Is the #LCHF eating plan right for you?

Low-carb high-fat (LCHF), banting – call it what you will – you’ve likely heard about it, know someone who’s on it, or you’re doing it yourself ppt free template download. The LCHF eating plan is incredibly popular right now, and a lot of people have had great results from it, but does that make it suitable for everyone? Not necessarily.

What if I’m vegetarian?

It’s doable, but you’ll need to radically increase the amount of protein you eat – and this can become expensive with the often exotic “green foods” on the LCHF eating plan. And if you’re vegan, it also poses problems – as the high-fat foods are often in the form of full cream dairy and cheese, which would need to be replaced with nut butters, avocados etc. If you’re a vegetarian and you’re looking for LCHF recipe ideas, check out: www.eatmorevegetarian.com.

What if I’m trying to gain weight?

While there isn’t a lot of research available on this, there are plenty of personal stories of people who have lost weight, and others who have gained healthy weight. What makes the LCHF eating plan different to others, is that there is little limitation on how much of the “green foods” you can eat – and there’s a lot to choose from. What you do need to be careful of is the balance of protein and fats, as too much or too little of either can have negative results. In theory though, you should be able to follow this eating plan if you’re looking to gain a few extra kilograms.

What if I have a food intolerance or allergy?

If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, then the LCHF eating plan would clearly work for you. However, if you have a dairy/lactose intolerance, or avoid dairy for other reasons, then it could become a problem. Why? Because full-cream milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt and butter are all sources of protein and saturated fat, so you’d need to increase your intake of oils such as coconut oil to fill the gap.

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What if I have a medical condition?

Professor Tim Noakes popularised LCHF in South Africa as an eating plan that helped prevent him from developing type 2 diabetes (he was previously pre-diabetic). If the eating plan is followed correctly, it can cause glucose and insulin levels to drop (higher levels of either are early indicators of diabetes). Noakes has also always been quick to claim that additional benefits such as weight-loss were a secondary effect – and not the intended purpose of the eating plan.

Interestingly, the Swedish government has recognised the LCHF eating plan as being suitable for people with type 2 diabetes and those looking to lose or maintain a healthy weight. There’s also evidence to suggest that if the eating plan is followed correctly, it could benefit people at risk for dangerous plaque build-up in their arteries. This is because this type of eating converts small, artery-clogging cholesterol modules into big, fluffy molecules – which are less likely to form plaque that builds up in arteries.

How can I be sure I’m making the right choice?

If you’re still not sure if the LCHF eating plan is for you, then speak to your doctor or dietician first. If you have a chronic condition, or if you’re taking certain prescription medication then they might also advise you against this type of eating plan. If you do decide to try it, then go for a medical check-up first and get your blood sugar levels tested – this way you can track any changes.

Want to find out more? Why not speak to one of our doctors – they’re online and available to take your call 24/7. Simply sign up on our website, and download the free Hello Doctor app from the Google Play or iTunes store. With the app, you can talk to, or text our doctors, anytime, anywhere!

References:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20031111/low-carb-high-fat-diet-drops-weight
http://www.muscleforlife.com/carbohydrates-and-weight-loss-should-you-go-low-carb/