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. Kim
    Oops, I meant LCHF (not LFHC)
    Reply: #202
  2. sophie
    Kim:

    Don't eat too much protein! Basically you replace the carbs by higher amounts of fat.

    I have also found, like a lot of people, that LCHF makes you eat less because you are less hungry. Too much protein is not very good for anyone. Just eat to satiety.

    Sorry no study!

  3. Kim
    Hi Sophie:
    Thanks kindly for your reply. I just started on LCHF and I'm still in that stage where you ask yourself, what am I going to eat? I like eggs so I sometimes have those in the morning, or full fat Greek yogurt with a little fresh fruit (1/4 cup), sometimes I have chicken and veggies in the morning if I get bored with eggs, and otherwise I'm eating avocados, olive oil only on salads, and so on. Sometimes I make veggie smoothies with kale, carrots, some cherries for the arthritis, and almond-coconut milk (sounds strange but it's good!). I have noticed that I'm not as hungry. One thing I would really like is a little bit of 70% dark chocolate so perhaps I will add a little square of it. I hope I can stick to this; my doctor says I have about 20kg to lose and by going LC I have lost and kept off about 7kg for a year (doesn't sound like much but it's a big deal for me!). LCHF is the next step for me! Thank you again!
  4. Richard
    What happens if you are on the LCHF diet. Then, you eat some icecream and carbs for two days, and go back on the diet. How long does it take for you're body to get back into ketosis?
    Reply: #205
  5. Zepp
    About two days or less, dependant how much carbs you eating!

    But you know.. almoste everybody do have keton boddies in there blood anyhow.. perticuly after a whole night sleep.

    Its more about if you get high keton levels.. its a sign that you eat to little carbs for your bodys emediate demand of glucose.

    Then it make some of it in your liver, and fats are broken down to ketones and repalce some of the glucose.

    Its nothing magic about ketosis, its more a sign.. that you not eating that much carbs.. and fat is the predominante fuel.

  6. Whitney
    Should we not use weight loss supplements if we are going to do LCHF? Specifically i'm talking about Raspberry Ketone.
    Reply: #207
  7. Zepp
    Save your money an eat more fat and less carbs.. make your ketons by your self!

    Put your money on grass feed meat!

  8. Sophie
    I know the general LCHF stance on cheese and dairy: don't eat too much if it stalls your weight loss.

    But is mozzarella any different? I just bought a few balls of fresh mozzarella di buffala and the fat content is 52% butter fat!

    It is so delicious on its own, cold and fresh.

    Please tell me it won't stall my weight loss!!!

    I don't eat very much since upping my fat intake. I get full after very little.

    Reply: #210
  9. Atiyeh
    Hi,
    I found out most yogurts (even high fat) and Mayos have "Corn Starch", even though their %carb is still low. Does it affect the LCHF diet? should I avoid the products that have corn starch?
    I also need to know about consuming "Canola Oil". Thanks.
    Reply: #211
  10. Zepp
    Its the same.. try it out.. its chees anyway!
  11. Zepp
    Realy strange.. what country do you live in.. I never have seeing this.

    And to that.. its not poison.. and its about the amounts of carbs by day or meal that matter!

    Well.. about Canola.. it seems to not be the best quality of oil.. even as we in sweden do have organic cold squised rape seed oil and could use some of it to mayonese or such a thing its not to get a lot of energy from!

    How about organic extra virgin olive oil insted?

    Its been used for thousends of years in the medeteranians.

  12. Atiyeh
    I live in Canada, and most of the products have Corn Starch!
    definitely I use olive oil, thank you so much.
  13. Cheryl
    I have a question about BMR. I'm 51 something female, 62 inches and 168 lbs. and have been on every diet in the book and then some. When you cut calories, are you supposed to eat at your BMR or TEE or somewhere in between? I have my micro sent to 75 Fat, 20 protein and 5 carbs. I have been in Ketosis for quite a few days. I am on my 16th day and have lost 11 pounds but I know that will end shortly, probably by my next weigh in on Friday. I am afraid to put as many calories as my TEE says I should eat and even my BMR is 1568. What do you suggest?
  14. Whitney
    Can you give me the run down on "diet" beverages and flavored sparkling water, or point me in the right direction. They say no carbs and I know they add sweeteners that arent necessarily listed under sugars. I understand water, coffee, and tea are the best beverages. But i'm looking for something to drink when I want to splurge but not go all the way to the deep end.
  15. Georgi Pachov
    Excelllent! For the first time when I read for yet another diet, is there such a great FAQ section explaining everything, mentitoning everything remotely dangerous to the body! This FAQ section makes me believe that this is a very, very well though and experimented diet, with much more of science and information behind it than any other diet. Will be giving it a test for a few months!
  16. Sam
    People were telling me that having such a high protien and fat diet is dangerous for the cholestrol levels and the heart. I am already hypertensive would it increase my blood pressure levels?
    Reply: #217
  17. Zepp
    First.. its not a high protein diet.. its a high fat diet.. i.e, a ketogenic diet.

