LowCarb beginner?

LCHF isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle

LCHF stands for Low Carbs High Fat and that is exactly what it´s about – cutting out the carbohydrates and add more fat to your diet instead. Does that sound like the complete opposite to what you have learnt so far in your life? Well, it is…but it´s also what makes the most sense, and here is why:

To understand the concept of LCHF you first have to understand how your body works when it comes to digesting food and mainly when it comes to digesting carbohydrates. All the carbohydrates you eat, no matter if it´s sugar or starch, are all transformed into glucose i.e. sugar in your stomach. Then the sugar is transported out to the body via the blood vessels in the small intestine and it´s being used as energy in the cells of the body. A high level of glucose (sugar) in the blood signals to the pancrease to exudate insulin, and the higher levels of glucose – the larger amounts of insulin will exudate. The insulins main task in the body is to transport glucose into the cells to give them the energy that is needed for the moment. The excessive amount of glucose will be converted to fat and will be stored in the adipose tissue and at the same time the insulin is stopping the body from digesting fat for being used    as energy.

If you cut down on the carbohydrates the levels of glucose and insulin in the body will decrease, and that will activate the body´s fat burning system. The body will take from the stored energy i.e. the energy that is stored as fat. It will start using fat instead of the sugar from the carbohydrates as fuel. The body will adjust itself to high fat burning when you avoid carbohydrates and no insulin is produced in   the body either.

With LCHF you eat a lot of fat, up to 75% of the intake.

Eating a lot of fat makes you feel fuller quicker and you don´t get hungry as quickly after eating compared to when you eat a lot of carbohydrates. There are also studies showing that the body doesn´t store energy in form of fat as much as energy in form of protein or carbohydrates. This would then reject the old concept of that a calorie is always a calorie no matter where it comes from, and that a diet containing a 1000 calories/day from fat would make you loose weight faster than if you consume a 1000 calories from protein and carbohydrates.

Nowadays most people eat too much carbohydrates and that leads to that our insulin levels are on a constant high level. This makes the body constantly get signals about storing energy and it leads to that the fat we eat is stored in fat tissue. At the same time as the excess amounts of glucose (sugar) transforms to fat molecules, which are also stored.

The intake of carbohydrates is cut down a lot when following the LCHF diet. The recommendations for how much carbohydrates you should eat vary, but according to most studies you should eat between 5 and 10%. The protein you eat should be natural and of high quality, and the amount of protein should be between 15 and 20%. So the given amount of fat is then between 70-75%.

Eat & Avoid

When following the LCHF diet it is important to remember that if a product contains more than 5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams – don´t eat it. That is a basic and simple guideline to remember. With LCHF you don’t count calories or anything of the sort either, it´s a fairly simple diet actually!

So, what are you allowed to eat?

Eggs.

You can eat eggs of all kind and shape – boiled, poached, fried, scrambled, omelet.
Meat.

Beef, pork, venison, veal, sausages, bacon, luncheon meats. There is no need to cut of the fat on the meat. If you want to eat sausages make sure to choose those with a high percentage of meat (+70%) and fat and low in carbs.

Fish.

All kinds of fish can be eaten. It is to prefer if you choose those fish that are high in fat such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.

Shellfish.

All kinds can be eaten of the shellfish as well. They should be eaten with fat sauces as they are very low in fat.                                        

Poultry.

Chicken, duck, turkey. Poultry is also low in fat so it is recommended to even eat the skin and the fat.

Fat.

Animalistic fat is for sure the best. It should be as natural as possible, and should first of all focus on the whole fat alternatives and absolutely not the diet versions. Good examples are real butter, olive oil, coconut fat and rapeseed oil. Also use cream, fat crème fraiche, real mayo. You can make all kinds of fat sauces such as béarnaise and hollandaise.

Dairy.

All kinds of fat cheeses are allowed, such as brie, camembert, gorgonzola, chévre, feta, mozzarella, halloumi, spread cheeses and parmesan to name a few. Other dairy products you can use are cottage cheese, sour cream and yoghurt, full fat cream (40%), but bear in mind to choose the ones with the most fat in them.

Vegetables.

The vegetables you eat with LCHF are those that are grown above ground. Good ones are: all kinds of lettuce (rucola, spinach, rosso etc), peppers, celery, asparagus, sugar peas, Haricots verts, squash, aubergine, onion, mushroom, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage (all kinds).

Berries.

You can eat a small amount of berries, 100 ml  per day.

What should you avoid to eat?

 Carbohydrates.

You are not allowed to eat bread, pasta, rice,
couscous, bulgur, quinoa, spelt, oats,beans,
lentils, cereal, porridge, muesli, potatoes
(and other root vegetables).
The only carbohydrates you are allowed to
eat are from vegetables.

Sugar.

It’s the worst of them all. There is sugar in plenty of things that you should avoid: sweets, ice cream, chips/crisps, cookies, crackers, juices, beer, sodas and everything that has been sweetened with sugar, honey or sweetener.

Fruit.

Fruit contains a lot of sugar. Even dried fruit should be avoided.

Unnatural products.

These are all diet/light products and all margarines which contains a lot of E-numbers, i.e. superficial ingredients.

Occasional treats?

Alcohol: Dry wine (regular red wine and dry white), whiskey, brandy, vodka, drinks without sugar and/or sweetener.

Dark chocolate: absolute minimum of 70% of cacao.

Source: www.lowcarbshighfat.com