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?


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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  1. Zepp
    Yes there is.. one can get rid of fatty liver, beer belly and gases in ones guts!

    Its dependant of your healt condition and metabolic condition.

    Thos how is verry obese or have diabetes often get faster results.. becuse it affect ones glucose metabolism moste.

    And if you is a sugar junkie, then you get some transitation problems first, about three weeks.

    Its almoste about eat real food, less carbs, no sugar, more fat and normal of proteins.

  2. Starting today have loads to lose let's see
  3. vandeliro
    Hi, I start my LCHF diet two weeks ago and i start increase my body weight, is that normal for the beginning?
  4. Zepp
    No..not that normal..usely peopel lose some water in the begining.

    But there are two typical reactions.. some lose there apetite.. others get hugh cravings.

    It seems that there is only one solution to both problems.. to eat till its gone.

    And a question.. what was your starting condition, obese, healty, skinny, medical condition????

  5. vandeliro
    thanks for fast answer! i am on good health condition but i want lose some kilos for optimal condition :))))))
  6. Zepp
    Then.. go for it, at least a month or three and then make some sort of validiation.

    Mayby you just eating like you did befor and this food is energy dens.

    But.. you know.. our weigt do change from day to day, by natural causes.

  7. vandeliro
    Promise, my last question what about the honey and stevia is there any sugar replacement
  8. Zepp
    Honey is sugar.. use it occasionaly or not att all!

    In sweden Erythriol is popular among low carber.

    I dont know what brands there are in english speaking countrys.. but in sweden it often is sold as Sukrin, Sötin or in a mix with Stevia cald Stevia vital.

    I gonna give you a link.. but take it by caution.. its for those alredy slim and healty!!

    Its our swedish low carb baking queen!

    I cant eat such stuff.. I only gonna eat till I weight a ton!

  9. vandeliro
    Thank you very much, was very helpful
  10. Fruitee
    Hi, how about coconut. Is the flour a healthy food source?
    Also, Irish oats, sprouted bread, raw milk and maple syrup. I believe they are all rather good for us, no?
  11. Zepp
    Noe.. coconut flour is for deserts, maple syrup is sugar, oat is starch, sprouted bread is starch, starch is chains of glucose.

    Raw milk mayby.. in moderation.

    What about a steak and some veggies?

  12. Lila
    I have just read that dairy gives you high spikes of insulin. I was wondering why I can´t lean out. I eat lots of dairy (cheese, cottage cheese and cream) There is not very much left to eat taking out the grains and the dairy plus no nuts and seeds because they are high in calories and have antinutrients as well :( Only meat, fish, shrimp, chicken, eggs and vegetables?? I feel like the more group of food I´m leaving out of my diet, the less healthy I will be missing on all the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. I´m still self experimenting with these diets looking to see what works for me, but they are become very restrictive as any other frustrating.
    Reply: #163
  13. Sophie
    All the foods we have become used to eating are not food. It may feel restrictive not to eat sugar, grains, and dairy but they should never have been part of our diet.
    I don't think anyone should do any diet unless they are 100% committed, otherwise you will fail.
    I have been doing LCFH for a while now, and I lost weight: not a lot (vanity pounds) but I am very happy. It is true that it is quite dramatic, but my view is that if a dramatic diet only took a few pounds away from me (I had a healthy BMI in the beginning), just small changes would have had NO CHANGE.
    I had stalled recently and I cut out the dairy. It worked! I replaced it with coconut milk and I am very impressed with the result.
    This diet may be theorically restrictive, but in the end after you find your favourite foods and your routine, you will see the results and be so happy. I would never go back. I am used to red meat, eggs, salmon, veggies and I love them now.

    Again: if you feel this is a sacrifice, by all means don't do it. But if you want to change your body shape and composition small changes will have no effect. The choice is yours.

