Hi Carb Plus High Fat


Happy new year (belatedly!).

It is said (for example here https://youtu.be/BG6XaCi51Ec?si=VjfTOHuseRvievPE) that the combination of high carbs and high fat causes problems as the high carbs cause an increase in insuline, which then will cause the fat to be stored. Makes sense to me.

However, it is also said that if one eats a carb plate (say: a normal portion of risotto) with abundant fat (say: butter and cheese), the fat will somewhat reduce the insulin spike, thus helping to mitigate, at least in part, the effect of the insulin. This also makes sense to me.

How can a normal “carb cycling guy” (as me) tell the one from the other? Is the first phenomenon only true in the presence of a really high base level of insulin (because of the habit of eating a lot of carbs?).

Just curious about the mechanism here. I ate my last carbs for the week on Sunday dinner (pizza), and my ketosis was healthy at dinner time yesterday and very strong this morning, so I am not really exaggerating with the carbs.

Thanks to all as always



You have good questions, I am curious about the answer myself…

But fat won’t be stored without a calorie surplus (unless maybe if the one in question works in very odd ways… but not normally) and it’s very possible to lose fat effectively on HCHF, it just takes the right person (definitely not me. I overeat on HCHF, inevitably. I can do maintenance if I do OMAD but I never can do that long term so that doesn’t count). My SO does HCHF for life, he is thriving on it and keeps his figure (and get very unwell on low-carb anyway so he won’t try it again when HCHF works so well). But he does it in a health-conscious way, that is important. His HCHF childhood diet was bad and fattening. His current diet would be horrible for me but great for him, apparently.

I am sure timing matters too. Or how we call that when and how many times one eats. He eats 3 meals (2 if he gained a little and wants to lose it but it’s not nice for him so he just doesn’t stop exercising on holiday and doesn’t gain fat), they are quite big for a normal person and on a workday he has about 9 hours between his first 2 meals (not ideal for him but his job is like that). So he doesn’t eat all day and NEVER snacks. I mean the tiny meals, not eating snack type food, he does that as part of his meal. So his insulin can fall again, he is active too, that helps with that as well… He has 12 hours between his dinner and breakfast.

Fat definitely can mitigate carb problems. I experienced that a lot. That’s why my old carby diets were so very fatty, I instinctively craved fat to balance out the carbs as much as possible. But I consider the presence of high-fat good because it probably means less carbs even if it’s still high. Eating 600-800g carbs? Sounds really bad for most people, even with my little knowledge about what the masses could handle how… It just sounds scary to me. I wouldn’t want my SO eating that high but he never does. His main fuel is fat.

The individual factor is surely huge. Some people can’t do low-fat without problems but are thriving on HC, even on HCHF. Maybe they work differently from many of us whose bodies strongly prefer low-carb. And not everyone eating high-carb gets insulin-resistant.

(Chuck) #3

My wife cooks Italian food most of the time, plenty of pasta cooked in olive oil mostly. Then melted butter added after it is cooked. I am eating it and love it. I also eat plenty of fresh and flash frozen fruit and vegetables. Now my wife makes her own pasta from scratch so it doesn’t have the store bought extra crap in it. She also bakes our bread from stone ground grain and not highly refined grain. It all makes a huge difference. The real problem is highly refined grains and highly processed carbs.

(Bob M) #4

I find the combination of fat + carbs makes me overeat. Croissants with added butter, for instance – I could eat 2-3 of these and want more.

If you want to lessen the blood sugar and insulin impact, you can eat meat/vegetables first, then eat carbs. I’m not sure what effect that would have on carb cycling.

(Joey) #5

Sorry, but it doesn’t make sense to me. Frankly, I’ve never heard this before.

Adding fat to a high carb diet doesn’t minimize the body’s need to deal with the glucose spike derived from the carbs … I’m just not following.

Can you please share credible sources where the notion that eating abundant fat along with high carb content somehow mitigates the insulin response?

