Food, food and drink that is, respectively, is not, LCHF
Here is a guide to food and drink suitable for those who want to eat LCHF. It is obviously important that you know about foods that are not LCHF so you can opt-out of it. The advantage of LCHF is that it’s simple; studies suggest that LCHF is probably the most straightforward diet because all you have to do is reduce carbohydrates. Then, of course, you need to know how much carbohydrates there are in food and foods. Therefore, this guide will be very accurate. Last time you get a shopping list that you can take with you the next time you shop.
The principle of LCHF is that food and drink should contain a maximum of 5% carbohydrates. There is no big concern if single components of food have 5% to 10% carbohydrates, as long as it total does not get more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Of course, this depends on how strict LCHF you want to eat, but 50 grams per day is something that the vast majority cope with without problems. The 5% limit means that the following foods go well:
- Fat and oil – Butter, coconut fat, olive, rapeseed oil go excellent. You don’t have to be afraid of butter. There is even fat in meat, as well as in nuts.
- Protein – Protein can come from animal foods (eggs, beef, pork, poultry, fish, lamb) or vegetable (beans). Try to always eat organic or if possible.
- Vegetables – vegetables that grow above ground (lettuce, cabbage, avocados, etc.) contain less carbohydrates than those that grow underground (potatoes, etc.). The best are green vegetables and those with leaves (leafy vegetables). It does not matter whether it is fresh or frozen vegetables.
- Dairy – cream, cheese, butter, cream fraiche, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, cottage cheese, quark, etc. For LCHF, it is important to choose the fattest options when buying dairy products. The fatter milk, cream, cheese, etc., the less carbohydrates it is (as a rule) .
- Nuts and seeds – walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, whole coconuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds etc. Eat moderately with nuts otherwise, it can easily get too many calories in a day. Macadamia nuts and almonds are especially fatty nuts.
- Drink – water (preferably flavored with lemon, lime, cucumber etc), coffee, tea in all its forms. Carbonated water goes well (can be harmful to the teeth). No sugar in tea and coffee!
- Berries – raspberries, blackberries and other berries with low sugar content.
- Fat sauces – Bearnaise sauce, Hollandaise sauce and others are excellent. For LCHF, these sauces are allowed to be as fat as possible.
Now we will go through this carefully.
Fat and oil
Fat and oil are actually the same things. A whole 90% of all fat in the food consists of triglycerides, which obviously occur in many shapes and colors. It has to find the fat that you enjoy simply. Remember that fat and oil are found in very many foods: meat, nuts, seeds, dairy products, vegetables, legyms, etc.
People often talk about saturated and unsaturated fats and this has to do with the chemical structure of fats. Fats with a high content of unsaturated fat are usually liquid at room temperature (e.g. olive oil, rapeseed oil). There is even something called polyunsaturated fat and that means that the chemical structure is even more unsaturated (read details about this in the chapter: Fat, Oil and Cholesterol). Fat with a low content of unsaturated fat is usually fixed at room temperature (e.g. butter). Which is most useful can be discussed but possibly unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are somewhat healthier (but this is not fully established).
Saturated fats: it is good to eat saturated fat. Butter, ghee, coconut oil and lard are examples of saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats (so-called monounsaturated fats): it is possible to eat unsaturated fats; olives, olive oil, avocados, macadamia nuts etc are examples.
Polyunsaturated fats: Natural polyunsaturated fats are found in meat and fish and go perfectly well. There are also industrially manufactured polyunsaturated fats (especially popular with butter with extra Omega 3 supplements) – these are not recommended because of the lack of scientific evidence.
Trans fats (trans fats): these should be avoided altogether. Trans fats are oils treated chemically in order to extend their shelf life. Trans fats have increased the risk of coronary heart disease in several studies. 3
Thousands of stores today sell fish oil and other oils with added omega 3 and omega 6. The purpose of this is to create a “healthier product” because it has long been believed that Omega 3 and Omega 6 protect the heart (i.e. reduce the risk of coronary heart disease). In fact, we cannot find a single randomized controlled clinical trial to confirm this. In addition, the biggest study done on this showed that omega 3 and omega 6 had no protective effect. 4 We still recommend eating fish (which is rich in omega 3 and omega 6).
