What is the LCHF (Low-Carb High-Fat) Diet?

The Swedish Diet that is High-Fat Without Apology

high-fat foods
Michael Rosenfeld/Getty Images

LCHF stands for "Low-Carb High-Fat", a form of low-carb diet which originated in Sweden and, as the name implies, emphasizes eating high-fat foods as well as low-carb foods such as non-starchy vegetables, protein foods, and other low-carb diet staple foods. People who follow this way of eating focus on whole foods that are low in starches and sugars and high in fats.  The diet is probably usually a ketogenic diet, depending on the amount of carbohydrate each person consumes.

Proponents of LCHF believe there is value in emphasizing the high-fat nature of the diet, because by eating highly-satiating foods that contain a lot of fat, dieters aren't as tempted by high-carb foods. It also encourages people to eat foods that may have formerly been taboo to them.

Another advantage is that calling the diet "LCHF"  runs counter to the idea that a low-carb diet is the same thing as a high-protein diet. People eating LCHF diets tend to eat what most people would think of as a "normal" amount of protein. (Plus, in my experience, they aren't afraid to put butter on that protein. In fact, Swedish LCHFers I have dined with seemed to put butter on almost everything.)

Proponents of the LCHF approach generally believe that eating a diet high in saturated fats is not problematic, in fact, they point out that saturated fats have some advantages in that they are more stable and less likely likely to go rancid.

A Swedish physician, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, has a popular blog about the LCHF diet (English version) . Although there is no single LCHF diet, here is the diet that Dr. Eenfeldt describes to his patients.

Continue Reading