  14. Lila
    You are right Sophie. When it comes to healthy diets you have to be 100% committed. I believe I am. The reason I am complaining is because I could eat what ever I wanted and not gain a single pound. I lived in Mexico and the food there is so different. Now I live in Canada (6 months ago) and since I moved I have gained a couple of pounds and can by no means loose them no matter what I try (even on a LCHF diet I started a month and a half ago). This is why I started to dig through the internet to understand why. This is when I came across LCHF and I realized even in Mexico I was not eating healthy even though I thought I was. I was so into CW like most people are. I also had a healthy BMI and I still do, but I want to loose those vanity pounds and lean out to have the body I had before. But it is frustrating when you where used to eating anything (even some junk once in a while) and not gain any pounds at all and now I eat no junk, no grains, no sugars, and moderate low carb and those pounts are still there!! Any way, I think I will try cutting out dairy and see if that works. All I want is my body back and of course be healthy.
  15. Lila
    You are right Sophie. When it comes to healthy diets you have to be 100% committed. I believe I am. The reason I am complaining is because I could eat what ever I wanted and not gain a single pound. I lived in Mexico and the food there is so different. Now I live in Canada (6 months ago) and since I moved I have gained a couple of pounds and can by no means loose them no matter what I try (even on a LCHF diet I started a month and a half ago). This is why I started to dig through the internet to understand why. This is when I came across LCHF and I realized even in Mexico I was not eating healhy even though I thought I was. I was so into CW like most people are. I also had a healthy BMI and I still do, but I want to loose those vanity pounds and lean out to have the body I had before. But it is frustrating when you where used to eating anything (even some junk once in a while) and not gain any pounds at all and now I eat no junk, no grains, no sugars, and moderate low carb and those pounds are still there!! Any way, I think I will try cutting out dairy and see if that works. All I want is my body back and of course be healthy.
  16. Roz
    I have been doing the. LCHF diet for a week and didnt loose any weight.....i have stopped drinking scotch and wine as a bit dissapointed but its to early to give up just yet.....i have been doing the diet properly..maybe im having to much greek yoghart and cream....
  17. Lila
    Let me know how it goes Roz if you decide to keep with LCHF diet. How much weight would you like to loose? I have lost maybe a pound or two and I wish to loose at least 3 more pounds but more than pounds I want a lower % of body fat.
  18. Kayla
    How many grams of carbs ( or what percentage ) is considered low carb? I did my first day today and had 27 g (10% of my daily totals so far) g of carbs...good? Or not low enough?
    Reply: #169
  19. Zepp
    Its a good begining, try to make it natural, there is no magic number of carbs that gonna make all good things happen!

    You know, they say 100 grams or under is a ketogenic diet.. over could be low carb.

    Its more about your goals, metabolic condition.and fysical activity.

    But try to stay about there in tree weeks, to make a full transitation.. to be a fat burner.

  20. Selma
    Hi, I am trying to lose my weight but I found that it is very hard to lose the lower part of my body's weight. Is LCHF diet suitable for me to lose weight?
    Reply: #171
  21. Zepp
    Well one cant chose were to lose ones weight.. its mostly genetical determent.

    But if it is your hips you are talking about.. its often about female hormones and to much food.

    Its quite healty.. not that bad as abdomial fat.. how is more about stress hormones.

    Give it a real try, give it at least tree months!

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  23. Patrick

    Started this about three days ago, don’t have much wait to loose, maybe 10 lbs max. Found out that I have type 2 diabetes and am trying to lower my #’s

    Is there anything else you know of that will assist in my plight? I have got the #’s down a lot but still way spaced out and want to be more stable.

    Cheers _/

    Reply: #174
  24. Zepp
    There is only to avoid that food how rise your blood sugar.. or rather limit them.. and you know your limits by your blood sugar measuring.

    If you taking any medications, you should infor your medical supervisor, you could have to lower your doses!

    And you have only doing this for three days!

    Type 2 is a defect on regulation of blood sugar, often insulin resistens is dominant part of it.

    So the shift is to avoid that food how rise blood sugar.. then its less to regulate.