Here is a list of excellent foods regarding fat/oil:
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, etc.)
- Animal fat (see above)
- Vegetable fat
- Avocado, egg, yolk
- Adamia nuts
- Cow ghee nut
- Butterolive oil
Those foods containing protein should preferably be low-carbohydrate. Meat (fish, poultry, beef, lamb, pork, seafood) is perfect for those who want to eat LCHF, but there are also vegetarian and vegan options. It should be mentioned, however, that for the vast majority it is easiest to satisfy their need for protein through meat.
You should not eat too much protein because it is believed that high intake of protein can stop fat degradation. This can be explained, among other things, by the fact that (1) certain amino acids (building blocks of proteins) stimulate the pancreas to release insulin into the blood (and insulin stops the breakdown of fats) and (2) certain amino acids can be converted to glucose (sugar)! As usual, if possible, give preference to organic and grassy. As a rule, dark meat contains more fat than white meat (fish, poultry, seafood). Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) are both protein and fat rich.
Red meat is great for those who want to eat LCHF. However, you should bear in mind that red meat has been associated with increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer and therefore you should endeavour to satisfy protein needs from white meat and possibly vegetarian alternatives (whether you are vegetarian or not).
Canned meat (for example, ham) can sometimes have added sugar. It is also common for canned meat, especially meat cutlets (ham, salami, parma ham, etc.) to contain nitrites to better preserve the meat. Nitrites are potentially carcinogenic and therefore attempts should be made to limit the intake of canned meat (such as ham).
When choosing meat, you can always choose the fastest option. It is excellent to have fatty sauces for the meat. Those who do not eat pork can eat lamb, which is also rich in fat. Here is a list of common sources of protein, as well as a list of how much carbohydrates are contained in each.
Fish – All fish goes well. Cod, salmon, mackerel, tuna, etc. The fatter the fish, the better.
Seafood – All seafood goes well. Shrimp, crab, clam, squid, lobster, etc.
Eggs – Always prefer organic eggs from free-range hens. You can prepare the eggs just as you like (fried, boiled, scrambled eggs, etc.).
Nut – Beef is a safe LCHF alternative. Neef, likewise. Try to choose the fattest option.
Pork (pig) – Pork is also fine. Note, however, that canned pork (such as ham, salami etc) can be treated with nitrite that is unhealthy. Pick pork tenderloin or pork minced meat. Do not forget that some pork products have added sugar – read on the package!
Bird – Chicken, turkey and other birds go well.
Veal, lamb and game meat are also excellent.
Vegetarian and vegan protein sources — something for everyone
There are many vegetarian and vegan alternatives to chicken, sausage and other meat. Here is a brief description of the most popular options. For all these options, they are high in protein but very low in fat. Therefore, one can advantageously allow a fat sauce to accompany these vegetarian options.
1. Quorn – mushroom
Quorn is a product that is prepared on mushrooms. Quorn is made by fermenting the mushrooms. Quorn has a high protein content and fiber content, but low-fat content. In 100 grams of quorn, there is 90 kcal of energy and the content is as follows:
- 14 g protein.
- 1.4 g fat
- 1 g carbohydrates.
A package Quorn costs about 35 SEK. The taste is juicy and the chewing resistance is reminiscent of chicken. Like the other vegetarian/vegan alternatives, the Quorn is poor in fat, which means that one should accompany it with something fat-rich (such as a fat sauce).
2. Oumph – a concentrate of soy protein
Oumph has become very popular lately, even among non-vegetarians. In 100 grams of oumph, there is 82 kcal, and the nutritional content is as follows:
- 17 g protein.
- 0 g carbohydrates.
- 0.4 g fat.
Oumph is also available in many different variations and visually resembles chicken. Most people consider that one needs some flavor enhancer because oumph has a rather unobtrusive taste. We, therefore, recommend a greasy and tasty sauce to those who want to eat oumph. A pack of oumph costs 50 kr.
3. Tofu – Soybean
Tofu is based on soybeans. Nutrition content per 100 g (145 kcal):
- 18 g protein.
