Sugar-free Chocolate Coconut Butter Fudge – Low-carb And Keto Friendly
And this my friends is what I’ve so lovingly nicknamed “Keto Fudge”! Just like my original raw honey sweetened Chocolate Coconut Butter Butter Fudge but sugar-free and super low-carb. This real-food sugar-free fudge is easy to make with only 5 ingredients and zero cooking involved. I use raw cacao in this recipe which is a great source of magnesium and iron. Who said chocolate can’t be healthy?! This recipe yields 13 ounces of fudge. When cut into 16 servings, each serving has approximately 17g of healthy fat and 1.5g net carbs. 1 Cup Coconut Butter 1/2 Cup Pastured Butter 1/4 Teaspoon Liquid Stevia (I will be trying other sweeteners as well and updating this recipe as I go) 5 Tablespoons Raw Cacao 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Coconut butter can be semi-solid at room temperature depending on the season. If this is the case warm the coconut butter gently in a warm water bath or in the oven with the light on. You do not want it to melt but it should be easy to stir. Place all the ingredients in either a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment, or a large mixing bowl with handheld beaters (or by hand with a little extra elbow grease). Beat the mixture for one minute on med-high speed. Using a spatula scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about one more minute. Cut parchment paper to fit an 8″x8″ baking pan and pour the fudge in on top of the parchment paper. Place the fudge in the freezer for at least one hour to harden. Remove the fudge from the pan and cut it into 16 even pieces. Store the fudge covered in the refrigerator. This 5 ingredient chocolate fudge is full of healthy fats and really low in carbs. It makes a great treat for the keto diet. It has such a Continue reading >>
Is Honey Paleo?
On a Paleo diet, sugar is definitely out – even the fancy “Sugar in the Raw” packages that try to tempt you with a more “natural” brown color. But the case of honey isn’t quite so clear-cut. While it’s very sweet, honey is a whole food, and it was probably available in the Paleolithic, albeit not in a cute little squeeze bear. And we also have some evidence of very healthy and lean people in traditional societies who consume honey in fairly large amounts. So are its natural origins enough to give honey the Paleo seal of approval, or is it really just another kind of “real food candy” that ought to be minimized? Honey and Fructose The big point against honey is its fructose content. A quick review of some key terms (you can skip this paragraph if you already know about the difference between glucose and fructose): once you eat them, all carbohydrates are broken down into their basic building blocks, called simple sugars or monosaccharides. Even though they’re all “carbs,” not all of these simple sugars are equal. Glucose, for example, is your brain’s favorite fuel; it’s easy to store as energy in your muscles for a future workout, and it’s generally good for you. Fructose, on the other hand, is a lot harder to metabolize because it has to be processed in your liver first (just like alcohol). So for a Paleo-friendly carb intake, the ideal is to prefer glucose and avoid fructose where possible. Honey varies in its ratio of glucose to fructose; an average set of numbers is something like 38% fructose and 30% glucose, with small amounts of other carbohydrates making up the balance. For comparison, pure table sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose with nothing else. Another way of thinking about is to look at the total amount of fructose. 1 tables Continue reading >>
17 Keto Salad Dressings (keto, Low-carb + Paleo)
A salad just isn’t a salad without the dressing. Am I right? Well, here you can take a look at all the salad dressings that I’ve found that are not only low-carb and keto, but paleo with dairy-free options as well. Okay, let’s get real. Salads can be boring (gasp!). Especially if you’re trying to stay low-carb by avoiding all of those pesky sugary carb-heavy dressings. Salads don’t have to be boring, though! There are so many variations that you can do, allowing the salad to be your canvas as you create a masterpiece of keto art! It’s all about having fun with it. If you’re not having fun, then something is wrong. Another great thing about salads is the fact that they can be as easy or complicated as you wish. It just takes a few simple ingredients to throw a salad together. Of course, you could go a little crazy with it too with an all-out elaborate salad meal, too. Whatever you decide to do, always try to have fun with it. Creativity can be hard work, so if you think that the meal planning is taking out all the joy out of your keto life, then you should check out my Balanced Keto Weekly Meal Plans. It takes the stress out of the process, so you can focus on being happy and healthy in your fat-fueled body! KETO SALAD DRESSINGS Like to keep it simple? This dressing is all about the simple! With just three easy ingredients, you’ll be able to throw this salad together in a jiffy. It’s the simple things that count, right? Burn, baby, burn that fat! Salad dressings are actually really great for keto because they are another opportunity to add some extra healthy fat to your meals without much work at all. Primal Kitchen Mayo (use FAT coupon code for 15% off) would be great in this recipe. Speaking of classics, it doesn’t get much more classic than good ol Continue reading >>
What Is The Best Natural Ketogenic Sweetener?
