Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Feeding the World’s Population Without Carbs?


Is it possible to feed the world’s population without carbs?

The answer to this and other questions – for example, is it common with hair loss on low carb? And can people eat low carb if they are vegetarians? – in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

Feeding the world’s population without carbs?

I’m on LCHF and it’s going well, but one thing bothers me. I can afford fresh organic food but the worlds population is around 7 billion. Is it really possible to feed all of these people without grains/carbs? I know fat is satiating and therefore means you require less food but if you were to remove what is effectively the staples from the diet of billions of poor people in Africa, South America and Asia how would they survive?


I don’t believe the entire world’s population needs to go strict LCHF. That’s mostly for people who need it for health reasons.

On the other hand, should the population of the world want more fat and fewer carbs, it will surely be possible to tweak agriculture etc. more in that direction, in an environmentally friendly and cost effective way.

Andreas Eenfeldt

LCHF for vegetarians?

Hi, I read your posts regularly and quite like them but as a vegetarian, I have not been able to find much on your site. I am a male, aged 30 and weigh 125 kg (276 lbs), am based out in New Delhi, India, and have lost many times considerable amount of weight, and also through a vegetarian ketosis diet but was not able to maintain it. Please recommend a good vegetarian LCHF diet to follow.



We’re going to add a lot more vegetarian options soon. Here are our vegetarian recipes so far:

Andreas Eenfeldt

Hair loss on low carb?

This question for both Dr. Eeenfeldt and Dr. Michael Fox as he sees women patients. I would love to see more content about the special challenges of LCHF and ketogenic diets for women, and more female experts interviewed although you do a good job of finding them for your website.

On my diet, everything has gone very well for five months. Ketosis is easy to do, monitored with Ketostix and Ketonix, I am never really hungry and eating plenty of food, with a variety of micronutrients included consistent with Dr. Terry Wahls’ approach. But three months in to the diet transition serious hair loss (i.e., telogen effluvium confirmed by dermatologist) began, and has been relentless for the last two months with no end in sight.

Thyroid was checked with minute adjustments – nothing I haven’t seen in the past and dealt with, but that adjustment is not making a difference. My endocrinologist supports LCHF but in his experience much harder for women, noting more difficulty in weight loss and blood sugar stabilization.

I am beginning to wonder if there isn’t something about the ketones or the metabolic state itself, for women, that is sending alarm signals to parts of the body that all is not well. It makes sense that there could be fat loss thresholds or too much loss too quick that could trigger different alarms in women, as they typically carry higher body fat percentage and have a hormonal state that is different than men’s. Eleven pounds (5 kg) in three months did not seem too much, since then only lost 2 pounds (1 kg), eating more fat and protein, so that slowing down hasn’t helped. Nor am I underweight at 134 pounds (61 kg) for 160 cm.

Being 58 I wouldn’t think the hormonal difference between men and women would be so relevant, but perhaps on this front it is. Could “keto adaptation” just take much longer for women? Perhaps women might adjust faster if they went quickly and full on with high levels of ketosis to make the adjustment, or alternately, perhaps they are better served by steady light nutritional ketosis (where I have been staying at).

I think this is an important topic as it represents a potentially huge and heartbreaking barrier for women to stay on the diet. Further, women could think they were ill, spend resources on blood tests and doctor appointments they didn’t need, and in the process, giving the diet a bad reputation. If we could identify clever “biohacks” to prevent the hair loss, that would be so helpful. Perhaps a survey among participants of this site and of the memberships and clientele of other experts would enlighten. I would love to have Steve Phinney and Jeff Volek’s thoughts as they are deep into the metabolic picture. Or Eric Westman, who sees many female patients.

Thank you for all your inspiring work and your site as a resource for technical assistance.

Hi Betsy!

Temporary and partial hair loss – meaning the hair gets temporarily thinner – might happen to perhaps one percent of people 3-6 months after starting a low-carb diet. This is similar to what can happen after many other changes in lifestyle.

This is normally a very temporary thing and the lost hairs grow out again after a couple of months, making the hair as thick as before.

If you’ve even seen your doctor with the usual results, I think it’s even more certain that this will be a temporary thing.

The only advice I’d give is to make sure you’re not starving yourself (it does not sound like you do). The problem should be very temporary.

Learn more here:

Andreas Eenfeldt


Low Carb for Beginners

More Questions and Answers

Many more questions and answers:

Low-Carb Q&A

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt about LCHF, Diabetes and Weight Loss – for members (free trial available).

More About LCHF and weight loss

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