(Robin) #6

It doesn’t make sense to me either, but I have no facts to back up my doubts.
Frankly, carb cycling has never made sense to me. But I am guessing there are different effects/impact when used for running, etc.


Like most things, both are correct. Higher protein or fat will slow down carb absorption, and again like everything, it’s much more about what you do over a period of time, than it is any one, two or three meals.

If you have a good feel for what it takes for you to replenish glycogen, try to stay near that amount, and ideally those meals are lower in fat if you want to get out of the carbs what you want, without the downside because the other side is also correct, high fat in the bloodstream at the same time as raised glucose levels means fat being stuff away into fat cells. How much depends on your level of Insulin sensitivity. If you’re very Insulin sensitive, it won’t be high enough for long to do that. If you’re very Insulin resistant, different story.

That last thing you want, is to mitigate the effect of Insulin, you want the total opposite of that. Mitigating the effect of Insulin is literally Insulin resistance. When your glucose rises and the Insulin comes to do it’s job (people use the term “Spike” very liberally) you want it to do it’s job and calm back down. Once the glucose levels are down, you don’t have to worry anymore, the Insulin did it’s job.

(Joey) #8

Still not following. How does adding fat to a high carb meal reduce the body’s need to deal with elevated serum glucose from the carbs? (Got any available science one can read about?)

Alternatively, perhaps I’m just missing the OP’s original point.

(Alec) #9

Oooh yes, Bob…. Frankly, a great croissant (needs to be fresh and made properly, best in a French bakery that morning) with butter, or ham and cheese, or a myriad of fillings… one of my ex-favourite foods! I could sit there and eat 5 of them no problem.


IDK how big they are but I surely could reach 500g and beyond… Me and soft and/or crispy buttery bread? Almost impossible to stop.
Whenever I bake such a thing (I don’t make croissant but I do make buttery rolls sometimes. or potato bread but I keep myself from that activity for a while), even my overdeveloped optimism turns off and I accept I probably will eat the bigger half of it, possibly immediately, it can’t be helped.

Bread with butter is the combo that has zero satiation level for me. Or it was. I think after all my carni times my relationship with carbs changed and I both handle them better and they satiate me more…? Hard to say as I rarely eat much carbs now and I ignore satiation signs when I have bread anyway. My stomach allows 2 liters so until that is up (or my 4000 kcal daily limit for calories eaten), I can eat non-satiating food.

I love two kinds of non-carnivore food now. Fruits and bread. I don’t care much about the rest (maybe walnut as flour, it’s a bit hard to make carnivore cakes… possible but I am not fully pleased yet. and walnut is one of the tastiest things in existence and I break some almost every day).

I tried to add protein to my breads, it surely improved their satiating effect but I eat bread so very very rarely and impulsively that I couldn’t experiment with it. I do know that hybrid (half keto, half not) bread is quite satiating… Gluten does that to me. Enough gluten, not the small amount in half a loaf of bread and the carbs act in the opposite direction. While fat (when consumed with carbs) does nothing as far as I can tell.

So it’s a very bad idea to eat starches with fats and almost no protein for some people. I am the worst type to do it (among healthy ones, I mean, the worst is if one is sensitive to something in bread) as I LOVE tasty bread with a nice texture and I always eat it with a lot of butter, I find it not satiating, easy to overeat, unable to stop and I have serious overeating tendencies anyway.

It’s good I don’t crave bread so it’s no big deal not to eat any on most of the days of the year. As I very often bake, it’s unrealistic to quit for good but I am quite fine with that.

(Joey) #11

Indeed, they’re tasty! … but consider this: That spectacular taste isn’t coming from the flour. It’s everything else … all that butter and awesome fillings.

The flour itself is akin to thin tissue paper stuffed inside a gift box - fluffy to take up space. But the real gift is inside.

If you simply skip the flour, all that other tasty goodness remains a solid “go” on low-carb keto.