- 1.5 g carbohydrates.
- 8.5 g fat.
Tofu does not taste much but contains more fat than other options. It is an acceptable option for those who want to eat vegetarian/vegan LCHF.
Vegetables, as a rule, are very carbohydrate poor and basically all vegetables are a safe card. In addition, the greenery is useful and tasty. A cheat over vegetables and fruits is presented here below. In general, vegetables with green and dark leaves are better than light vegetables. See the following cheat:
Here above you can see that all kinds of lettuce, chives, asparagus, avocado, eggplant, cucumber, radish, zucchini, cauliflower, tomato, kale and broccoli contain extremely little carbohydrates. Mushrooms vary but it is expected that mushrooms contain everything from 0.5 g to 5 g carbohydrates per 100 g of mushrooms. Onions contain a little more carbohydrates but, as a rule, you do not eat so large amounts of onions, which is why it goes well. As you can see in the picture above, potatoes, corn and parsnips are very rich in carbohydrates. You should not eat potatoes, corn and parsnips if you want to eat LCHF.
A rule of thumb when choosing vegetables is to choose those that grow above ground, preferably green and leafy vegetables. There is no significant difference between frozen and fresh vegetables (from a nutritional perspective). Organic vegetables are obviously less sprayed with chemicals than non-organic alternatives.
As you can see, there are lots of good vegetables that are excellent at LCHF – so choose your favorites and make sure they are at home.
Fruits are very complicated because there are countless studies that link high fruit intake to better health. In addition, there are mechanistic studies that show that high fruit intake is good for the immune system, including its ability to cope with cancer cells in the body. So fruit is something you want to eat but the fruit is unfortunately very rich in fruit sugar (fructose) which is converted into ordinary sugar (glucose, or glucose) in the body. Generally, the fruits usually have about 10 g of carbohydrates per 100 g (see photo below). We still think you should eat fruit, preferably every day but then you need to count your carbohydrates carefully. It might be worth raising your carbohydrate limit a little to be able to consume fruit every day.
Dairy products and similar
As usual, we need to find dairy products with little carbohydrates and a lot of fat. Classic dairy products (milk, yogurt, file) go well if you want to eat LCHF. A bigger problem is all modern dairy products with added flavors, such as fruit yogurt and vanilla yogurt. This type of dairy products is usually very sugar-rich and should not be eaten. Organic dairy products, as a rule, have less carbohydrates. It is perfectly good to choose the fattest alternative of all dairy products. This means that when buying, milk, cream, file, yogurt – buy the fattest option. Examples of good dairy products for LCHF:
- Greek yogurt cream
- Cheeses including cream cheese, mascarpone, creme fraiche, cottage cheese, quark, mozzarella, brie cheese, cheddar cheese
- Parmesan cheese, feta cheese
- Swiss cheese, etc.
Remember that dairy products are often protein rich.
As you can see, vanilla and fruit yogurts are very carbohydrate-rich and therefore you should not eat them. Honey, wheat flour, potato flour, oats and musli, as can be seen above, are extremely rich in carbohydrates (therefore they are excluded if you want to eat LCHF). If you notice that you do not lose weight steadily and eat a lot of cheese, consider reducing your consumption of cheese (cheese is rich in protein!).
Nuts can be eaten both as snacks and as an ingredient in food. If you use nuts as snacks, you should keep an eye on the carbohydrates because otherwise, it is easy to get too much. Cashews and pistachios are richest in carbohydarates (19 g respective 22 grams per 100 grams) and therefore poor alternatives for those who want to eat LCHF. A handful of cashew or pistachio contains 10 g of carbohydrates. Walnut, sweet almond (almond) and macadamia nut contain fewer carbohydrates but the least is found in hazelnut, paranut and peanut. You should preferably eat nuts with a low content of carbohydrates – the less, the better.
As can be seen in the photo above, all nuts are very rich in fat. Between 50 grams and 74 grams of the content of nuts is fat. The fats contained in nuts are very useful. Nuts go equally well roasted or dried.
