Forgoing grains and consuming fatty meats may not seem like a healthy choice to many but this method actually helps with weight loss. The low-carbohydrate high-fat (LCHF) diet / low carb diet similar to keto diet, which breaks the traditional concept of healthy eating, has developed a strong following in Malaysia and has even become the recommended diet for diabetics.
The traditional healthy eating concept recommends consuming more whole grains and lesser high-fat foods. So when the LCHF diet was introduced, it was opposed by many experts where some also considered it as nonsensical.
In comes Ang Tun Chek, 45, from Johor Baru who also caused controversy when he started his Low-Carb High Fat Diet Facebook group in 2015. It was not well-received then, as many criticised the lifestyle choice but slowly over time and proven results, it gained popularity and was widely accepted. The Facebook page currently has more than 304,000 members.
When interviewed, Ang said the LCHF diet is a relatively new method of eating that first gained popularity in Europe and the United States, and it is still gaining traction in Asia.
“I can say that my Facebook group is the largest Chinese language networking platform, providing people from all over the world a place to communicate about the diet in Chinese,” he said.
According to him, a person begins experiencing health problems after entering middle age. Not only did his own figure changed, his wife and children also face gynaecological and pneumonia issues. Coincidentally, it was his wife who was first exposed to the LCHF diet and her health improved significantly.
“I was quite eager to give it a try and did not expect to lose 10kg in a year. It is gratifying that my whole family rarely falls sick these days, which is cost-saving as well. I hope to share my personal experience with others and bring more people on board the LCHF diet journey,” he said, adding that it led to his decision to open up MD Keto, a store in Bandar Seri Alam that offers diet-friendly ingredients and foodstuff to others.
How does a low-carb high-fat diet / low carb diet work?
LCHF emphasises on low-carb foods, thus limiting food high in carbohydrates such as starch and sugar. This refers not only to bread, rice and wheat-based products but food like grains should also be reduced; replacing white rice with brown rice is not recommended either. Fruits high in sugar should be limited along with wheat-based pastries, soft drinks as well as root vegetables and tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
High-fat foods, namely those with high protein and fat content such as meats, shellfish, eggs, cheese and nuts are allowed. You can cook them like usual where the meat can even be fried but the recommended cooking oil are palm oil, coconut oil and olive oil while the likes of peanut oil, sunflower oil, corn oil or other types of oil extracted from seeds should be avoided.
Basically, you can enjoy meats, vegetables and eggs three times a day where the meat dishes should be consumed first then vegetables followed by a small serving of fruit after meals. A LCHF eating plan encouragers followers to prioritise protein and natural fats as long as the meat is not fried in a wheat batter.
Ang recommends having one cheat day a week while on the LCHF diet where starchy food, meat and eggs can account for one-third of your meal portion as compared to the daily meal servings of meat, eggs and vegetables.
According to Ang, starchy food is the main culprit behind weight gain as opposed to the natural fats in food as perceived by many. Since sugar is the main cause of high blood pressure and diabetes, the LCHF diet can be used to manage diabetes by lowering the patient’s blood sugar levels.
However, rice and wheat-based foods have been staples in many Chinese families for years. Ang quipped that it was difficult for him to accept change at first but he now seldom eats rice and recommends opting for konjac rice and konjac noodles as the meal base and use coconut flour or almond flour instead of regular flour.
Those interested to know more about the LCHF diet can join his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/lchf.my for Chinese platform and https://www.facebook.com/groups/1453981501692393/ for English & Malay Platform while those looking for a one-stop shop for their diet needs can visit MD Keto.
Address ：19, Jalan Suria 7, Seri Alam, Masai, Johor, Malaysia
Operating Hour ：Sunday – Friday 9am-5pm , Closed on Saturday and public holiday.
Shopee.sg : https://shop.mdketo.com/shopee.sg