Today Prof Grant Schofield is answering some FAQs regarding the myths on fat intake, what the ‘F’ in LCHF looks like, why it is so important as well as examples of how to involve a little more of it in your Low Carb Healthy Fat lifestyle (clue: it features within all the images attached!)


FAQs: What’s the issue with just doing low carb? Why is eating more fat the other critical part of this equation? Can you explain how to get over the in-built fat phobia to ensure we are consuming enough fat in our diet?

Grant’s Top Tip:
You have to eat something. You have to get energy from somewhere and this is the simplest mathematics you will ever see. Here’s the sum – you have fat, protein and carbs which you eat to gain energy. Everyone has their own carb tolerance – if you are very insulin resistant then eating more carbs than what you can handle will jack up your blood sugar and your insulin. We are aiming to normalise blood sugar and prevent you hyper secreting insulin. Protein is good, but we advocate eating to your daily requirements, so not high protein.
Therefore, you need to make up the rest of your energy from somewhere – which leaves fat. Eat until you feel full then stop eating (this is important!!)

If you are concerned that eating fat in this context will either make you fat or raise the fats in your blood, you need not be concerned. We cover this in some detail within What The Fat? book itself.

The big myth out there seems to be that when we suggest eating more fat, some think of a big plate of butter and meat and nothing else. This is the hurdle you need to jump over. My family get our fat intake by using coconut cream instead of milk on our muesli (which in itself isn’t really muesli – it’s the nut muesli recipe from WTF?) which is eaten with full fat yogurt and maybe some extra cream added, with a handful of frozen berries (frozen adds better texture). We make a cheese and bacon – or salmon and broccoli – frittata every Sunday for lunches, and have plenty of omelettes; eggs/bacon, veg and bacon, ham hash with egg on top, pork strips as well as coconut cream/cream based curries, mince with lettuce nachos served with sour cream, cheese etc. Veges and salads are the perfect addition to all of the above, and ensure you are still eating a well-rounded, whole-food seasonal diet.

My Top 5 tips for allowing more fat into your LCHF cooking;
• Buy some butter and use it on your vegetables.
• Be prepared to fry with good fats and oils; have a set of decent frying pans and a gas cooktop.
• Cheese is great for fat content and flavour – I particularly like blue vein over cauliflower. Yum.
• Smoothies made with a coconut cream base = tastes excellent with a mix of frozen berries, seeds, etc.
• Cream – this really is a versatile ingredient; we use cream in scrambled eggs, omelettes, desserts, muesli, smoothies, sauces etc.

‪#‎LCHF‬ ‪#‎LowCarbHealthyFat‬ ‪#‎TheFatProfessor‬ ‪#‎WhatTheFatBook‬

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Malcolm says:

    Thanks some much for the detailed response. It has been hard to find meaningful information on the internet on this specific point around LDL increasing with LCHF eating. I will leave it for a few months and may opt for some more advanced testing if the numbers stay the same. Thanks again!

  • Malcolm says:

    Hi Grant thanks for the great article. I have been doing the LCHF eating for the last few months and have had a reasonably clean diet for the last few years. One of the things I have been eating for sometime is coconut oil which I have increased the intake in the las couple of months to get my fat intake up. Probably 3-4 tablespoons a day. I have always had elevated cholesterol but my latest since taking on the LCHF was TOTAL CHOL 9.1, TRIG 1.0, HDLC 2.12, LDLC 6.5. Cholesterol is my only risk factor identified by GP. Can coconut oil cause this to happen? Other than a VDL test (which has been refused by my GP, who also offered a statin), is there something else I can try with diet or do to get peace of mind around my LDLC? Thanks Malcolm

    • What The Fat? says:

      Hi Malcolm,

      can I just ask some questions? How old are you (high LDL is less of a risk factor as we age), do you know how many grams of carbohydrate you eat daily, and how much have these measurements shifted since eating coconut oil?
      Coconut oil will tend to increase both HDL and LDL when substituted for carbohydrates or less saturated fats. I ran your numbers through a calculator and while your total cholesterol and LDL are high, the ratios between HDL and TG, HDL and LDL, and HDL and total cholesterol are all either good or optimal. We don’t think these elevations in cholesterol, which are due to eating coconut oil, are a concern in the context of a low carb diet which is maintaining good metabolic health (as shown by the desirable ratios and absence of other risk factors), but the additional information asked for should help to provide extra context.

      • Malcolm says:

        I am 48 years old. Im not exactly sure of my carb numbers but would put them in the range of 30-50 grams. I was in full keytosis after going LCHF, as measured on a Ketonix device. Really I have been eating coconut oil for several years, but probably doubled the intake in the last 3 months, while reducing the carbs. All in all a very clean unprocessed diet.

        • What The Fat? says:

          Hi Malcolm,

          in the various tests of lipid lowering drugs, including statins, there are control groups taking placebos, and the study doctors want to see what happens to people with high or low HDL – do they respond differently to the drugs? In these studies people with high HDL who don’t receive drugs do as well or better than anyone taking drugs, and there’s a similar but weaker effect with low TGs (TGs and HDL tend to be inversely related – high TGs and low HDL go together, and vice versa). In other words, these drug studies show that people with high HDL and low TGs don’t benefit from lipid lowering drugs, and have the lowest risk of heart disease even without them. As you can see from this example, LDL is the least important of the many markers for people not taking drugs (the black bars are the people not taking drugs).
          There are no long-term studies of the effect of high HDL and low TGs in low-carb populations on actual outcomes, all we have to go on are 1) improvement of multiple risk factors on low carb diets, 2) animal experiments in which very low carb diets reverse inflammation and aspects of atherosclerosis, and 3) the experience of some low carb doctors who have been very low carb for many years and now have coronary calcium scores of zero.
          Pacific islanders who ate high amounts of coconut in the 1960s had higher cholesterol, but the same low rate of heart disease, as their neighbours who were less dependent on coconut. In the data from 22 countries that Ancel Keys based his 7 countries study on, the people of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) had a very low rate of heart disease, the same as Japan’s, despite a 4x greater saturated fat intake – coconut oil was the cooking fat used in Ceylon.

          It might also be useful to know that LDL is a calculated figure, and when your TGs are low the calculation used in New Zealand, where most people have high TGs, is inaccurate. The so-called Iranian calculation for your figures gives LDL of 5.9; this is closer to what you’d find if you measured LDL directly.
          With this adjustment, your ratios become even better.
          Your TGs, though perfectly good, are a little high for someone on a keto diet. There are various reasons why this might be so – mainly, if you are still losing weight, or if you didn’t fast 100% (for about 12 hours) before the test.

  • Annalie Brown says:

    Blue vein cheese over cauliflower sounds amazing! What’s the best way to prepare this?

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