I am constantly surprised by common misconceptions of Low Carb or the low carb high fat diet (LCHF). There are many people who should know better, but who continue to query and argue the merits of this way of eating. Here are a few aspects of low carb that are typically misunderstood:
Low Carb is NOT – A licence to eat or drink fat (cheese, butter, cream) in copious amounts. No one in his or her right mind would endorse any dietary approach that supported actively seeking or over eating fat. Use fat in your diet to “fill you up”. My advice is – Don’t actively look for or include fat, but don’t avoid it either. Eat meat, poultry, leave the fat on, use cream, olive oil, coconut cream, and butter to cook with, as an alternative to sweet sugar laden sauces (tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce). Avocados are a great way to include healthy fat in your diet.
Low Carb IS – A way of eating based predominantly on green leafy and above ground vegetables. Too often the importance of vegetables are lost in the debate over the “high fat” component of this way of eating. Eat or drink plenty of vegetables, moderate amounts of protein (meat, poultry, seafood, eggs), snack on nuts, seeds, and use fat in your meals to fill you up (fat on meat, coconut oil, butter, cream etc.).
Low Carb is NOT a life sentence – Even the hard nose low carbers have their days off. If you stick to the 90%/10% rule, eat mainly low carb (90%) with the odd treat (10%), you’re doing ok. Low carb options are my first choice, however if I find myself in situation that there are few low carb options or my low carb choice might offend someone, I will always (and happily) enjoy a treat.
Low Carb IS: A way of eating that will not only support your metabolic health as you age, it will likely contribute to weight loss, increased energy levels, improvement in both inflammatory conditions such as irritable bowel, and dare I say it menopausal symptoms.
Low Carb IS: A lifestyle that you can follow while living a full, social and active life.
Hi Julia, I love your blog and recipes! I’ve been LCHF since December 2014 and have had success with helping a range of minor health problems with the added bonus of some weight loss. I generally feel better eating this way. I have experienced a couple of periods of worrying hair loss and a couple of months ago developed an incredibly itchy and persistent rash across my shoulders, neck and scalp. The rash also coincided with a period of more than usual hair loss. In the last week I decided to experiment and introduced a few more carbs in the form of sweet potato and potato and the rash has suddenly cleared. I’m at a crossroads of whether to continue as completely LCHF or to have more complex carbohydrates once or twice a week. Have you heard of anything like this happening to anyone on LCHF for an extended period of time? And, what do you recommend? Many thanks!
Thanks for contacting me. I haven’t heard of problems with itchey skin etc, however hair loss is a common problem in women (low carb or not). I have noticed periods when my hair seems to fall and thin out, but no better or worse than before I changes my lifestyle to low carb. Note the with any way of eating – one size does not fit all- and I think we all need to adapt our chosen dietary approach to fit with our way of living, medical conditions, life stage etc. If re-introducing starch vege has helped with your symptoms then that is a good option. My advice would be to remain low carb in your grain and sugar intake though (as I am sure you were planning to!).I have heard the magnesium is a good supplement for hair loss – have you tried that?
Hope this helps
Thanks for your quick response Julia. I’m determined to keep as low carb as possible…definitely no sugar and grains and will probably limit starchy carbs to sweet potato once a week to see how that goes. I’ve also just started taking a woman’s multivitamin, biotin and magnesium so hopefully that will also help. In the meantime I’ll keep cooking your delicious recipes!