day of metalic taste in my mouth, one or two days of dry mouth, but the one symptom that bugs me is feeling soooo hungry. I have to eat every 3 or 4 hours. I thought I would eat less or feel less hungry from eating all this fat. Am I not eating enough fat? Is it normal to feel hungry at the begining? Is my body missing the carbs and this is why it feels so hungry? And when I eat, I have this feeling like I´m full but still hungry too, Weird! It takes a while before I feel completely satisfied. I also fear the FAT! I´m allways asking my self if I´m overding it, will it make me sick, will it make gain a lot of weight. It´s all these years of believeing that fat was evil for our health, it feels wierd eating all this fat. How did you guys overcame your fear of FAT??? I mainly eat butter, sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, some times a little bit of whole milk,meat high in fat, tuna, salmon, eggs, low carb veggies, some nuts and seeds, sausages, cheese, flaxseed, some chia seeds etc. All high in fats. Am I doing it right?? I´m 39 years old and I exercise regularly. Thanks for any comments.
  21. Zepp
    Its quite comon to have that reaction in the begining.. another one is to lose the apetite totaly!

    I did have the same as you.. and there is only one way to handel it.. to eat.. till its pased!

    Its probably ones brain that want its glukos?

    The brain like food that rise blood sugar.. and reward you by excreting dopamine.

  22. Thanks for the reply Zepp, one thing is for sure is I have no cravings for sweets or carbs (only sometimes bread with lots of butter). So I'm happy to have no cravings yeeeiii!!
  23. Habs
    Hey Zepp. Is Maizemeal & Cornmeal allowed in the diet?
  24. Habs
    Hey Zepp! Is maize meal & corn meal allowed in the diet?
  25. Zepp
  26. Lila
    I´m on my 7th day of the LCHF diet, and I´m still feeling sick. No energy, flu like symptoms and still a bit nauseous. I think the huge appetite is starting to subside. Not as hungry as before. I was wondering if it´s ok to have some fruit before my workouts to get some energy in my body because I can barely go through my workout. It takes so much effort or do I have to keep exercising on a very low carb diet and let my body get used to it? I also have some questions. I mentioned in another post I am Mexican and we eat tortillas in most dishes. I only eat one or two at each meal (before the LCHF diet) I can give up beans and rice, but do I really have to give up tortillas? Just wondering how bad tortillas are for a low carb diet, because when I read about tortillas again it´s contradicting. Some say they are very good carbs and some say they are very bad.
  27. Zepp
    Try to not do more exercise then your body like in the transitation!

    It could take a week or two more.

    Your body suffer from glucose shortage in the moment, and not adapted to use more fat yet.

    Try some coconut oil its easy for muscle cells to burn as fuel.

    Dont overdo your traning att this stage, you only make your stess hormones to go up.

    Well you have alredy cut a lot of carbs alredy.. after some weeks you gonna see.

    Its not zero carbs its about low carbs.

    Those tortilas is very smal, isnt them?

    You know.. we got some sort of tortilas in Sweden to.. cald tunnbröd.. and if one not that sensitive one can use it in small amounts to put a lot of butter and chees on it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnbr%C3%B6d

  28. Lila
    Thanks for the tips Zepp. Yes I only eat a couple of small size tortillas (traditional tortillas, fresh made. None of the packaged ones with preservatives). Most of the time I eat them with meat, cheese or other fatty foods. This is what I found.

    http://diabetes.about.com/od/nutrition/a/Corn-Tortillas-Versus-Flour-...

    One more question. How many grams of carbs a day do I need to be in ketosis? Does low carb equal ketosis all the time? Does a person that trains need more carbs than a sedentary person or not necesarily? I am confused about ketosis. I have read that low carb does not necesarily mean you are in ketosis?

  29. Zepp
    Its tradional diabetics advice on that site, I wouldnt pay that much attention on there advice at all.

    But of course.. if you eat some tortilas.. it should be the real ones.. fake food is often worse!

    Our original tunnbröd is from barley.. the only seeds that was growing up in the north, near the polar cirkel.

    Its individual.. one says that for normal persons a diet with 100 grams of carbs or less is a ketogenic diet.. there, in that level the body have to make more keton bodys.. the less the more ketosis.