We make mozzarella cheese crusts loaded with butter, garlic, salt, oregano. Rolled thin and baked to perfection. They taste amazing out of the oven, or chilled in the fridge as wraps for other fillings or pizza crusts.

I’d say the buttery taste and fillings make them as heavenly as any croissant I ever used to crave. YMMV.

(Edith) #12

I believe (and I don’t have any sources to back this up) that when you add anything to carbs, be it fat, protein, or fiber, you slow down the rate of digestion which moderates the rate that glucose enters your bloodstream which results in less of an insulin spike.


Thanks all for your answers. Yes, I meant exactly what Ifod14 and VirginiaEdie said.

Ifod14, I am not sure I understood all of your post (particularly the “replenish glycogen” part). Perhaps you mean this for a person who wants glycogen in his system (say: because he wants to go to the gym), but in my case it is just about reducing the time I need to get back to ketosis.

Now let us make a practical example: if one has a generally low level of insuline (as I have), goes back into ketosis around 24 hours after stopping eating carbs, and wants 1 or 2 days a week of moderate carbs (for me they tend to be Saturday and Sunday; the rest of the time I am full keto), would you get your risotto alla milanese with a lot of butter (in order to have less insulin spike, but at the price of having insuline around for longer? And would you, in this case, run the risk of just accumulating fat because you are taking carbs + butter at the same time? We are talking here of someone without insulin resistance…), or would you have your risotto with moderate butter, in order to be done with the spike as soon as possible, knowing that you will have a faster/bigger spike, but also a faster “disposal” of the insulin?

Thanks to all again

(Joey) #14

Start with a plateful of cake and cookies. What you’re describing would suggest that adding a buttered steak to this plate of cake and cookies would reduce blood sugar vs. omitting the steak?

And wouldn’t a muted insulin response - if that were to occur - serve to leave serum glucose at a higher level … not lower? Insulin is the hormone that pushes glucose into non-resistant tissues (and thereby lowers serum glucose). :thinking:

Sorry … much of this thinking still makes no sense to me.

Adding fat and protein to an otherwise high carb meals does not in any way reduce the ill effects of a high carb diet. After all, that’s called the Standard American Diet.

(Edith) #15

Isn’t that what glycemic index is all about?

For example, an apple has a lower GI than apple juice due to the fiber in the apple and ice cream has a lower GI than bread due to its fat content.

(Joey) #16

Indeed, glycemic index is an important measure of how a particular food (often, in its specific form) will affect serum glucose.

My issue with portions of the above thread pertains to this notion that the glycemic index of, say, an apple, is different if you eat it with, say, a steak.

Put differently: A steak is not protective of whatever the effect of that apple might otherwise be.


The tastiness stays but the texture of baked goods is often wonderful. I really enjoy the texture of my food, it’s highly important for me. Of course, I don’t need bread for that (but it’s so great at it). My sponge cake is fluffy too. Different from my breads but fluffy. A tad moist as it’s a minimal carnivore kind… I should bake it again, I keep eating them up before that could happen…

Flour and taste, it’s a bit complicated. A bread without filling or butter still can be super tasty but indeed, I don’t like minimalist breads. The one I bake for my SO has sesame seeds and many other things and they make a difference. Wholemeal flour has more taste too. Bread is strange as that is about the only thing where a lot of flour doesn’t make the taste bad for me. I tend to feel everything with flour (unless it’s super flavorful so the taste is masked) raw flour tasting and I don’t like that as raw flour tastes bad. Cakes are so trivial on keto as they don’t need flour but breads do. (At least according to my taste.)

