What is Low Carb High Fat Diet
Low Carb High Fat diet is exactly the same as it sounds. Limit your carbohydrates and increase your fat intake. Sounds simple enough but it comes with a twist. Eat real food. Avoid any type of processed food with ingredients that you can’t pronounce or need a chemistry degree to understand. Eating a low carb high fat diet is great for weight loss and improving your health without counting calories or being constantly hungry. You can eat rich and flavorful food and still loose weight. The theory behind it is that fat keeps you satiated longer which leads to a natural reduction in calorie intake while carbohydrates spike your blood sugar making it hard to eat less when coming down again makes you ravenously hungry.
This is not to be confused with low carb high protein diet!
I really hate the term diet, to me and my family this is a lifestyle and is the right fit for us. Remember no two people are alike, lchf diet might not be right for you even though it is for me. Even though I avoid genetically modified foods I also realize it is feeding the world and grains are cheaper than real food. I consider myself extremely lucky to have access to high quality foods to feed my family with and therefor increase our health and future. I plan to retire in great shape and enjoy being old and healthy instead of sick.
Eating real food with whole ingredients means you have to get your hands dirty in the kitchen and read ingredient labels. On the good side, fat makes things taste and smell delicious while low fat products are loaded with chemicals and sugar to make them taste better.
How do I start
In order to simplify things, lets make a list or two.
What to Eat
Meat and fish: Preferably grass fed and wild caught (stay away from processed meat like lunch meat).
Vegetables: That grow above ground. Other types of vegetables tend to be higher in carbohydrates. They still have their health benefits so while trying to loose weight eat them in moderation.
Eggs: Preferably pastured.
Natural Fats: Like real butter (preferably from grass fed cows), olive oil, coconut oil, lard, ghee, coconut milk, avocado and olives.
Dairy: Select full fat products like butter, cream, sour cream, cheese. I recommend to avoid milk as it contains quite a few carbohydrates. If you can’t then choose whole milk.
Drink: Water, coffee and tea.
What to avoid
Sugar: The absolute worst, candy, soda, pastries, juice, sport drinks, energy drinks. If sugar is one of the first three ingredients on the ingredient list, put the item back on the shelf.
Starch: Bread, pasta, potato chips, french fries, oat meal and muesli.
Fats: Margarine, trans fats and vegetable oils high in omega 6.
Beer: High in carbs
Artificial sweeteners: Loaded with chemicals that are unnatural to our bodies.
Processed food: Avoid anything man made loaded with chemicals we weren’t meant to digest.
Fruit: is healthy and loaded with nutrients, but is also high in sugar. Limit your fruit intake if you are trying to loose weight.
Nuts: Eat in moderation, they are very high in calories and in the end of the day calories do matter.
Starches: Potatoes and sweet potatoes. They are very high in carbs so eat in moderation. In this house we treat potatoes as a once a month treat.
Chocolate: dark chocolate 70% cacao content or higher. High quality dark chocolate is very good for you, but in order to be edible is mixed with sugar. Eat in moderation.
Alcohol: choose dry wines with no added sugar or hard alcohol. Stay away from mixed drinks and cocktails.
When you are training your body to burn fat instead of glucose there can be a so called conversion symptoms aka side effects. These are normally fairly minor but can be of discomfort. If you power through them, you will reap the benefits.
The most common side effects are:
One of my main problems when starting this diet was to not eat enough fat, coming from decades of being scared of fats and eating a low fat diet had made its mark on me. What I considered high fat was only moderately high. You have to make sure you are getting enough fat in your diet, do not be scared of the fat!
You also have to make sure you are getting enough salt. Most Americans get their salt from processed food which causes an overload of sodium in your body. When you are eating real food, you control the amount of salt you eat. If you feel light headed, have a glass of water with a little bit of salt in it, or a cup of hot water with beef bullion in it (tastes a lot better then salt water).
Keep in mind these lists are basic guidelines. It took me at least two weeks to get the hang of this, and I constantly have to remind myself to put more fat into my meals. There is a lot of helpful information out there and I will leave a few links to some great resources.
The Diet Doctor a Swedish doctor who treats his patients with low carb high fat diet and has had great results for his patients especially those who are obese and/or with type two diabetes.
Authority Nutrition an exceptionally well done blog website by an Icelandic medical student who’s articles are filled with scientific proof behind him. If you want to get more into depth of low carb high fat diet, check out his website, he has quite a few links to studies done on the subject.
Marks Daily Apple has a great article on low carb high fat diet very worth reading. He is another science based foodie that relies on facts instead of fiction when it comes to nutrition.
Jimmy Moore from Livin la Vida Low Carb has been doing low carb high fat diet since 2004, he has quite a few tips and published books on the diet.
Chris Kresser debunks the myth of fats being harmful. Chris Kresser is all about Paleo and wrote a book about how to personalize your paleo diet. Paleo and Low carb high fat diet hold hand in hand especially when it comes to cutting out grains and eating real food. Chris has been featured on shows like Dr. Oz.
Not much of a reader, here are some videos on the topic
The Food Revolution a lecture made by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt aka Diet Doctor
Tim Naughton’s lecture on Science for Smart people