    The origanal induction fase on Atkins was about 20-25 grams a day.. its about 5E%.

    Well this is a question for discussion, becuse your levels do varite of a lot of reasons.. after a meal its often lowest, after a whole night sleep even carb eaters have som levels of keton bodys.

    Yes.. in theorie a training person need more carbs, at least if one is at an elit level.. but if one is a sedentery person training to be healty.. eat real food when you are hungry.

    Normal ketonlevels in blood for carb eaters is 0-0.6, then if you are a lowcarber its normal with 1-3, and over that is sayd to be starvation induced or exercise induced.. ketoacidos is a lot more then that!

    Soo.. ketosis is a normal state.. so they have to make som differens.. diet or by blood levels.

    One advice to you.. if you is on a low carb diet and end up in a hospital, one should tell the doctor that you is on a ketogenic diet.. otherways they can think that you have som maldigestion or others.

  30. Laura
    I have already seen the results of a low carb higher (good) fat diet - and am just wondering if this is the type of eating that I should have my growing children eat? Does it aid in their muscle development and growth, and brain development etc. Is there anything in cutting good carbs in my children's diet that would be a negative side effect? As it is, I have them eat close to natural state of foods - they love fruits - is this something that is fine for children to eat lots of?
  31. Zepp
    They could, but thats not nesecery for healty kids!

    http://www.lifezone.se/eng/2012/12/20/kids-and-low-carb/

    There are more to that of kids and food, they have a will of there own.

    Its more to give them real food and avoiding crap food.. to make them get good eating habits.

  32. Laura
    Thank you Zepp for your reply, much appreciated. This is how I am feeding them, and will continue to feed them through their growth years. I will cut down on the potatoes and use the alternatives. My children are very healthy as it is with no obesity (I would like to get them to put some meat on - even though they eat so much) - no diabetes - or behavioural problems. I will spread the word, thank you.
  33. Gabi
    Hi Zepp,

    Iam a Type 1 Diabetic , 54 years old. I started LCHF 2 weeks ago. I'm feeling very well and my glycose ups and downs are history. Now i would like to learn more about it . Could you tell me where I can find more Infos on LCHF and Diabetes Type 1.

    Many thanks
    Gabi

  34. Zepp
    Then you should read Dr Bernsteins book, he himself a type 1 diabetics.

    http://www.diabetes-book.com/

    And mayby you can find others in the same situation on this forum?

    http://forum.lowcarber.org/forumdisplay.php?s=9fcd1cd648da4a670d4be98...

    Its alway nice to have others to talk with how know how it is by them self.

  35. Lise
    When we have extra fat on our bodies, we develop "marbling" of the muscle tissue. Marbling contains fat and water. So when we start to lose weight, we lose fat in the marbling as well as the water in the marbling. So it may seem like we are losing muscle when in fact we are losing fat and water but the muscle remains intact. The only way for the body to actually lose muscle tissue is to starve the body of nutrients like in anorexia or as we've seen in POW camp survivors.
  36. WILANA
    Hi, I have started on the LCHF diet, not that I am overweight at all, but I tend to get all sorts of skin allergies and I an convinced that sugar and bread are the culprits. At the moment I am not following a regular exercise routine other than running after the children. Over the weekend I felt quite bloated, may be I am eating tooo much? Is it also one of the symptoms of the beginning stages. I must admit I am also a bit scared of all the fat, although I love fat..
  37. Zepp
    In the beginning one often get constipation like problems.

    Becuse there are not that much waist to excrete.. take som home cures to make your peraldistik act a little better.. its gonna be better!

    Use Psyllium seeds, husk or lens seeds.. even magnesium is good.

    One dont eat more fat then the calories from the carbs one cut out.

  38. Anuska
    Just started today with this diet, my husband and i are really excited about it. We are used to eat quite healthy but as we are getting older (42)we are about 4 to 5 kg heavier then we were 10 years ago. One problem we are living in France since 4 years so no French sticks any more, luckily we can still eat the cheeses? Only one question we have, we all like milk, can we still drink milk and which one, and is it good to have greek yoghurt in the mornings?

    Merci beaucoup!

