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. Gill P
    Thanks for the encouragement, Zepp! I have been drinking a lot of water lately as I have a cough which is really annoying. It is something to do with the blood pressure tablets I am taking. Then this makes me have to get up in the night!
    Replies: #252, #263
  2. Zepp
    Well, take notise on your pressure then, becuse one comon side effect of low carb diets is lower blood pressure!

    And let us hope that you can set those pills out in the future!

  3. Kay
    One of doctor in internal medicine department has told me not to be in ketosis for a long time because the excess ketone bodies can significantly acidify the blood.

    I replied him that "as you know, I don't have diabetes. Acidification due to excess ketone bodies can be dangerous to people in good health?" then he repeated over and over the same words...

    Is there any study to prove that acidification of blood due to ketosis can cause bad things or not?

    Reply: #254
  4. Zepp
    Noe, one cant get ketoacidos if one have a healty pancreas that secret insulin.. becuse insulin regulate both glucose levels and keton levels!

    Its diabetics typ1 that can get ketoacidos.. becuse they dont secret insulin.

    And our bloods PH is one of the moste strickt regulated that is, becuse one cant funktion with wrong PH!

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal_and_metabolic_disorders/aci...

    Reply: #255
  5. Kay
    Thanks. According to link you provided, acidity and alkalinity could be the sign of abnormality, and in the case of insignificant condition, there are sufficient measures to control blood's PH control. Right?

    I have another question.
    Why does this doctor desperately oppose to ketosis, I mean Low Carb diet?
    After all, he is doctor. Isn't he also aware of the truth?

    Reply: #256
  6. Zepp
    He is an educated expert on medication.. not diet, they have very lite education on diet!

    There are some comon treats against ones PH regulation and that is posining, type1 diabets, and mineral defiency can make your buffering capacity to get lower!

    But did you know, moste of your buffering capasity is frome waist from your energy production!

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

  7. TAN
    Great site with heaps of information and links. Was wandering if chewing sugar free gum (regularly) inhibits ketosis? I work in close range of people and chew gum to conceal cigarette breath.
  8. Zepp
    Noe it dosent.. and ketosis is not that important anyhow.. its more an important sign.. that you eats a ketogeni diet!

    In the meantime that you strugle to get ketogenic.. your fatoxidation capacity increse!

  9. Valéria
    hi doc.
    First of all, I wanna thank you for the great blog that is helping me alot.
    I have 2 doubts though
    1- we do not have the heavy cream in my country and the fatest one I found is 28% fat and not pure (kinda processed)
    what do I use for my coffe, and for my pleasure since the cream is agreat source of fat?
    2- I am doing the HFLC diet for a month right now, and I started feeling concerned, cause my hunger is totally gone, and sometimes, I dont feel like eating at all (I know this is one of the porpouses, but I do not feel well and feel weak, even dizzy when it happens, and it is happening on a daily basis) even when I force myself to eat....
    What do I do since sometimes I even add some extra carbs?
    Ah and one more question, doing what some people call the trash day, and having lots of carbs in one day a week for example, with some fruits, can accelerate metabolism and makes me lose
    weight faster?
    Thank you!
  10. Zepp
    I am not Doc.. but;

    1. no problem. use what you have and one can always drink coffe black.. you supose to get all the fat you need from your food!

    2. Its a very comon beginners problem, some lose there apetite totaly.. some are hungry all the time.. in the beginning, you are not use to the new apetite signaling.. becuse you dont get low blood sugar as a signal anymore.

    You have to figure out if its cravings or real problems.. try to ad some more carbs at a regular basis, like veggies and/ some few tubers.

    Well fruits are not poison per se and can be used at a regular basis if one not that sensitive.. but there are more nutrients in tubers and veggies for less sugar.

    I think trash days comes anyhow, one dont need to have a plan for doing that!

  11. Valéria
    Hi Zepp
    thx for the feedback. I thought I was writing to Andreas, thats why I said doc in the othe post.
    About the trash day, my question was more related to the rewards for the weight loss, than to the planning it, even though with the lack of hunger I am experiencing it wouldnt happen so easily if I dont plan them. Got it?
    and the question about the fruits was because I heard that this so called trash day with the intent to lose more weight, must be a turning point to the body, kinda decieving the organism, thats why it should be a very heavy in carbs, day (preferenciably heavy but still healthy)
    hugs and thank you again
    Reply: #262
  12. Zepp
    Dont you think that adapting to a ketogenic diet its a turning point enough?

    And about rewards.. try to avoid food as a reward.. eat for healt and energy.. cant you reward your self with some new clothes?