    But I think your body is still a lot dependant on glucose for energy.. and it takes about 2-3 weeks to transit to a well regualted ketosis state.

    Then your body regulate blood sugar by doing the moste glucose by it self in your liver.. its seldome goes to high.

  25. Hey there,

    I started 2 days ago and seeing how I am not a native speaker of the english language I'd like some things clarified by other LCHF-ers:

    Is it required to eat a lot of fat? Because so far I've been experimenting a lot with bacon, tons of butter, fatty cheese, sour cream and meat (mixed minced or turkey steaks).
    Seeing how I started only 2 days ago I am not really expecting any changes, but I do feel a little bloated. I checked the carbs I could've possibly taken in and so far, I think it might well be less than 15g per day. Only counterproductive thing I did was drink two gulps of orange juice this morning (I was about to cave in).

    When can I expect the first results? Do you feel any different, when the body switches gears?
    I swear to god, I feel like I gained a little fat around the belly already from all the butter-grease and cheese, so naturally, I feel a little sceptical.

    I will continue with it, though, and I hope I get a fast reply here.

    Reply: #176
  26. Zepp
    Noe.. its not a requirment to eat a lot of fat.. but its a requirment to know about E%.. Energy percent!

    Its about to learn were the fat lurks.. its in your food.. one seldome need to ad a lot of fat if one eat real food.. and one shall always take the full fatty food!

    Exampel.. eggs.. about 66E% fat, bacon 85E%fat!

    Its about that fat should be high of your daily energy demands.. and thats not always mean that it is high on your plate.. one sedome need to ad a lot.

    Eat real food.. no low fat food.. always the full fatty ones, dont cut of the lard from meat, chose fatty fish, fry in butter, put som heave cream in the pan and make a sauce!

    To chicken, take some bearnes.. to white fish take some reomulade.

    Sprinkle some olive oil on your veggies.

    And for sucess its requried to learn about ones bodys signaling about satiety/apetite!

    Its nothing magic about this, its about eating real food, less carbs, more fat and listen to ones bodys signaling!

    Well your first result should be glucose defiensy, and you feel awfull.. its whats it take for making your body a fat burning machine!

  27. Sophie
    Cher Séba,

    It's a very difficult balance to find... Basically what you will find is that you have to eat much less than you normally do, and cut as much carb, sugar, grain and fruit as possible. Then to help you you can add a bit of fat to make sure you do not get hungry or eat too much protein.

    If you are French, you could do it as the Dukan diet, but without making it fat free.

    I am a big eater and I was like you the first time: I just went crazy with the fat. Not a good idea.

    The idea is to eat less, and to find the best way to do it for your body.

    Vegetables help in making you feel full, and so do fat and protein.

    Don't eat too much!!!!!!!

    Now I eat more slowly, less often, and I pay more attention to when I am full. It also really helps.

  28. Thanks for the advice, it's really helpful (I am german, by the way).
    I've been having the worst headache since yesterday evening, but I guess it's still too early to be assuming this is my body's reaction to the diet, isn't it?
    Anyways, I'll keep on trying and I'll be checking in here to see what's new.

    Thank you guys and take care.

    Reply: #179
  29. Zepp
    Yes, it could be transitation problems, try to get extra salt, preferbly from real stock!

    If its going to crasy, ad some more carbs for a smother transitation.

  30. Grace
    I had my gall bladder removed about 20 years ago and am concerned with eating so much fat. Please address this issue.
    Reply: #181
  31. Zepp
    Well I can tell you that many Swedish lowcarbers had ther gall blader remowed, and got no problems at all!

    And I read in medical papers that its comon in 10% of cases after removal to have some problems.. and after a longer period there is about 5% that still have some problem.

    And to that.. one can eat less but more often, and one can use more coconut oil as your major fat source.. its used in hospitals for those how got digesting and absorbation problems with fat.

    And did you know.. its not about eating a lot of fat.. its about that fat should be high of your energi demand.. I.E.. its about cuting out a lot of cabs and eating normal fatty food.