Keep in mind that almost any intake of food and drink (no matter what type it is) leads to a rise in the insulin level of the body, and then the breakdown of fat decreases. Therefore, the use of nuts as’ snacks’ should not be exaggerated.
Anyone who intends to use nut varieties of flour (e.g. almond flour) should know that these products are usually very protein-rich. Almond flour contains a whole 40% protein, which means that large amounts lead to a reduced breakdown of fats (in amino acids, which build up proteins, leads to the release of insulin).
Tip: choose primarily pecan, paranut, hazelnut or peanut!
Please note that macadamia nuts are reported on several Swedish websites to contain about 5 g carbohydrates per 100 g of nuts. This is not true according to the Swedish Food Agency, USDA, as according to most products in Swedish trade. The correct figure is between 14 g of carbohydrates per 100 g of macadamia.
If you are a nut allergy, there are the following alternatives: coconut (coconut is a palm fruit), linseed, nutmeg, pine nuts (pine nut is actually a seed), sesame seed, shea nuts (shea nut is not a nut), sunflower seed, poppy seed.
Tip: flour made from nuts or seeds are excellent alternatives to wheat flour! Try it!
|An alternative to wheat flour||kcal||fat (g)||carbohydrates (g)||protein (g)|
|Linseed flour||374 kcal||31||0||23|
Water, beverages, alcohol
Drink water and drink plenty of water while eating LCHF. It is easy to get dehydrated when eating LCHF, and therefore you need to drink plenty of water. The first week of LCHF loses a lot of water (it is not uncommon for one liter to lose the first week) and therefore it is important to replace the losses. Water will be tastier if you flavor with orange, cucumber, lime, lemon. If ordinary water is not good, you can drink carbonated water, even flavored (but not sweetened!). It is excellent to drink coffee and there are also studies that indicate that it favors weight loss. Likewise, you can drink as much tea as you like.
Broth is excellent to drink. Often the broth contains a portion of vitamins and minerals. However, note that some broth products have added sugar – read the nutrition declaration!
Beer is very rich in sugar and should only be drunk at festivities. A glass of beer contains about 13 g of sugar.
White wine, red wine and champagne (sparkling wine) contain less than 1 g of carbohydrates per glass. This means that you can drink wine quite often. Wine is, therefore, no concern for those who want to eat LCHF. The drier the wine, the fewer carbohydrates.
However, dessert wine may contain 20 grams of carbohydrates per 100 g of wine, so dessert wine should be avoided.
Coconut milk and almond milk contain fewer carbohydrates than regular milk and are good alternatives. Sometimes manufacturers have added sugar – read the nutrition declaration and unfolded products with added sugar.
Light drinks (Cola light, Fanta light etc): there is no need to drink this. Choose carbonated water with taste instead.
Spices and cooking
Salt and pepper can be used to taste and taste. The following spices (in addition to black pepper and salt) can be recommended for those who want to eat LCHF:
Ready-made spice mixtures are significantly inferior (most often). Many spice manufacturers add large amounts of sugar (carbohydrates) to their spice mixes. Always examine the nutritional content when buying spice mixtures. It can sometimes be 60 -70% sugar and salt in ready-made spice mixes.
Sauces and similar
These products vary widely in terms of carbohydrate content. Some products contain almost no carbohydrates, while others contain a lot of carbohydrates. It is important to always check the nutritional content before buying these products. If you cook the sauces yourself, then, of course, it’s easier to control the carbohydrates. For those who do not want to prepare sauces yourself, there are plenty of options that are LCHF. Sauces with a lot of fat/butter are great for those who want to eat LCHF. The following options are available for those who want to eat LCHF:
- Ketchup – buy ketchup only with a low content of carbohydrates. Most products have a lot added sugar and therefore you need to check the nutrition declaration.
- Mustard – the same principle as for ketchup.
- Strong sauces (Chili sauce, Sriracha etc) – the same principle as ketchup.
- Mayonnaise – the fatter, the better.
- Salad dressing (choose fatty varieties without added sugar)
- The Bearnaise Sauce
- BarbequesSauce and so on.
In all options, choose the minimum possible amount of carbohydrates. Aim for maximum 5% carbohydrates.