What is LCHF?

“LCHF” stands for a Low-Carb High-Fat Diet.

WHAT TO EAT
animal proteins, including the fat
fibrous, non-starchy vegetables
low-sugar whole fruits, in very limited amounts
eggs
butter, heavy cream and full fat dairy, if tolerated
coconut products, including coconut fat
high-quality saturated fats
bone broth

 

WHAT NOT TO EAT
all forms of sugar
grains and grain-based foods
refined or processed foods
candy, junk food
sweetened beverages
refined or (partially) hydrogenated vegetable oils
trans fats

 

SOME FOODS TO APPROACH CAREFULLY
Here are a few foods that could be too high in carbs for people on stricter low carb diets, but may be fine for people adhering to a whole-food, real-food diet without as much concern for strict carb counts. People who are obese, or have a lot of weight to lose, will need to carefully assess the impact of these foods on weight loss progress.

-starchy vegetables
-fruit
-some grains
-artificial or non-caloric sweeteners

 

WHAT TO DRINK

Water is the best, most healthful beverage.

Drink other non-caloric beverages, like coffee, tea, flavored mineral water.

Drink bone broth, especially when fasting.

 

WHEN TO EAT

1. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you are full, but not stuffed.

2. Drink water, and other non-caloric beverages, when you’re thirsty.

3. Engage in periodic or intermittent fasting to reverse insulin resistance.

 

Notes and nuances

The “rules” of LCHF are pretty much the same as the original Atkins plan. The Atkins plans took a detour into fat-fearing for a while, and tried to disguise itself as a high-protein diet, but LCHF doesn’t do that. LCHF is a high-fat diet that emphasizes healthful dietary fats and oils. Most of the fats LCHF considers to be most healthful are the very ones that have been avoided by the Standard American Diet (SAD) for the past 50 years or so.

Many LCHFers count their macros (macronutrients: fat, carbs and protein), many don’t. The Keotgenic Diet, which has been gaining publicity in recent years, is a very strict version of LCHF, in which you count and calculate the ratio of fat to other macronutrients in your diet.

There are many variations to the LCHF diet. There are versions that count grams of carbs, or net carbs (total carbs minus fiber, versions that calculate ratios of fat to carbs, and some versions that simply instruct you to eat when hungry, and stop when full.

Most versions of LCHF include something about food quality, or eating real food instead of what we like to call franken-foods. You know what franken-foods are, right? Food-like products that are pieced together from other foods, chemicals and additives. Low-Carb Junk is what it is. Most of us on LCHF make at least some effort, some of the time to avoid food-like products in favor or eating real, whole foods.

Some LCHFers eat only grass-fed beef and humanely-raised animal proteins and fat. Many health experts are recommending not to eat CAFO-raised (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) animal fats. Everybody seems to be avoiding animal products from animals that were given hormones or antibiotics.

Some people are comfortable eating any real, whole animal foods, and only shun highly refined or processed food products.

Diet sodas and artificial sweeteners are very controversial. You will find LCHFers who abstain, as well as those who advocate for these sorts of treats. I think we all realize that diet soda is not actually good for us. While there is a different study coming out almost every day saying that one sweetener or another causes some horrific health outcome, all of us need to make up our own minds about what we eat and drink for good health.

Do your research. Keep a food diary, and assess how different foods affect your health.

 

Want more?

* LCHF for Beginners (Diet Doctor Blog)
* How to Lose Weight (Diet Doctor Blog)
* Aetiology of Obesity lecture series (Intensive Dietary Management – Dr Jason Fung)