  32. Heather7
    Hi! I've done atkins before with a great deal of success, this time around, I'm about 15 years older and more "diabetic" than before. I had some insulin resistance before, but now I'm 200lbs and my blood glucose levels are between 115 and 145 on average throughout the day, sometimes I get spikes above 200 whenever I eat 15-30 grams of carbs. So carbs are killing me. Not to mention the horrible fatigue and blurry vision and wanting to sleep all day that goes along with the insulinemia destroying my body and organs. I decided to try LCHF diet as a last resort--I don't want to have to take medicine! I'm only 38 and female!

    I have now been on this diet for 4 days and have lost 6 lbs all together. Overall I feel better. No more blurry vision, no more just feeling "icky..." However, I have an overall fatigued feeling--like I've worked out at the gym for 10 hours straight! What could be causing this. I've been checking my blood sugars and they are in the normal range now! Whoopee! From 77-95 all day and night! I haven't been "normal" in a few years (ask my famiy and they'll tell you I've never been normal ;) Either way, I do feel better, but where is this overall fatigue coming from? Is it my body adjusting to this new diet--also I've had gallbladder removal surgery. Eating lots of fats and meats is causing a significant amount of "loose" stool. Is this normal, and what can I do to counter this?

    Here's my typical day, am I doing this right? Breakfast, eggs and bacon and a cup of spinach, snack: Atkins low carb protein drink (it has lots of potassium and I need to replace that somehow without resorting to Gatorade or even G2 which contains aspartame.) Lunch: burger cheese, salad with cheese and either oil and vinegar dressing or blue cheese dressing, snack: pork rinds (plain) or an Atkins bar of some sort. Dinner will be lots of meat, either chicken, or steak, or lamb, and some type of salad vegetables, green leafy's, tomato, onion, cucumber etc... and again a high fat, but no sugar dressing. This was the intro phase of Atkins as I remember it years ago--how long do I want to be doing this "intro" phase? Do I EVER want to slowly introduce whole grain brown rice into my diet or any types of fruits? Please help! Thank you so much!!!

    Reply: #183
  33. Zepp
    Well your fatigue is nothing but glucose shortage.. is used to burn glucose and store fat.

    And it take some time to upregulate your fat burning capability.

    And as a diabetic you probably get some real transitation problems.. but you dont have much choise.

    Noe its not normal to get lose stools.. rather the opposit.. a beginners problem is constipation.

    Its very rare to have malabsorbation of fat, but you could use some more coconut oil.. its absobed easyer, without any bile.

    Its the same as Atkins.. the diet advice, not the food company!

  34. daniela
    Great article.
    I a reasonably fit 22 year old female. I crossfit 5-6 days a week but am very interested in changing to this lifestlye.
    I currently follow a very bodybuilding style meal plan with oats,egg whites, sweet potato and so on.

    A few questions though:
    How Do I find out how much fat grams I need to be eating daily?
    I dont eat red meat or chicken. Only seafood. Can you recomend any good cook books for that. I know salmon will be good.

    Also, where could we find sample meal plan to follow first week or so?

    Reply: #186
  35. Zepp
    Well its not about eating fat, its about replace carb calories with fat calories.

    You seems to alredy eating a healty diet.. there is one step you could do.. get rid of fear of fat.. for gods sake eat the egg yolkes.. its the moste nutrient dens you can eat!

    The fat grams is up to your energy demands.

    You could always follow Atkins induction.. its the same!

    Here I think you can get more advice of books and meal plans.

    But did you know.. its nothing strange about this life style.. its about eating real food!

  36. Sophie

    I never use cookbooks! I recommend buying a number of ingredients you like and play around with it. I eat an omelet every day at lunch with a protein (fish, eel, etc.) and for dinner I often make bone broth with fish and I add coconut oil. I must say my fish soups (I mix shell fish, fish, dill and coconut oil) have become one of my favourite LCHF meals.

