Dr Araz Rawshani

How to eat low-carbohydrate diet: guide to food, food, drink


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.

General principles

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
  • Butter,
  • Cow ghee nut
  • Butter
  • Cocoa
  • 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.

Här kan du se hur mycket protein som finns i vanliga livsmedel. För LCHF brukar man föredra kyckling, nötkött, fisk och fläsk. Men som framgår här ovan finns flera alternativ. Bönorna är också proteinrika, men de är också rika på kolhydrater, varför du inte skall äta för mycket bönor. Tumregeln är att allt som innehåller mindre än 5% kolhydrater är LCHF. Glöm inte att om du äter för mycket protein, så kommer du troligtvis minska på din fettförbränning eftersom proteiner stimulerar frisättning av insulin.
Here you can see how much protein is contained in ordinary foods. For LCHF usually give preference to chicken, beef, fish and pork. But, as can be seen here above, there are several options. The beans are also rich in protein, but they are also rich in carbohydrates, which is why you should not eat too much beans. The rule of thumb is that everything that contains less than 5% carbohydrates is LCHF. Do not forget that if you eat too much protein, you will most likely reduce your fat burning because proteins stimulate the release of insulin.

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.

Här kan du se hur mycket kolhydrater som finns i olika proteinkällor. Som du märker innehåller alla bönor och qourn (vegetariska alternativ till protein) mycket mer kolhydrater än kött. Av denna anledningen brukar man föredra kött som proteinkälla vid LCHF. Det finns inga kolhydrater i vanliga livsmedel som kycklig, fläsk, nöt, kalkon, fisk, skaldjur, lamm osv.
Here you can see how much carbohydrates are contained in different sources of protein. As you notice, all beans and qourn (vegetarian alternative to protein) contain much more carbohydrates than meat. For this reason, meat is usually preferred as a source of protein at LCHF. There are no carbohydrates in common foods such as chicken, pork, beef, turkey, fish, seafood, lamb etc.

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:

Här redovisas diverse grönsaker och rotfrukter. Som du märker innehåller grönsaker väldigt lite kolhydrater, vilket gör att man kan äta de flesta grönsaker i fri mängd. Rotfrukter, däremot, innehåller mer kolhydrater. Mest kolhydrater finns i rotfrukter som växer under jorden (palsternacka, potatis). Vitlök innehåller förvisso mycket kolhydrater men eftersom man äter såpass liten mängd så är det acceptabelt. Gröna grönsaker, särskilt de med blad, är allra bäst för den som vill äta LCHF.
Various vegetables and root vegetables are reported here. As you notice, vegetables contain very little carbohydrates, which allows you to eat most vegetables in free quantities. Root vegetables, by contrast, contain more carbohydrates. Most carbohydrates are found in root vegetables that grow underground (parsnips, potatoes). Garlic certainly contains a lot of carbohydrates, but since you eat so little it is acceptable. Green vegetables, especially those with leaves, are best for those who want to eat LCHF.

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.

Frukt är såklart rikt på kolhydrater eftersom det finns både fruktsocker (fruktos) och druvsocker (glukos) i frukt. Men som du märker här ovan så finns frukter som innehåller sparsamt med kolhydrater och du som vill gå ner i vikt bör fredra dessa. Granatäppple, björnbär, hallon, koksnöt går bra. Men tänk på att det lätt blir för mycket kolhydrater via frukt, och du som vill gå ner i vikt bör minska på fruktintaget, åtminstone temporärt.
Fruit is of course rich in carbohydrates because there are both fruit sugar (fructose) and glucose (glucose) in fruit. But as you can see above, there are fruits that contain sparingly with carbohydrates and if you want to lose weight, you should prefer these. Pomegranate, blackberry, raspberry, brine goes well. However, keep in mind that it easily gets too much carbohydrates through fruit, and if you want to lose weight, you should reduce your fruit intake, at least temporarily.

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
  • Mayonnaise
  • 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.

Mejeriprodukter kan vara en riktig kolhydratfälla. Som regel gäller dock att de flesta naturliga varianter (naturlig yoghurt, naturlig fil, ost osv) innehåller väldigt lite kolhydrater. Ost, keso, kvarg, filmjölk osv innehåller samtliga mindre än 5% kolhydrater. Det är alla varianter med tillsatt smak som är kolhydratbovar, liksom alla juicer. Dessa är ofta mycket rika på kolhydrater och bör undvikas om du vill gå ner i vikt. Musli, havre, vetemjöl och potatismjöl är nästan enbart kolhydrater, liksom honung.
Dairy products can be a real carbohydrate trap. However, as a rule, most natural varieties (natural yogurt, natural fillet, cheese, etc.) contain very little carbohydrates. Cheese, cottage cheese, quark, curdled milk, etc., all contain less than 5% carbohydrates. It is all variants with added flavor that are carbohydrate villi, as well as all juices. These are often very rich in carbohydrates and should be avoided if you want to lose weight. Musli, oats, wheat flour and potato flour are almost exclusively carbohydrates, as well as honey.

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!).


Nötter går bra som snacks och smakförstärkare i mat. Cashew och pistaschnöt är de mest kolhydratrika nötterna, medan paranöt, jordnöt, hasselnöt och pekannöt innehåller minst kolhydrater. Det säkraste kortet är paranöt.
Nuts go well as snacks and flavor enhancers in food. Cashew and pistachio are the most carbohydrate-rich nuts, while paranut, peanut, hazelnut and pecan contain a minimum of carbohydrates. The safest card is paranut.

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 kcalfat (g)carbohydrates (g)protein (g)
Almond flour29311840
Coconut flour320101720
Chia flour44531521
Linseed flour374 kcal31023

Water, beverages, alcohol

Grunden i LCHF är vatten, gärna smaksatt vatten (lime, gurka, apelsin, kolsyra etc). Sockrade produkter, inklusive läsk och öl är inte en del av LCHF. Vitt vin och rött vin går däremot bra. Glöm inte att alkohol faktiskt är beroendeframkallande och hälsobefrämjande effekter är tveksamma. Å andra sidan kan du dricka vad som helst vid festligheter, eftersom enstaka intag av kolhydrater inte skall ha någon betydande inverkan på din viktnedgång.
The basis of LCHF is water, preferably flavoured water (lime, cucumber, orange, carbonic acid etc). Sugared products, including soda and beer, are not part of LCHF. White wine and red wine are fine. Do not forget that alcohol is actually addictive and health-promoting effects are doubtful. On the other hand, you can drink anything at festivities, as single intake of carbohydrates should not have a significant impact on your weight loss.

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:

  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Kumin
  • Oregano
  • Basilika
  • Parsley
  • Rosmarin
  • Thyme

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.

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