    And to that.. its almoste a high carb diet that give you both bad cholesterol and hypertension.. both is comonly caused by hyperinsulinemia!

    Ofcourse there are a lot of other conditions giving bad cholesterole and hypertension altso.. but to day its metabolic syndrome thats moste comon to cause those conditions!

    How does it work then.. first keton boddies have the same effect as some lipid lowering medecins, it downregulates HMG Coa reductas.. like statins and other lipid lowering medications!

    And about hypertension, hyperinsulinemia is one cause to it, it make the kidney to resorb more sodium.. and more retained sodium in your blood make water go whit it by osmos and then you got higher blood presure.. becuse the more volume the higher presure!

    Soo.. whit that said.. whats your problem, do you need to lose weight, or do you have signs of metabolic syndrome?

    In the transitation fase to a ketogenic diet, one can have some side effects, one can lose a lot of water for instance, becuse of the lower insulin levels, and then one lose salt and other minerals.. there are advices to drink broth to replenische those salts, till its gone!

  18. ana
    Hello!
    I am going to start this diet but I am concerned abot a couple of things. First of all I have a condition in my intestines were I can't consume any types of seeds, corn or nuts. I am "allergic" or intolerant to lactose. What should I do about that?
    Second: with what should I substitute sugar for my coffe in the morning?
    Reply: #219
  19. Zepp
    You can do the same thing as me.. I am altso lactose intollerat, soo im not using that much dairys, mostly lactose free ones!

    And no one need to eat seeds or nuts, avoid those if you cant tollerate them!

    You can drink it black or make a MBC, coffe with a lot of fat.. I prefer it black!

    But if you cant drink it without any sweet to it, then try Erythritol or Stevia or mixes of those.

    http://bodyecology.com/articles/erythritol_what_you_need_to_know_natu...

    Reply: #220
  20. ana
    Zepp thank you for answering! I started today so lets see how it goes.
    I will try to drink coffee a little less, jaja black plain coffee, nop not for me!
    I know that once I start I could get sick, but once I get stuck
    And stop loosing weight what do I have to do?
    Reply: #221
  21. Zepp
    Yea.. start first.. and do the transitation first of all!

    It could take a week or some, but the mental transitation take longer!

    Dont take out any considerations befor you know how it works for you.

    For some its the best thing ever happend others have to strugle, becuse of medical/social/phsycological reasons!

    Read this in meantime and let us hope its as easy as for Cord!?

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/losing-135-pounds-in-one-year-with-lchf

  22. MeshYoga
    What about honey?
  23. Zepp
    Honey is sweet and good.. but its sugar anyhow!

    Probably more natural then HFCS, but sugar anyway!

    Soo.. one spoone every second month could be fine!

    If it taste sweet.. its probably some sort of sugar.. try to remember this!

  24. ferlin
    ive been on the LCHF for a coupla months now and i noticed tremendous changes in my life, weight,and i just feel good, healthy and lean....i just want u to give me a few tips on how i can bring my family in this as well, i dont want this as a diet, in fact i dont see it as one,but as a lifestyle and i want to maintain it and really make it a part of my life and involve my family in as well especially the kids.....so how do i get the kids off of their sweets n sugar habits???like traditionally every birthday we bake cakes n goodies ect, any tips or suggestions on how to clear all that and what can i use as a replacement of cakes and all the junk the kids usually like especially during birthday parties???I or is it safe to have those kinda goodies ONLY ON BIRTHDAYS(obviously my husband and i wont be eating those at all) I REALLY WANT MY WHOLE FAMILY TO MAKE LCHF THEIR LIFESTYLE AS WELL!
    Reply: #225
  25. Zepp
    First of all, make the same meals for everyone, make some LCHF to serv to the meal and some potato, pasta, rise, whats sutable, let everyone take what they want.

    In some familys the potatoes/pasta/rice consumtion has get to all time low.

    And to the sweets and treats at holidays/birthdays and such a days, one can do it LCHF!

    http://www.mariannslchf.com/

    You know kids have a will of there own.. and are to young to chose lifstyle, but parents can always show them better alternatives!

  26. ferlin
    thank you so much! i already love the link you sent me! i guess my family will really love LCHF, they can still have their pies and cakes etc, but at least this time its the LCHF WAY!
    i got another question please, are flavored cheeses bad? like the bacon or mushroom flavored spreads etc?
  27. Zepp
    It must be USA then.. I have never heard about flavored cheese.. exept garlic and chili cheese.. I like the Chili one, but not the garlic!

    You must read the labels.

