The definition of low-carb is vague and open ended. Since the definition is open to interpretation, let us take a look at what exactly is low-carb high fat diet, and what foods fit the Indian way of LCHF. If the words ‘High Fat’ scare you, let’s switch to Healthy Fat instead. While we do this, we expand on two earlier articles:
Indian LCHF / KETO Diet – Why The Word Indian?
LCHF, Keto & Paleo – What’s the Difference?
The Confusion on Definition
Before one can really decide what should go into the shopping cart of a low carber, it is necessary to get to know what qualifies as “low carb”.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) — and other associations around the globe — all follow a definition of low-carb, that isn’t ideal from the perspective of health. As per the ADA, dietary carbohydrates less than 45% of total calories is low carb. Since this definition is flawed, the definition of high-fat is also not quite accurate. And the worst part is, the critics of the LCHF diet have weaponized these inaccurate definitions to discredit a completely healthy diet.
This is why no true low-carber across the world ever believes in dubious studies published against the LCHF diet. For example, a paper recently published an article, based on an epidemiological (we call it epidemio-illogical) study, which bracketed a minimum daily carb requirement of 32% as low-carb, for no valid reason, and then went on to build a narrative against LCHF. We call such articles and studies dubious, because of the flawed definitions that they are based on.
Most Western boards and sites use ketogenic and low-carb interchangeably. So, for them, low-carb means ketogenic diet or vice versa.
The Perspective at dLife.in
In the Indian context, we at dLife.in consider the Ketogenic diet to be a subset of Low carb diet. We do not agree with either the definition of ADA, or the popular definition equating low-carb with the ketogenic diet. Our definition is based more on the liver’s glycogen storage capacity, which is roughly 120 gms. With that in mind, leaving some headroom, we fixed 20% carbs as the upper limit.
Also, unlike the keto diet, we do not go into the hassle of counting net carbs. The diet that is followed by members of dLife.in includes around 15 to 20 grams of fiber daily. So, with 100gm (20%) being the daily carb upper-limit, we are well below the liver’s glycogen storage capacity. A detailed discussion is available in this thread on the forum.
For us, anything more than 120gm carbs is not low carb. We stick to 100gm or 20% max, whichever is lower. The basis of this upper limit is a Swedish study which concluded that at 20% max carbs, saturated fat (SFA) has no relation with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
What Food Items to Include?
We do not restrict anything as long as you are following our version of the LCHF diet. We look more at the day’s limit, and per meal tolerance of carbs. This is something that will vary from one diabetic to another, depending on the person’s medical history, among other things. That said, we do define the sources of good fat and good proteins to work with. This has been covered in detail on the forum in the following threads:
Sources of good fats for LCHF Diet
Sources of proteins for LCHF diet (vegetarians and non-vegetarians)
Also, the key to success is getting used to counting carbs, protein and fat during the transition period of three weeks. So, it is essential to equip yourself with a kitchen weighing scale.
We also have a thread on the forum that broadly outlines what is needed to be added to your monthly shopping cart, to transition to the LCHF diet with ease. We have made it all simple for you to get started. It has even been made easy for vegetarians, and we have many Indian vegetarian diabetics who are landing an HbA1C of 5.6% max consistently.
We do not cater to Vegans at all, as Veganism is not rooted in the Indian way of life from time immemorial. Dairy is something that we cannot substitute with fake foods from the vegan factory.
Narrowing Down The List
This is where another aspect of “Diabetes Self-Management” comes into play. We shall be laying a lot of emphasis on this wherever needed. This has been emphasized in the article titled – Diabetes Friendly Multigrain Flour – Friend or Foe.
Always focus on PPBS aggressively during the initial period of transition, and aim for the numbers as noted in – Blood Sugar Testing at Home – What Range to Aim For?
Based on the target numbers, tweak your portion size, meals and also per-meal carb load. This shouldn’t be difficult for two reasons:
- Huge resources of Indian LCHF / Keto recipes available on the forum.
- Day to day support from peers, who have mastered the art of substitution over the years.
- The definition of LCHF followed at dLife.in is not the same as what is followed on Western sites.
- None of us agree with the ADA’s definition of LCHF.
- Aggressive testing of PPBS is needed to finally narrow down the shopping basket, based on readings. This is not a monumental task.
- Never lose sight of proteins and fat while transitioning to Indian LCHF / Keto diet.
- 1000+ recipes are available on the forum.
- Meal plans are available on the forum to get you started quickly.
- Unparalleled peer-to-peer support is available, to ease your transition.
- More than 90 FAQs on LCHF / Keto diet, asked and answered by members over the years, are already documented on the forum.
So, what are you waiting for? Click the “Join Now” button below and get started!
Articles here, by and large, tend to focus more on the fundamentals than on technicals. This is to ensure that they are easily understood by the audience that the site caters to.