Low-carb diets are pretty awesome. The research is very clear on them — they can treat, prevent and even reverse a variety of chronic ailments like Obesity, Diabetes Type 2, PCOS, and Metabolic Syndrome, to name just a few.
That said; there seems to be a lot of dogma concerning low carb diets, particularly the LCHF or Low Carb-High Fat diet. LCHF can sometimes get flak for being impractical, restrictive, unsustainable, unhealthy in the long run, and much more. Now, I can imagine all the thoughts going through your head. All those arguments that prove LCHF is not sustainable and could actually do your body harm in the long run, right? Time to bust some of those Low-Carb High-Fat Myths!
Truth: LCHF is different from a Keto or Ketogenic diet, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. LCHF stands for Low Carb-High Fat; not ‘No Carbs’. You can still eat carbs (from good sources, though) as long as you keep it below 100gm per day. The lower the better. Carbs from fiber-rich vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and dairy are all allowed.
Truth: An LCHF diet is not a high-protein diet. Thus, it’s suitable for everyone, irrespective of their activity levels. You eat moderate amounts of proteins from organic, lean cuts of meats. There aren’t any excess proteins here to affect kidney and liver health.
Truth: LCHF diet is varied, and includes a complete range of whole foods. In fact, it’s a lot less restrictive than other diets. Because all it essentially cuts out from your diet is processed foods and refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice.
Truth: LCHF is not more restrictive than most healthy diets. Yes, it asks you to cut out a lot of products. But these are all essentially processed foods loaded with hidden sugars and inflammation-causing refined grains. You may not be able to fill up your shopping cart with a bunch of ready-to-eat food packets. But you are free to fill it up with fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts, seeds and dairy products. Don’t put a tag on your diet if you don’t like it. But as soon as you cut out processed foods in your diet, it automatically becomes Low-Carb High-Fat Myths.
Truth: Eating a high-fat diet will not make you susceptible to heart diseases. In fact, scientists found that a low-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss and heart risk factor reduction than a low-fat diet. According to them, restricting carbohydrate may be a better option for those seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors. Research has found no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, reducing your carbs leads to lower levels of triglycerides, blood pressure, and LDL, while HDL improves.
Truth: Eating fewer carbs doesn’t mean you’ll feel tired all the time. Yes, glucose gets converted into energy, but we often eat far too many carbs. And most of the excess gets converted into body fat. On the other hand, dietary fat is a more sustainable fuel for our body than carbs. In fact, eating LCHF ensures you feel more energetic (goodbye sugar roller coaster rides!) and don’t have to worry about afternoon slumps.
Truth: Giving up processed and refined grains doesn’t mean you won’t get enough fiber. Because you know what has more fiber than processed grains —- Whole Foods!!! You still get plenty of fiber on LCHF from all the right sources – leafy greens, seasonal vegetables, fruits eaten with their skin, nuts, seeds, and coconut.
Truth: LCHF is not a “Diet” but a “Lifestyle”, and that means it’s very much sustainable for life. You can read our tips on how to make LCHF sustainable and be the judge. Finally, even if you follow the stricter Keto diet (carbohydrate intake restricted to 20-30gm/day) for a limited amount of time to treat health conditions like Obesity, PCOS, Prediabetes or Diabetes Type 2, it’s easier to transition to LCHF once you’ve reached your goals. LCHF is a clean, healthy way to eat for life.
However, we want to add that LCHF diet may not be the best choice for everyone. Some people really need to eat more carbohydrates for optimal function. But for those who can achieve incredible life-saving benefits of eating Low Carb-High Fat, let’s not distort the facts. It’s best to always discuss any dietary changes with your healthcare provider to know if it’s safe and will work for you.
Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial – http://annals.org/aim/article/1900694/effects-low-carbohydrate-low-fat-diets-randomized-trial