    I did google about it, and find almoste artisan cheese.. those seems to be real cheese.. with diferent herbs and other natural flavorings, its should be fine.. mayby even realy fine?

    http://www.yanceysfancy.com/flavored-cheeses

    Spreads could be different, but one could read the labels?

    I do by Bacon cheese as a spread!

    http://www.kavli.se/produkter/bredbarost/varklassiska/Pages/Baconost....

    Seems to me to be a real food?

    And here more about kids and low carb.. LCHF!

    http://www.lifezone.se/eng/?s=kids

  28. christina quinn
    Hi
    I have gallstones and can suffer from them. I have medication to help however I was getting fit until I suffered a labrial tear in my hip from a car crash and now my gp and specialist recommend no excerise as it can worsen my injury. I am gaining weight and lossing self confidence so I have consideres the raspberry ketone diet. Would tyis be safe with my gallstones
  29. Glenn
    How important is the GI (Glycemic Index) of a food when considering food choices for a LCHF diet.

    Because I looked at the charts and it seems there are inconsistencies with the advice on this site (unless GI is not a good indicator).

    Examples: Both Cherries and Whole Milk have a GI of 22. Does that mean they affect blood sugar the same and are interchangeable?

    Grapefruit is even lower. And why does Fructose itself only have a GI of 23 when it is sugar.

    Thanks for any info, just trying to understand. I was going to stick to only foods with a GI less than 40, but some of those items just seem wrong for LCHF.

  30. Glenn
    Nevermind, I found the answer myself.

    GI is not good as it assumes 50g of carbs and doesn't consider how many carbs a food has per serving.

    I just read that GL (Glycemic Load) is the appropriate number to look at as it compares GI per serving size and not for a set 50g.

    This would explain the reason cherries and whole milk have same GI, because they both assume the same 50g of carbs which means each g affects the blood sugar the same. The difference of course would be that the 50g of cherries would be a small amount and the 50g of milk would be a lot.

    Would still like to hear if GL is a good indicator for a food in a LCHF diet.

    Thanks!

  31. Zepp
    You got it right!

    GL is LCHF.. how is about glycemic load!

    And I think that GI is more importen for those how eat a lot of carbs.

  32. Andy
    I would like to know what liquids we can drink in line with maintaining the LCHF philosophy ?
    Is water all we can actually drink ?
    Reply: #234
  33. Enrique
    Hi,

    I just wanted to know if with this diet i can keep taking my A-Z daily vitamins or this is not a good idea anymore?

    Also, what kind of gevetables are not good? rice and potatoes are mentiones but no mention of fresh corn for example.. why?

    thanks!

    Enrique.

    Reply: #235
  34. Zepp
    If one have to make a calorie reduction and lose weight.. then one can drink anything thats without calories.. well thats make only water left I think?

    Put some lemon or cucumber in your water!!

  35. Zepp
    Try to get your nutrients frome real food.. and suplement only those you know that you need!

    Typical is D-vitamine, Omega-3, magnesium.. use mineral salt too.. it ads some mínerals!

    One can eat the moste veggies.. and one should make a differens betwen veggies an tubers, and corn is seed!

    http://www.fineli.fi/foodclass.php?classif=igclass&lang=en

  36. Andy
    Thanks Zepp, i was just confirming I wasn't missing any obvious beverage !
  37. Dave
    I have type2 and my sugar was very high due to my eat out all the time diet, I went on the LCHF plan and within a week of that my sugar is pretty much in line. WOW! The questions, Diet Soda?,Peanut butter? Jar Pickles?cottage cheese? I have not eaten any of the listed but can I and keep sugar in line? When I say high sugar it was like 350 with 100mg insulin and Janjunet each day the avg was 230 and the 3 month number was 10.5..just crave soda mostly!
    Reply: #238
  38. Zepp
    Nice reading!!

    Well its only your glucose levels that can tell whats suitable for you!

    You know.. healty person can manage to eat almoste anything.. even some bad stuff!

    Dietsoda is several things.. some are half the glucose others are zero.. but Stevia and Erytrihol seems to be safe food substances.. even for diabetics!

    Peanut butter is a lot of carbs.. eat it in small portions on special occasions.. some have added sugars!

    Jar pickles could be added sugars.. read the label!

    Cottage chees.. you could leave to CICO peopel!

    Soda cravings is mostly in your mind.. try to find some with Stevia or Eritryhol!

