lchf – low carbohydrate, high fat diet

reprinted from an article I wrote on September 9, 2012

In following Sally Fallon’s dietary lifestyle, I keep finding myself searching online for low carb, high healthy saturated fat recipes. It seems there is quite a contingency of LCHFers out there in the world and their recipes and blogs are quite helpful.

Earlier this year, I hit a weight loss plateau. I researched some more and found Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions” book on my shelf. I read it and decided to try some recipes. I did not lose weight at first; in fact, I gained weight. (That was a bummer.) Then, as I stuck with it and increased the fat in my diet, I found I was not hungry or craving carbs so much, so I ate fewer carbohydrates without even making a plan to cut them out. I eat as many high-fat foods as I can each day (easier said than done), add some protein, and the carbs are naturally low on my overall consumption. My typical ratio is around 40-50% fats, 10-12% protein, and 44-46% carbs per day. (I keep track of everything I eat at sparkpeople.com.) I have finally started losing weight again, but I’m still losing what I gained from beginning this diet, so when and if I really get closer to my goal weight (about fifteen pounds from now), I’ll let you know.

This diet reminds me a lot of my gluten-free regimen that I followed for a number of years, in order to heal my IBS–lots of nuts… Nut butters, nut breads, nut crusts, nut cookies, etc. They’re high in fat and low in carbs, so weight loss was much easier on that diet. However, since my gut got better, I started eating grains again. Lo and behold, my IBS came back with all the cramping and bloating all over again. Even though I know gluten-free works, I’m trying this new diet to see if it does the work by adding in healthy foods, rather than cutting out one major culprit. Sally Fallon recommends souring grains before eating them. I’ve been making slow-rise sourdough recipes with much success gut-wise. (Thanks, Sally!)

Next, about sweets. I have a sweet tooth and am not willing to give up sugar for any substantial length of time. However, I am not in favor of a lot of refined sugar. I am a big proponent of local, raw honey–especially as a prebiotic combined with cultured dairy products. I also use some organic, raw sugar in some recipes. Remember, as long as you’re eating lots of healthy fats, you should not be hungry for a lot of carbs, so you naturally won’t eat as many. I have found dessert recipes for chocolate rum truffles, chocolate gingerbread truffles, chocolate mousse, and chocolate lime and salt truffles at lowcarbshighfat.com too. I hope to try them soon.

Finding high fat recipes online is not easy, but I find that old-fashioned recipes from the 1800s plus recipes from traditional cultures (mainly from Europe) are high in fat and very useful (which is one of the reasons I started this blogsite in the first place). Healthy, old world European recipes are typically high in cheesy goodness, lots of butter, and lots of cream and yogurt. (Think croissants, blintzes, cheese custards, and soups that are often “cream of “this and “cream of” that.) *Note: Croissants are super time-consuming to make; I’ve tried it.

I’ve found myself gravitating toward Paula Deen’s high butterfat recipes. If I could find a way to cut down on the refined flour carbs and loads of sugar, some of her recipes might be usable in a lchf diet.

I have also found a number of recipes at http://swedish-diet.blogspot.com. I plan to try some soon. Recipes include: crepes, almond bread, smoothies, muffins, granola, soups, cheese crisps, pizza, and even cakes, cookies and cupcakes. The only problem is that the diet incorporates a lot of fiber, like psyllium husk powder in place of bread and Sally Fallon does not recommend too much fiber. (Some natural fiber in fruits and vegetables is okay, but adding it in other recipes as a substitute for grain is not necessarily okay.) I haven’t read it, but you can also read a book called Fiber Menace, by Konstantin Monastyrsky, which says much the same thing, I hear.

So, now that I’m preparing high fat, nutrient dense foods for my family, the kids and my husband are saying, “Yum, that was good!” as opposed to, “I’m still hungry.”

Well, all this talk about food is making me hungry, so, since I haven’t eaten breakfast yet, I think I’ll head to the kitchen.

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