    Reply: #139
  39. Zepp
    Stick to the real and healty food.. and there are a lot of high class food in France!

    Wy are you drinking milk.. thats for calfs and kids?

    In France they drink wine.

    If you use dairys.. allways use full fatty ones.. then you dont need to gooble a lot för fullfillnes.

    Yes, use Greek or Turkish, strained youghurt high in fat or smetana!

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smetana_(dairy_product)

    And to that.. grown up shouldnt relay on to much dairys.. its for calfs and kids so they put on weight!

    Us it in normal quantitys in your cooking.. or part of your meals.

  40. Anuska
    Thanks Zepp for the anwer, i just think we were grown up with........ milk is good for the bones. My English husband ( I am Dutch), likes to drink English tea with milk, so if he uses fat milk this shoud be ok? And yes the French drink wine....lots of it!!

    I have send this site through to a lot of Fam/ friends in Holland and the UK.

    Great site, thanks!

  41. Zepp
    Oh.. forgoten.. milk is for calfs, kids.. and englismen how put it in there tea! ;)

    Well I think swedes to drink moste milk in the world.. and have high osteoporosis!

    Its more about D-vitamine defiency.. and I think one get more sun in France?

  42. Julie
    Hi, I have been doing the diet for about 2 months. As a regular morning runner, I am struggling to have much energy while exercising. Should I eat some protein or have a protein shake beforehand or eat differently the night before with more fats? Or is this just the new feeling while exercising- a bit weak. Thank you!
  43. Zepp
    Its dependant of your goals and your healt!

    It could be the transitation to be a fat burner how take some time altso.

    The brain usely doing the transitation in three weeks, the muscles could take some months.

    Whats hapend to your muscles is.. they being denayed to use moste glucose, becuse you have a shortage of this fuel.

    And it take some time to upregulate your fat oxidation capasity, its needed more carnitine ensymes to transport longer fatty acids over your cell membranes.. there are a lot of carnitine in meat!

    So, one tip is to use more MCT, (midell chain triglycerides).. in other words.. use more coconut oil in your cooking!

    Or eat more carbs.. if you is an healty person.

    If you stick to low carb high fat, it would reward you in the end.. you get a high fat oxidation capability and endless of energy after some months.

  44. Dr. Eenfeldt, I am unable to ingest dairy products. Do you have any suggestions as to substitutions and any other counsel?

    many thanks

  45. Zepp
    Well, I am not Doc.. but I am lactose intollerant.. and I dont use dairys, exept butter and chees.

    I can on special occasions use small amount of cream or youghurt.

    One dont need to eat dairys.

    Is there special causes exept lactose?

    I use coconut oil and oliv oil.. but the moste fat do I get from the meat and fish.

    You know, one have to learn where the fat lurks!

  46. Appreciate the input. I came to the same conclusion~there is no sub for dairy but I find a moderate portion of nuts works pretty well.

    Many years ago I read and agreed with the writings of Dr. Peter D'Adamo (Blood Type Diet) so I'm eating the high fat foods from his customized software called SWAMI. As an "0", dairy is an 'avoid' for me.

    Many thanks

  47. Zepp
    Well I dont know much about Dr D'Adamo.. but if he is right.. some of the Inuites should have been farmers.. and I think they dissagre with that!!

    They altso have different blood types!

    Different blood types evolved befor any human become farmers.

  48. How many eggs are allowed in one week, which nuts are allowed?
  49. Zepp
    Eat as many you like!

    There are three thumb rules;

    1. if you weight 70 kilo you shouldnt eat more then 13 eggs a day becuse then you get to much protein.

    2, one shouldnt eat more then 20 eggs with buttter becuse it gonna be to much calories.

    3. One shouldnt eat more then 36 eggs a day becuse you gonna get tired of eggs.. and thats bad becuse egg is healty.

    ;)

    Macadamia nuts have the best fat content, almonds and Walnuts have the best mineral content.

    But they all have a lot of Omega-6 too.. use them to your Greek youghurt at breakfast.

  50. zd
    I'm a south african and have tried many diets , and have failed in all. I want to know arent the any effects to the organs whilst on this diet? how soon can you get results.
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