  39. Kathy Kearny
    I've been on a LCHF diet since January. In that time I have been able to drop one of my insulins entirely and cut the other one in half,my A1c has improved considerably, I'm off my cholesterol medication and have lost quite a bit of weight, which has made my doctor very happy. But now he says that my creatinine level is elevated and I need to go see a kidney specialist. I'm afraid he's going to tell me I have to give up the diet but I want to make sure that that is really what is causing it before I do. I do not follow a specific regimen but I really do not care much for meat and have even gotten quite tired of cheese and fish so I don't think that I am eating excessive amounts of protein. I don't know specifically what my fat intake is but I use cream, full-fat cheeses & yogurt, butter, nuts and coconut oil liberally so I think it is pretty high. I do eat some carbs, a couple small servings of fruit a day and other small indulgences but try to stay as low as I can stand. On this course, without any attempt to count calories, I have been losing about 1 pound a week. Can you give me any resources about the effects of LCHF on creatinine and/or any other factors (like medications) that could be causing the problem?
    Reply: #240
  40. Zepp
    Tricky medical question.. but you should tell the expert that you are on a ketogenic diet.. becuse insulin have a lot to do with creatine concentration in blood!

    Insulin do regulate a lot of things!

    Could be a temporary thing with lowering insulin.. ask the doctor about it.

    And a very low carb diet have no advers effects on the kidney.. what I know!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20338292

  41. Antoinette Ferreira
    Dear Andreas,

    I have been eating LCHF for almost a year now and I love eating this way. My weight stays constant. However I have developed a uric acid count of 40 and I ache all over. What must I do? I don't want to stop eating this way, but all the advice I get say that I have to eat less meat, less fat, and more starch.

    My plan is to cut back on protein, eat one meal only veggies. Please help! I don't want to cut back on fat.

    I am 57, very active, live in South Africa. My gall bladder was removed about 12 years ago.

    Your help will be appreciated,

    Antoinette Ferreira

    Reply: #242
  42. Zepp
    Its another tricky medical question.. but gout its more related to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistans!

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

  43. Ayman
    Hi .

    I Just have Tow Question .

    Q1 : I Started Eating LCHF , and i want to know about fried chicken (Broasted Chicken) like in KFC and what in this Pic (without the fries ) :

    http://thumbs.ifood.tv/files/images/Broasted_Chicken_Recipe.jpg

    Q2 : Can i drink a diet pepsi or Cokacola ZERO or lite (zero carb , zero suger) .

    Thanks Alot

    Reply: #244
  44. Zepp
    Answer 1, fry it by your self then.. otherwise avoid it, or do something els of your chicken!

    Answer 2, avoid every soft drinks, try to get another beverage, and get rid of that sugary dependancy!

    You know.. LCHF is not another magical diet.. its mostly about eating real food, and less carbs, more fat!

    Put some lemon in your water!

    But.. if one is a sugar adict.. then one could have a transitation faze with Zero beverages some time!

    But in the end one should avoid junk food!

  45. Lena OK
    Please tell me if winter squashes--- Delicata, Acorn, Butternut etc--- are allowed on this diet.
    Reply: #246
  46. Zepp
    Its about 10 % carbs.. eat it in moderation.. on special occasions!

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

    Nothing is forbidden.. who could ban you if you eat anything?

    And then.. its more about total carbs in your meals, and over a longer period!

    Squash is a som sort of cucumber I think.. allmoste water?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squash_(plant)

  47. Whitney
    I'm starting to work out more to transform fat into muscle. I'm supposed to be using protein supplements but am not sure how to choose since i'm doing LCHF. There are low carb protein powders but my understanding was that we need carbs after workouts to help with recovery?

    Thoughts?

    Reply: #248
  48. Zepp
    Its dependant on your level of performance.. ordanary peopel that exercise for better healt.. only needs to eat real food!

    And even those can have som tricks.. mostly for there minds.. but thats a part of it too!

    One can eat a meal with extra protein as soon as posibly.. to replenish those one lost!

    And if one is extra hungry right after, then take an boild egg, directly after!

    There are bad and good protein powders.. often are the whey.. ie, milkprotein.. its better to drink milk!

    Or take EAA or BCAA.. frome som good suplier!

    They do no harm if they dont containe other bad substances.. but you probably dont need them!

  49. Gill P
    I have been doing LCHF for four weeks now and have lost 6lbs but seem to be stuck a little. I wonder if I am not eating enough! I have bacon, egg and/or tomato and mushrooms for breakfast, or maybe scrambled eggs. Tea and coffee (not together) with whole milk. I then have meat or cheese salad for lunch and a meat or fish and vegetables for dinner. I am not feeling peckish between meals which I often did previously. I do have some nuts and seeds during the evening.

    I don't like coconut so the oil is not an option. I don't exercise apart from the usual walking about in town. I have asthma and find it difficult - I hope to walk more when I have lost a bit more weight.

    Reply: #250
  50. Zepp
    You just came trough the transistation and lost some water and perhaps some fat!

    Thats alright, its a sign that you are on the right path.. its now it begins.. your journey to be a fat burning one!

    6 pounds in four weeks and probably at least 3 of them fat.. its a good start.. a pound a week is a healty weightloss!

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