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