Weight loss is associated with a large number of health benefits and there are numerous ways to do this. One of them is a popular diet plan called the low-carb diet, high-fat eating plan, or LCHF diet plan.
A reduction in carbohydrate intake can positively help those who have various health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, acne, PCOS, and Alzheimer’s disease. Because of this significant health benefit, more and more people are trying low-carb diets, not only to lose weight but to also improve their health.
In this article, we’ve rounded up what you need to know about the LCHF diet, its health benefits, and drawbacks and what are food you should eat and avoid.
What is the LCHF diet?
The LCHF diet is a general term for an eating or diet plan that reduces carb intake and increases fat consumption. In LCHF diets, you need to eat food low in carbohydrates, high in fats, and moderate in protein.
This diet plan is sometimes referred to as the “Banting Diet”, named after William Banting, a British man who lost a good amount of weight after trying the said diet.
The LCHF meals demands you consume whole, unprocessed food like fish, eggs, and low-carb vegetables and nut and while discouraging highly processed and packaged items. In addition, added sugar and starchy food like bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice are prohibited.
Benefits of the LCHF Diet
Here are the benefits of the LCHF diet for your health.
It’s been proven that low-carb, high-fat diets are effective ways to lose weight. They help with suppressing appetite, insulin sensitivity, increase in protein intake, and boosting fat loss.
What one of the reasons why the LCHF diet is popular is that it’s an effective way to lose fat, especially in the belly area. Too much belly fat, specifically around the organs, is linked to serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancers.
Improved Blood Sugar
For obese adults with type 2 diabetes, a low-carb, high-fat eating plan promises improvement in blood sugar control, according to a study. It can even lead to a complete discontinuation of diabetic medication.
The ketogenic diet, a diet plan that falls under the LCHF, is known to be a natural treatment for epilepsy. Aside from that, studies also show that LCHF diets have a therapeutic role in other neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the prime benefits of the LCHF diet is that it decreases risks to different health conditions and this includes heart diseases. This diet plan can eliminate various markers that are linked to heart conditions such as body fat reduction, lower inflammation, and improve blood markers.
Aside from that, it has also shown promising results in reducing blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, as mentioned above, decreasing LDL cholesterol, and promoting weight loss.
Drawbacks of the LCHF Diet
While the LCHF diet has been associated with many health benefits, there are still multiple drawbacks to it, proving that this eating plan is not for everyone.
First, extreme kinds of the LCHF diet like the ketogenic diet are not advisable for children, teens, pregnant women, or breastfeeding mothers, unless it is used for treatment or prescribed by a healthcare professional.
In addition, we highly recommend that before beginning an LCHF diet, or any other diet plan, it is best to talk to your doctor and ask opinions about it, especially for those who have health conditions such as kidney, liver, or pancreas diseases.
And while it is mostly accepted, it’s unavoidable that some might experience unpleasant side effects, especially in low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet. Some side effects may include:
Food to Eat
For all kinds of LCHF diet plans, it highlights the consumption of food high in fat and low in carbohydrates. This includes:
- Oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- All fish, especially fish that is high in fat like salmon, sardines, and trout.
- Meats and poultry, such as red meat, chicken, venison, and turkey
- Full-fat dairy, including cream, butter, and cheeses
- Non-starchy vegetables, such as greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and mushrooms
- Avocados and berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Take note to enjoy these in moderation.
- Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin seeds.
Food to Avoid
As its name suggests, the LCHF diet plan highly discourages the consumption of food high in carbs. This includes:
- Grain and starches, such as bread, baked goods, rice, and pasta
- Sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, including juice, sweet tea, smoothies, and sport drinks, beer, sugary mixed cocktails, and wine
- Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, beets, peas, and winter squash
- Fruits. Consumption of fruits should be limited, however, as mentioned above, berries are allowed under moderation and in small portions
- Processed food