    You eat a lot less on LCHF so there is less need to cook meals. Also I find it has helped me A LOT to keep my menus unchanged for weeks at a time.

    I find adding fat to a bone broth is a very easy way to add fat without adding protein.

  37. Olivia Griffin

    How long do I have to do this diet for before I start losing weight? I was hoping to do it for 2 weeks because I dont know how long I can go without chocolate. If I keep strictly to the diet for 2 weeks how much should I loose?


    Reply: #188
  38. Zepp
    2 weeks is not even enough to make a full keto adaption.. and you can allways hope to lose a pound or two.. of water!

    Take an more realistic approche.. eat only healty food.. home coocked from the best food you can find.
    Cut out a lot of those unhealty cheap foods.. like bread, pasta, flour, rice sugar, sodas, candy and eat a cake on speciall occasions.

    Buy and use real butter, full fatty cream, youghurt, cheese and other dairys to yor meals and coocking.

    Eat a lot of green levy veggies and some small portions of tubers.

    Use fatty meat/ fish or take som fatty sauces to lean meat and poultry.

    Give it at least three months.. becuse you deserv it!

  39. Ushca
    I have hypoglycemia. Would the LCHF diet still work.
    Reply: #190
  40. Zepp
    Well this diet is about controling glycemia, get rid of glucose dependancy and make fat as the major energy source!

    But you should get an real diagnose.. if you realy do have hypoglycemia!

    Fatigue is often diagnosed as hypoglycemia.

  41. Ushca
    Yes was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. Can not eat anything with sugar in it, gets all dizzy and feels like I am going to faint. I even had to cut down on things like bread and a lot of other carbohydrates for it also makes me feel bad. How long does it take for the body to adapt to using fat as energy, because at this stage I am getting tired very easily.
  42. Zepp
    You must mean Reactive Hypoglycemia?

    Its a pre stage before diabetes/metabolic syndrome!

    It takes about a 4 days to get over the worste problems.. i.e, the brain to adapt to take some ketonbuddies instead of some glucose.

    Then it takes about three weeks to make the brain to take about 70% of its energy from keton buddies.

    Your muscles take a month before they take more fat as major fuel.

    One can always take a smother transitation.. just ad more fat in your meals and less carbs!

  43. Lass
    I've been practicing IF (intermittent fasting) for about a year . I'm really lean now(7-8%bf), but consumed complex high carbohydrates on my heavy compound movements days. Dr, do you think following LCHF will negate my overall strength and muscle gains?
  44. Tony
    I am considering a Low Carb diet but my wife is pregnant and I don't have the willpower to make my own foods, dinners, lunches while shes eating a pizza in front of me. What can I do?
    Reply: #195
  45. Zepp
    Well I can asure you that no wise man goes against his pregnant wife!

    Soo its up to you to get the willpower or wait till after birth, to discuss food policy, in yours houshold!

  46. G
    Awkward question: since starting LCHF I seem to be constipated. Help!
    Reply: #197
  47. Zepp
    Its the moste comon beginners problem!

    Take some home cures to solve it, becuse your colon are not used to handel that litte waist.

    And after a time its normal to do it every second day.

    Use Physlium seeds/husk, coconut oil, more water or other whole seeds in your morning youghurt.. or such things.

    I can regulate it by a handful of nuts to!

  48. Lorna Winder

    What about lentils, beans/peas (mung, black eyed etc) chickpeas and quinoa?

    I love to make hearty stews with a mixture of pulses and veggies are these good or bad to eat?


  49. Zepp
    About beans, lentils, pies and quinoa.. they are high carb food.. use them occasionaly in small amounts in special dishes!

    Harricoverts and other such green beans are low carb!

    Its always about amounts.. of carbs.

  50. Kim
    I'm just beginning to get arthritis and am a little concerned if eating too much protein on LFHC will make my symptoms worse. If anyone can point me to any studies done in this area that would be great. Thanks!
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