You may have heard already, but LCHF(low carb high fat) diet is on the rise.
In short amount of time it became one of the most popular diets in the world.
Its popularity rose primarily because of its influence on weight loss and on its positive health benefits it has.
Lower carbo-hydrates intake is recommended for anyone who has certain health problems. Primarily if you have cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, acne and Alzheimer’s disease.
For these reasons this diet is very popular with persons who tend to lose weight in the healthiest and safest way possible. In addition they are improving their health.
If you fall in this category and you do not want to use different weight loss medicine. You can find out how this diet will help you with your goal.
What Is LCHF Diet?
Well, as I already mentioned, this term is related to specially made menus which have low carbohydrates and high fat percentage. In addition protein intake is moderate.
This diet is also called Banting diet, by William Banting which popularised it. He also lost a lot of weight with this diet.
When it comes to lchf diet its menu is made to emphasise use of whole, unprocessed groceries such as fish, eggs, vegetables with low percentage of carbohydrates.
In addition it is suggested not to eat artificially processed groceries.
Starch rich groceries and groceries with artificial sugars are cut out of this diet. Groceries like bread, pasta, potato and rice are not in this menu.
When it comes to percentage of macronutrients lchf diet does not have specific standards. This diet helps you change your lifestyle not only menu and diet.
Recommended daily intake of carbohydrates is 20-100 grams. However, people who eat more that this can stick to this diet and be inspired by its principles.
Therefore this diet is made to accommodate individual needs of every person.
LCHF Diet VS Keto VS Atkins
For example standard keto diet is made up of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% of carbohydrates. For the ketosis process to start these rules must be followed.
This is for the sole reason of body starting to burn fat instead of carbohydrates to gain energy.
To start weight loss process, two week induction in Atkins diet only allows 20g of carbohydrates a day.
After this induction phase, person on this diet can start to add more carbohydrates into their daily food regime.
As mentioned, some of these principles are rigorous, however, your initial choice does not have to be some of these extreme variations.
It is enough to adopt some of the guidelines which will follow basic principles of this diet.
On the other hand, some of the people cannot follow these guidelines. However, they are better suited with flexibility.
For example. Some people only lost weight when they reduced carbohydrates intake bellow 50g a day. While some lost weight with over 100g a day.
Therefore LCHF diet is very adaptable, much easier to follow through in comparison to some extreme variations such as keto or Atkins diet.
LCHF Diet For Weight Loss
Large number of studies have shown that diets based on principles of LCHF diet present excellent and efficient way to lose excess weight.
These diets help people lose weight by reducing their appetite, increase insulin sensitivity, increase protein intake and burn fat.
What this diet is specifically known for is reducing weight around your belly. We all know that gaining fat around vital organs present one of the main reasons of cardiovascular diseases and some kinds of cancer.
Specific study shown that obese persons who decided for LCHF diet managed through 16 weeks to lose much more fat in the abdomen area.
This is in comparison to people who sticked to classic diet which promote lower intake of fat rich foods.
One more of many advantages of this diet is in the fact that this diet, besides helping lose fat, helps keep your weight under control.
Certain studies have proven that people who went through with this diet in more extreme form, by reducing carbohydrates intake under 50g, lost much more weight than those who choose different diet.
As much as 88% of people who stick to keto diet managed to lose even 10% of their body weight. In addition they kept that weight for over a year.
LCHF diets are also very useful for people who have tendency to overeat food rich in carbohydrates.
What this diet does is that it reduces need for carbohydrates and starch. Therefore leading to reduced hunger in general.
LCHF Diet Health Benefits
We already know that reduces carbohydrates and increased diet fats in diet has many advantages for health.
This type of dieting plays major part for certain diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or Alzheimer’s disease.
Testing persons that have type 2 diabetes have proven that this diet helps to improve their blood sugar.
In addition people with this disease could reduce medicine intake as there was no need to take them in large measure.
Also, people with this type of diabetes which went through keto diet managed through 24 weeks to reduce their blood sugar levels and reduce need for drugs.