If I just want a sandwich (not like I ever liked sandwiches but there are exceptions), my sponge cake buns are perfect. Egg tastes WAY superior to flour :wink: But when we mix things together, it gets more difficult, taste and crispiness comes into play…

I like cheese but I rarely like cheesy things unless the cheese is on top (I made not-pizza things but the crust never had much or any cheese, for example). So that isn’t a good option for me, sadly. It would be a great carnivore flour… Sometimes I still use it, my SO loves cheesy fluffs for protein. It’s not very tasty as his lacks yolks… Baking without yolks isn’t my style, yolk is one of the tastiest ingredient I can use and it suits baked goods very well, mandatory in many cases too…

@Chetogenico: I would eat my risotto the way I enjoy it most but I am a hedonist… Who doesn’t eat risotto but that’s not the point, I do like some carby things. I almost never eat them but if the fancy hits, I eat according to my desires. What happens when I eat a certain amount may and should play a role in my desires.
If you eat the thing very occasionally, enjoy yourself. If you do it very regularly… Then ketosis can’t be that important for you…? Though I understand the desire to get as much as possible without sacrificing anything but at some point you just can’t eat your risotto and keep your keto too. But you should come back to ketosis soon…
A healthy person don’t just gain fat without overeating. Carbs with fat get used up eventually if you don’t eat too much. Even if you can afford less food that way for some reason (I don’t have that), it can’t be a serious difference. Even if it could be, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it for you. I don’t have this kind of dilemma as I inevitably overeat if I touch some nice HCHF food, potentially very much. I just don’t gain (at least if I don’t do it all the time). Overeating is still not healthy but it depends how much and how often… And I experienced that it’s fine for me to eat more than what I need occasionally (I may need the nutrients though), I will automatically eat a bit less later (as long as I don’t start or keep eating when satiated). Some people have almost a complete tabula rasa every morning…

It definitely feels zillion times better to me though. I would get sick on HCLF. The more fat I add (especially in the end), the better I feel. Even if I already ate too much but the fat isn’t very high (rare but there are some not very fatty carby favs of mine…), I must eat much fat to feel okay. I shouldn’t do such things and I don’t do it anymore but if it would happen, fat is non-negotiable and not avoidable if I have access to it. I crave fat like crazy there, my body wants and need it badly, I can’t and don’t want to resist.
So fat does mitigate carb problems, very spectacularly, in my case. IDK what my insulin and BS do, though. I just know I feel much, much better. (But the real good feeling comes the next day when I eat almost no carb.)

I heard many times what the others talked about, that fat and protein helps to avoid a really big spike, slows down carb digestion… It plays no role in my decisions as I am physically and mentally unable to eat low-fat (at least when I eat much carbs, it’s possible if I eat very low-carb but just occasionally) but I do instinctively eat very much fat on carbier days. And intentially too, somewhat. I don’t need to try as I overeat fat without trying - but with much carbs, I need that as it’s still better than the alternative.

I seriously doubt it. SAD is some special bad diet, I have some vague idea about it. There are many kinds of HCHF diets and their healthiness wildly vary. Even for the same person. All is wrong for me but not for everyone and the bad ones are still way worse than the better ones. It matters what we eat even if there is much carbs involved.

(Joey) #18

Here’s the SAD Food Pyramid from 1992 through 2005 … Start with loads of carbs. Then start adding everything above.

(Chuck) #19

I pretty much skip the base of that pyramid, I have some rice, and pasta but no where near that maybe 5 or 6 servings a week instead of daily. I do eat fruit and vegetables daily, and I eat some type of meat or seafood daily, and I have my whole milk, almond milk, and heavy cream in my smoothies anywfrom 3 to 5 times a week. Starchy vegetables maybe 4 times a week.

(B Creighton) #20

This is not really the case. Fiber will do a much better job at moderating the insulin spike.This is because it tends to coat the upper intestinal wall - slowing the absorption of any sugars there, and pushing them lower in the intestines where more gut microflora will digest them before the body gets a chance to absorb them. Fat may slow the absorption a little, but nothing like fiber. In your example the higher insulin is still going to push the fat into storage - maybe just at a little slower rate than a high refined carb example. I always eat my protein and fat part of my meals first to slow the insulin spike of any carbs.