    Its all about to eat real food and get healty food habits.

    And there are healty snacks and weekend extras for that purposes.. like chees plates, crawfish dishes, verry nice slices of dryed meat like proscuto and so on.

    Soo its altso about to reward one self with better habits.

    You know.. almoste every one that get on the LCHF wagon falls of now end then.. mostly becuse one have an ide of how one should eat for healt in the long turn.. but one is always tempted by the societys habits and on social happenings.

    One dont need a special carb day.. its like if one have special alcohol day!

  13. Jay
    If you are taking Lisinopril or Prinivil, a dry cough is one of the untold side effects. Ask your doctor to switch you to Losartan Potassium and the cough will stop.
  14. 1 comment removed
  15. cheryl
    how many carbs a day is considered low carb
    Reply: #267
  16. gill p
    Thanks, Jay. That is exactly what has happened! I was taking ramipril but th doctor put me on losartan potassium and I am much better.
  17. Zepp
    Low carb is often sayd to be 20E% from carbs or less.. thats supose to be a liberal diet.

    It supose to be 100 gram of carbs for someone that need 2000 Kcal a day!

    But a LCHF diet supose to be about 10-5E% from carbs.. it make it a real ketogenic diet!

    And that make it about 50-25 grams of carbs for someone needing 2000 Kcal a day!

    Thats make one have to ad fat to ones diet to make it high fat.. for energy.

  18. Deborah B
    This is my first day on LCHF. Would you kindly look at these stats and tell me if I've understood where my percentages need to be? I'm 5'5" and 242 lbs. For today my Calories are 1993g, Fat 163g, Protein 122g, and Carb is 7.3g. I attempted Atkins lost 6.4 lbs first 30 days, then second month only 2 lbs. I have gone over what I have eaten for the past two months and found I had for almost 95% of the time hit at least the minimum amounts for Fats, carbs were 99% below 25 net carbs. But my proteins for two months has been below LCHF recommendations for all but 15 days. What is the effect if I do not meet the minimum of daily proteins, how does this effect weight loss? I appreciate so much your reply. Thank you.
    Reply: #269
  19. Zepp
    Its difficult to know how much calories another person needs!

    But the fat should be at least the same as protein and carbs togehter!

    And the protein should be at least 1 gram/kilo a day!

    The first one lose is water.. 1 pound a week there after is fast.. and its different frome month to month.. of natural causes.

    If you dont get your proteins.. you lose muscles.. and that is those how supose to burn your fat.. and make you an active person.

  20. Kay
    I think you would have read about "mucus deficiency" induced by zero-carb diet.

    Would you give me your opinion about it?

    Reply: #271
  21. Zepp
    Who is eatinga Zero carb diet?
    Reply: #272
  22. Kay
    You're right, not "zero-carb", but low carb diet.
    By the way, somebody say that carb deficiency would cause lack of mucus because mucus is comprised of musins which are composed of sugar.
    Reply: #273
  23. Zepp
    Many things in our bodys are glycoproteins!

    And our body make about 200 gram of glucose a day.. if you not eating any carbs at all.

    I have read about this mucus defiancy.. its a hypotes.. and its intresting.. but there are no real hard sciens about it!

    And did you know.. our gut flora make glucose to.. frome fibers and it make fat of it to.. short chain fatty acids like butyrat.

    And if one need to eat carbs and make that mucins of carbs in your guts.. its strange that carniovoric animals and old time Inuits can survive??

    Im more comfortable with the SCFA hypotesis.. that it can have som impact on your gut healt.

  24. Peter
    Is LCHF diet safe for someone already on high levels of statins to lower cholesterol levels?
    Reply: #276
  25. DEE
    Hi. I would want to know if LCHF is suitable if i have an Autoimmune hepatitis? Would my liver do so much stressfull work to produce ketones? I tried avoiding carbs from bread,rice,pasta but dont have too much fat in take and when i tested my urine for ketones the result was positive, is it a good sign? Does it mean i'm in ketogenic state already? I didnt loose much weight , i've been doing it for 2-3wks. Now but only 1kilo off. What is your assessment? By the way i'm taking azathioprine once per day.
    Reply: #277
  26. Zepp
    Well Statins are not safe on any diet!

    Its only two occassions that it is apropriate to take statins..

    1. if one have got a heart attack or other sever haeart faliure with a lot of ateroskleros and high APOb!

    2 If one is a male and have fimiliar hyperkolesterolemia.. of any sever sort!

    If one got slighty elevated cholesterols and lipid fractions.. first treatment are life style changes!