Keto diet is for a very long time part of therapy for epilepsy, neurologic disease characterized by sudden and frequent attacks.
This type of diet can also play its part in reducing symptoms for diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Keto diet is proven to improve cognitive functions of the brain for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Generally speaking every diet which has high intake of artificially processed carbohydrates is connected to decline of cognitive functions.
Cardiovascular diseases are, most of the time, consequence of increased body weight, inflammation and appearance of certain blood markers.
However, LCHF principles based diet helps reduce or completely neutralise these consequences.
Research which followed 55 people which followed LCHF based diet in period of 12 weeks resulted in their blood pressure being lowered, reduced blood sugar.
In addition their bad cholesterol levels and body weight was also reduced. Which all in all reduced risk of any cardiovascular disease.
This disease is one of many diseases that LCHF based diet can help with.
Crohn’s disease is autoimmune disease which attacks digestion organs. Primary therapy, however, includes drugs and steroids which tend to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is caused by bad diet, with which certain foods have more effect than the others.
Crohn’s disease causes disturbance of digestion process and therefore nutrients are not absorbed as well as they should be.
This is why a balanced diet such as keto is important.
This is exactly why LCHF principle based diet is recommended. In this diet there are no groceries which cause inflammation or irritate your bowels.
Groceries I am talking about:
- cereals like rice, corn, grain
- pseudo cereals like quinoa
- beans and legumes
- artificial processed groceries
- fruits and vegetables which is rich in fiber
With these groceries, you neutralise any inflammation processes, only then does digestion system starts to recover.
After initial healing is completed, people who suffer from Crohn’s can start to add groceries which were the problem.
LCHF Diet Food List
I have compiled an thorough LCHF diet food list for everyone that needs it.
What To Eat When On LCHF Diet?
One of the main advantages of LCHF diet is exactly that allowed groceries have high percentage of fat which are mostly tasty food.
This is what you should eat when on LCHF diet:
- eggs – have high percentage of healthy fat and is one of the groceries which do not have carbohydrates
- oils – olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil are top 3 healthy choices
- fish – any fish you like, especially salmon and sardine as they are rich in fat
- meat – red meat, chicken, beef, turkey
- high fat dairies – butter, cheese
- groceries that do not have starch – green vegetables, broccoli, pepper, mushrooms
- avocado – fruit which has high percentage of fat
Groceries To Avoid When On LCHF Diet
As its name says when on LCHF diet you should reduce intake of groceries rich in carbohydrates:
- cereal and groceries rich in starch – bread, bagels, rice, pasta
- sweet drinks – sodas, smoothies, energy drinks, chocolate milk
- sweeteners – sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup
- vegetables with starch – potato, pumpkin, beans
- fruits – fruits should generally be limited, but you can eat berries
- alcohol – beer, cocktails, and wines rich in carbohydrates
Although groceries above should be limited in every LCHF diet, amount of carbohydrates is mostly decided by specific type of this diet.
For example. Person that is on keto diet, should be more strict when it comes to carbohydrates as its goal is to bring body into state of ketosis.
While someone else could have much more freedom when it comes to groceries rich in carbohydrates.
LCHF Diet Plan
This LCHF diet plan by days will give you insight on how your diet could be and what you need to do to lose weight.
LCHF recipes are made so that carbohydrates percentage can vary so that it could be adjusted for everyone who want more freedom in their diet.
For breakfast have 2 whole eggs with spinach and broccoli.
Lunch should be tuna with mashed avocado and vegetables you can eat on LCHF diet.
For dinner make some salmon in butter.
Breakfast should include full fat yogurt with some seeds.
For lunch you can have turkey burger with cheddar cheese and vegetables.
Spice up your dinner with hot pepper steak.
For breakfast you can have shake with coconut milk, berries and peanut butter.
Lunch should be made up of shrimp with tomato and mozzarella.
Zucchini noodles with chicken meatballs is ideal for dinner.
Chopped avocado with two eggs fried in coconut oil for breakfast.
