Low Carb High Fat or LCHF diet meas reduced carbohydrate intake and increased fat intake. In practice this means strictly reduced intake of foods rich in sugar and starch such as bread, pasta, cereals, potatoes and rice for example.
LCHF diet, also known under the names like Paleo, Banting, Primal, Keto and of course just Low Carb diet, is a diet based, like we said, on reduced carbohydrate intake and increased fat intake where the whole point is make the body to switch from burning carbs for energy to burn fat and thus lose weight without starving.
In addition to this post, we present low carb food list which you can use to learn what is allowed in your low carb diet and list which you can use to shop foods that offer the best nutrition and also short intro about nutrients you need and that are good for you.
Fats and Oils
Since the most of the calories in your diet will come from dietary fats, you should keep in mind about digestive tolerance. Vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids. This Omega-6 fatty acids which are found in margarine and in soybean, sunflower, safflower and canola oil may trigger inflammation if they are your only source of fat. Also, cooking with them is not recommended. Use almond, palm or coconut oil instead.
Saturated and monounsaturated fats which are tolerated more easily by most people are found in coconut oil, butter, egg yolks, macadamia nuts and avocado for example, since they are more chemically stable and thus are less inflammatory. This fats and oils can be combined in different kinds of sauces and dressings and as additions to meals as well.
- Saturated Fats – Eat these. (Examples butter, ghee, coconut oil and lard)
- Monounsaturated Fats – Eat these. (Examples olive, avocado and nut oils.
- Polyunsaturated Fats – Learn the difference. Polyunsaturated fats found naturally in animal protein and fatty fish are good and processed polyunsaturated fats like the ones in margarine spreads for example are bad.
- Trans Fats – Completely avoid. Processed fats that are chemically altered (hydrogenated) to improve shelf life.
When we talk about protein and when it comes to meat which is best protein source, your best choice is choosing pasture-raised and grass-fed. Also, when you choose meat, chose darker meat instead of white because they are more fattier, they contain less protein and more fat. When it comes to eggs, shop for organic ones. Also is good to learn more about local stores to be able to find bests sources of clean meats and poultry as well. On other hand, with consumption of fish, you get omega 3’s also so keep in mind to add fish in your diet.
Veggies are a paramount part of a healthy low carb diet. The best type of fruit or vegetable for a low carb diet are those which are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. So, note that the higher the amount of carbs, the less you will need to consume.
Choose organic veggies or grow your own at your backyard (if you have conditions) and avoid pesticide residues. Starchy vegetables such as corn, peas, potatoes and most winter squash need to be avoided because they are high in carbs. Also, try to limit sweeter vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, carrots and summer squashes.
When it comes to dairy products, raw milk products are the ones that need to be first on your list. Keep in mind that dairy proteins (whey and casein) are insulinogenic, meaning that they can cause insulin spike in your body, so if you have any problems, simple limit the amount or even avoid to use them. Also, always choose organic from your trusted shop or brand.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a healthy plant food because they are very high in healthy fats and protein including vitamins and minerals. Best way to eat nuts or seeds is to soak and roast them because that way anti-nutrients are removed. Raw nuts or seeds can be used to add flavorings to meals or texture, but also they can be eaten as snacks anytime during the day just keep in mind that snacking may raise insulin levels and thus to lead to slower weight loss when it comes to long term.
- Low carb nuts: Macadamia, brazil nuts and pecans (Consume with meals to supplement fat).
- Moderate carb nuts: Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pine nuts (Use in moderation as snacks or for flavor in meals).
- High carb nuts: Pistachios, cashews and chestnuts (Should be eaten very rarely or avoided as they are very high in carbs).
The low carb diet has a natural diuretic effect, so don’t be surprised when you hear that dehydration is very common for many people, especially those starting out and are not use to it. People who are prone to urinary tract infections or bladder, need to be especially prepared and well informed.
- Water. This should be your first choice. Consume at least 1.5l a day. You can drink sparkling water as well.
- Natural juices. Feel free to drink them, just consume small amounts. Stick to your water.
- Broth. Full with vitamins and nutrients. It gives you energy by replenishing your electrolytes.
- Coffee. Good for mental focus plus it has some weight loss benefits. Max 2 a day.
- Tea. Has the same effects as coffee. Consume herbal tea if possible (unsweetened). Stick with black or green if you like their taste.
- Coconut and Almond milk. You can use them to replace your favorite dairy beverage.
- Soda. Just stop drinking this. Lead to sugar cravings or insulin spikes in the long run.
Spices, Condiments and Sauces
- Cayenne Pepper and Chili Powder
- Cinnamon and Cumin
- Garlic Powder
- Ketchup (No sugar added)
- Mayonnaise (Cage-free)
- Soy Sauce
- Sweet Relish (No sugar added)
- Salad Dressings (Ranch, caesar and unsweetened vinaigrettes)
- Flavored Syrups (Acceptable sweeteners)
All of the food above sticks to the strict of 5% carbs allowance. In general, you can eat everything from the food groups.