    The moste common reasons to high cholesterol and bad lipoproteins are metabolic syndrome.. ie.. ie its often about a damaged glucose metabolism!

    Many.. do get better cholesterol on a LCHF diet.. preferely those with metabolic syndome/diabetes/prediabets/hyperinsulinemia/ insulin resistance!

    Reply: #278
  27. Zepp
    Your liver have probably more jobb handling all the carbs.. at least if they are a lot!

    But.. if you are sick.. take it easy.. let your liver adapt more slowly!

    Well if you not eating that much carbs.. your body start using more fat.. and if it dont get enough glucose, it start doing by it self.. and replacing some glucose with keton buddies!

  28. Peter
    Yes I am male. I have severe hypercholesteromeia - in my 50s I have had angioplasty twice (5 stents) for arterial blockages of over 90% in 3 of those cases. I may not have been here to ask you this question if not for the intervention and statins.

    Is the combination of LCHF and statins a specifically bad risk combination?

    Will the statins counteract the effectiveness of the LCHF in any way? Or are your concerns about statins more generic?

    Reply: #279
  29. Zepp
    Then you seems to be one of those how should use statins.. good or bad.. its not any good drug.. but there is no one els to use.

    No statins dont interact with diet.. its more about if you have Familiar Hypercholesterolemia, an genetic dysfunction to reduce LDLremnats in your blood.

    But to be real frank.. carbs are those how produce more LDLs.. and its the number of APOb thats a real concern.

    I am more concerned about statin side effects.. like diabetes, lack of testosteron, lack of Q10, damaged mitocondria and a lot more!

    Soo.. for gods sake.. take Q10 to your statins.

    If you got your CVD frome metabolic syndrome.. then its a good ide to use a low carb diet!

    But measure your lipids frequently!

    And Im not a doctor.. not Doc him self.. only a guy with bad lipids that got better with LCHF!

  30. Gill P
    I cannot get Turkish yoghurt but did find Greek full fat yoghurt. I find it very bland and slightly sour but with the cream stirred in it is better. However I put in a small teaspoon of honey which made it lovely. Is that acceptable?
    Reply: #281
  31. Zepp
    Its probably different brands in different countrys.. but it is strained full fat youghurt thats best.. make sure its full fat!

    Now they came with Russian youhurt.. 17% fat.. yummy!

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

    Yoghurt is slighly sour, probably you not use to it.. but you become soon!

    Ad some fresh berrys instead.. you know.. honny is another sort of sugar!

    Cant you try Erytrihol instead?

    http://www.mariannslchf.com/uncategorized/bloodsugar-test-after-eatin...

  32. Gill P
    I don't know what erytrihol is! Never heard of it. I looked at your link but couldn't understand any of it.

    I went to Morrisons today for full fat yoghurt but they had none! Practically a whole row of low fat etc. I complained to the dairy manager and she understood what I was on about. In the end we had three of the staff and one other customer having a conference about it right in the middle of the aisle!

    I then had a look for Stevia - none there and no space to stock it! I think they have Stevia in Sainsburys.

    Then I went to Marks and Spencer and they did have yoghurt which is 9.6% fat - much better than 0%!

    Reply: #283
  33. Zepp
    Its this product!

    http://www.steviavital.se/shop/index.php?route=product/product&p...

    Different brand in different countrys I asume?

    Fat free youghurt is like oxygen free air!

  34. Gill P
    I bought some Stevia (Truvia) at Sainsburys today. I will see how I get on with it.
  35. Gill P
    I heard a strange thing today. A woman who lives in my road said that she went onto very low carb and high protein and lost two stone - and also her right eyebrow! The thing is that she is a doctor and should know better!
    Reply: #286
  36. Zepp
    Temporary hair loss is comon in fasting, fast weight reduction, pregnancy and other things that affects ones hormones rapidly.

    Shes mayby pregnant? ;)

    Reply: #287
  37. Gill P
    I doubt it and anyway why only one eyebrow?
    Reply: #288
  38. Zepp
    OK.. its not a sign of pregnancy then!
  39. Felipe
    Hi Zepp. Thanks for all the amazing info! I'm starting the lchf diet with my girlfriend and we are very excited. We are looking forward to losing some of our extra pounds.

    I'd like to ask you in your opinion how much fat should we have in our servings and how many servings does this diet requires to lose weight?

    Thanks!

    Reply: #290
  40. Zepp
    Well Felipe.. thats the most problematic to answer, becuse its your energy demand thats the limit!