Chicken curry with cheese and vegetables for lunch.
Cauliflower pizza with vegetables and cheese for dinner.
For breakfast have spinach frittata with onions and cheddar cheese
Lunch should be only chicken soup with vegetables.
Lasagne with eggplant for dinner.
Blueberries and peanut butter for breakfast.
Turkey, avocado and cheese with crackers for lunch.
Any fish with grilled broccoli for dinner.
Mushrooms, cheese and omelette is great for Sunday breakfast.
Chicken breast with goat cheese and onions for lunch.
Lettuce with chopped avocado and shrimp for dinner.
Groceries in this list is represented by groups which you can consume.
Feel free to eat:
- organic beef
- proteins with lower percentage of fat such as shrimp
- meat marinated in sweet sauces
- cold stake with sugar
Oils And Fat
Free intake of:
- avocado oil
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- sunflower oil
- corn oil
- artificial trans fats
Fruits And Vegetables
- lettuce, spinach, arugula
Nuts And Seeds
- chia seeds
- Unsweetened almond or peanut butter
- Indian nut
- Dry fruit mix
- sweetened butter
- nuts covered in chocolate
- blue cheese
- full fat Greek yogurt
- sweetened yogurt
- maple syrup
- white and brown sugars
Spices And Sauces
- lemon butter sauce
- fresh garlic
- tomato sauce
- barbecue sauce
- almond milk
- unsweetened water
- low calorie drinks
LCHF Side Effects
You probably all know that every diet has its ups and downs. LCHF based diets are generally good for health, however, all diets have their side effects.
I already mentioned that extreme forms of this diet is not good for chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Variations of LCHF based diet can be adjusted and help people who have these kinds of problems.
It is also not very good for pregnant women and women who breastfeed.
In addition children who are developing need various foods to develop properly, therefore I would say that it is for the best that children should avoid this kind of diet.
Professional sportsmen are also in this category. Several have experienced reduced performance due to this diet.
However, even if you are not professional athlete you may experience lack of energy for first couple of weeks.
This is expected as you are removing starch and sugars from your diet, therefore you lose certain amount of energy you got from them in the first place.
Also, if you are sensitive to cholesterol, your body’s reaction could be different on this type of diet.
Known side effects of LCHF based diet are:
- muscle spasms
Keep in mind that side effects are mostly connected to period of adaptation to this new diet.
You may also experience bad breath, lethargy, dehydration… However, good thing is that these side effects last up to a week.
Consulting Your Doctor
However, I must repeat myself. Main reason why LCHF based diet is so popular is quick weight loss, and this is something that is not connected to yo-yo effect.
After you body loses all glycogen reserves it will start to spend water. This is first weight that you will lose.
However, before you start ask yourself how much realistic for you is to start. Consult your nutritionist or doctor. Especially if you have medical issues.
If you do have medical issues, you must take care about your diet, this is why it is for the best to consult your doctor.
Blindly following this diet in that case is not recommended.
When it comes to experiences with this kind of dieting, users compare it mostly to Atkins or keto diet.
They are all based on principle of reduced intake of carbohydrates. This is why most people find it difficult to differentiate them.
Technically speaking, these two diets might be considered part of LCHF diet. Therefore you can add something from them into your diet.
Although LCHF diet might sound hard to incorporate in your everyday life, your organism will adjust to it quickly.
Especially if you try to accommodate yourself with lighter version of this diet.
You can’t include all allowed groceries in everyday meals. However, you cannot include every group of groceries. All it takes is to reduce carbohydrates intake and you are on the right path.
Sometimes people cannot last only on 20g of carbohydrates a day(especially when they are just starting). Therefore your should adjust this regime to you.
People lost weight even when they ate 50-100g of carbohydrates a day. It all depends on how your body processes the food you eat and how much energy you spend.
This is why LCHF diet is more popular than keto or Atkins diet.
I would recommend it to everyone who plans on losing weight. However, keep in mind that the best way to lose weight is to combine workouts and dieting for better results.