    I can give you some answers.. but thats not what you used to hear.. a strict LCHF or for a fast transitation is 70-80E% of fat.. or in another way.. at least as much fat as protein and carbs thogeter, in grams macro nutrients!

    But dont bother about this in the beginning.. its about macro nutrients compostition.. and then one have to be familiar to and understand this.

    It seems to be a lot of fat.. but its not, its energy percentage.. and fat provide more enegy/calories then other macronutrients.

    Its basicaly to eat full fat food, avoiding the moste obviuse high carb foods in the begining!

    And one learn best by mistakes.. read the labels on your food, dont be afraid for fat.. not for leavy veggies eighter, eat your meat/fish/eggs/veggies/poultry!

    Ad some fat for fat depleted foods as chicken and white fish.. dont over do it at all.

    Mayby this sorts its out better?

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarb101/a/firstweek.htm

    I can tell you that it is not that strange.. its more about only eating real food.. and not more carbs then you need.

  41. Jean
    I have been on LCHF for almost two months. I have lost only 2 pounds but noticing inches are coming off. I'm trying to stay within 20 carbs and have even tried fat fast for 3 days but my weight stays put. I feel better, have energy but don't understand not losing pounds, only inches. I am 75, teach voice and piano and very active for my age. I have no health issues but did have my thyroid removed a couple of years ago. I walk almost every day, lift weights, ride bike, etc. I'm eating mostly eggs and bacon every morning with heavy cream and cheese, cream cheese and salad at lunch and something with high fat beef or chicken and veggies at night. I eat a few berries with whipped cream. Doing this to get ldl and triclycerides reduced but would like to drop a few pounds,too. Any suggestions?
    Reply: #292
  42. Zepp
    I say you should be happy losing inches.. its predict that your body is remodeling it self.. probably to something better.

    Probably more muscles and less fat?

    And dont be worry to wake up one morning and look like a body builder.. its not that easy!

    Its this scale addictions.. a healty and fit body is better then some numbers on a scale!

    Attention Scale Addicts

    http://everydaypaleo.com/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

  43. Brenda
    Hi there. I'm sorry I have been looking over this site to try and find some guidelines to follow ie how many carbs, protein and fat for my weight and height. Can you give me an idea of what I should be aiming for. I am 81kg and 160cm. Hope you can help. Thanks.
    Reply: #294
  44. Zepp
    Dont go for specefic numbers in the beginning, just cut out all obvius high carb foods.. like sugar and flour.. moste tubers and stick to meat/fish/poultry/egg/cheese/full fat dairys/veggies.. dont be afraid for fat, not leavy green veggies eighter!

    We say that a straight ketogenic diet is about 50 grams of carbs a day, or less.. and your protein demand is as minimum 1 gram/kilo a day.. the rest is fat.. for energy and satiety.

    I think this link can sort out some for you?

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarb101/a/gettingstarted.htm

  45. Jean
    Still have not lost any weight but did cheat some over Thanksgiving. Getting back on track. I really like your oopsie bread. Mine were flatter than yours but I used them as pancakes one morning with butter and syrup with splenda.
  46. Brenda
    Thank you. So if I start off concentrating on keeping the carbs down under 50 and make sure the protein is the right amount for my current weight then the rest should automatically fall in to place because I should feel sated is that right?
    Reply: #297
  47. Zepp
    Yes..its the way it supose to work.. but one have to try it out.. becuse everyone that eats LCHF eats in a different way!

    Begin cuting out obvius high carb foods, try some new recepies, change some of your old ones to LCHF and get thru transitation fase.

    If it works for you whitout counting and using food counting programs, then its easy.. go for the easy way first.

    And if thats not working.. then you need to count.. not befor!

  48. Brenda
    Thanks, I will try that :)
  49. Jess
    HI, I've been looking everywhere (online) as to where couscous fits among this Low Carb High Fat lifestyle change, I've been going for a week, cut out rice and potato at dinner time (which was a nightly ritual in my house) I feel already like my stomach bloating has gone down and feel a general self motivation and happiness.

    Still sneaking an occasional teaspoon of nutella (my Everest of this change)
    I am still having high fibre cereal at breakfast, but when we have them opt for egg or tunIa. Looking forward to making some oopsies. But i have been using couscous on the regular in my lunch meals, having steak with roasted vegies with couscous cooked in coconut milk.

    I've asked a few people and no one seems to have the answer for me, is couscous a big no no? or a small one? and what would you suggest as that accompanying salad dish? any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!

  50. Zepp
    Coscous is pasta.. I say no more!

    Try brocoly or cauliflower rice.. rice made of cauliflower!

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarbsidedishes/r/caulirice.htm

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