Sugar is tricky. We are told biologically that our brain runs off of sugar in the form of glucose primarily, and that if we don’t maintain steady blood sugar levels then we will not run optimally. As a society however, Americans vastly overconsume sugar in highly processed forms such as corn syrup and fructose. Consequentially, conditions such as diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammatory disorders, and cancer are all at historically high prevalence rates. Although not the only factor involved, excess sugar intake and rampant blood sugar imbalances can dramatically influence all of these diseases. As more and more people are becoming aware of the detrimental impact of these sweeteners, sugar replacements are flooding the market in order to capitalize on this trend. There are many great natural sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, raw honey, yacon syrup and more. The ones with the lowest impact on our blood sugar are stevia and monk fruit. These will help influence the production of therapeutic ketones and the utilization of ketones as opposed to sugar for energy in the body. This article addresses the question: What is the best natural ketogenic sweetener? Many Dangerous Sweeteners Exist Too often I meet people who are diabetic or trying to lose weight who have replaced sugars in their diets with highly refined artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are toxic to the brain, disrupt the health of our gut bacteria, and may even lead to metabolic dysregulation (Which could mean weight gain, go figure!). Now there are even artificial sweeteners that claim to be natural and sweetened with healthier alternatives like stevia. What they don’t tell you is that these sweeteners are actually primarily chemical sweeteners with a touch of st Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Foods To Avoid: 108 Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss
There are 108 ketogenic diet foods to avoid that will slow down (or shut down) your body’s fat burning capability. Remember that carbs must be kept very low to remain in ketosis. Most people need to stay within 20-30 grams of net carbs per day, and protein shouldn’t make up more than 20-25% of total calories. Too many carb or protein-centric foods can very quickly bring you out of ketosis and slow down your body’s fat burning capabilities. This is why the foods below should be avoided on a ketogenic diet. Not to worry, though. We’ve made it easy for you with this cheat sheet covering the biggest keto foods to avoid and why. We chunked it down by macronutrient: Want a quick and easy meal plan that doesn’t include any of these keto-unfriendly foods? We’ve created one for you. Click here to get the FREE downloadable meal plan now. Carbs to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet Grains All grains—and foods made from grains (yup, even whole grains)—should be avoided. Grains contain too many carbs and will interfere with ketosis, slowing weight loss. That includes*: Beans and Legumes Beans provide nutrition for those on a regular diet, but they’re not fit for the ketogenic diet due to their high starch (carb) content. Avoid legumes including*: Fruit is healthy, right? Sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re keto-compliant. Fruit is high in sugar and carbs, so is usually a no-go on the keto diet. That includes tropical fruits, fruit juices, dried fruits, and fruit smoothies (for the most part). If you do have fruit, choose lower-sugar options like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and eat them sparingly. Starchy Vegetables Avoid any vegetables that grow beneath the ground and focus on more on the leafy greens. The high starch content of some vegetables (like tho Continue reading >>
Keep Yourself In Ketosis
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>
Keto Diet: The Do's And Don't's Of This High-fat, Low-carb Nutrition Plan
I'm often asked about popular diets, so this week and next I'm covering two popular diets - the Keto Diet this week, and Whole30 next week - including the pros, cons and my take for each. I am not advocating or recommending that we all follow these programs. While these diets - or components of these diets - may be beneficial to some, my recommendation for the majority of the population is to keep it simple, streamlined, wholesome - less about hard rules with lists of do's and don't's, and more about the key fundamentals: limit added sugars and white carbs. Emphasize lean proteins. Tons of vegetables, some fruits (mostly berries), and more of an emphasis on plant based fats when possible. Find what works for your individual lifestyle, taste preferences, budget and schedule. If you do choose to try one or some of these popular diets, use it as an opportunity to help break and replace not-so-good habits, and to educate yourself and learn more about how you may respond to certain foods and ingredients so that you can make lasting behavioral changes that can stick around long after you're "off" of a particular diet plan. *** "I'm going keto." I'm hearing this more and more often. And odds are you've heard someone talk about "going keto," you've considered it yourself, or at the very least, you've seen "keto-friendly" products and recipes in stores, magazines, and social media. Keto is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, with limited protein allowed as well. As with many of these diets, healthful food selections within each of those food categories is what determines whether the diet is healthful. The keto diet's origins "Keto" is short for "ketogenic" and is a type of diet that has been used for 100-plus years for children with uncontrolled seizures. Approximately half of th Continue reading >>
The Basic Keto Diet Plan – 30 Best Practices For Losing Weight + Scaring Away Cancer
A basic Keto Diet plan can be found in Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, but I’ll summarize it for you here. I’m also going to note that I consider this a diet for your induction period, as I’ve always added berries and other no-no’s in after a couple of weeks with no bad effects. Your stomach shrinks so much that suddenly a couple strawberries is like eating a seven layer chocolate cake. If this is your first time hearing about the keto diet, learn more about it here. Rules of a basic keto diet plan: 20 net carbohydrates per day (that’s the total carbs minus fiber) Eat meats and dairy that are 1-2 carbs are less (most meats have zero) Eat vegetables that are 5 or less Eat them baked, fried, boiled, stir-fried, sauteed, roasted or microwaved. No sugars (simple carbohydrates) – white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, beer (contains barley malt), milk (contains lactose), flavored yogurts, fruit juice, and fruit. No starches (complex carbohydrates) – grains (even “whole” grains), rice, cereals, flour, cornstarch, breads, pastas, muffins, bagels, crackers, and “starchy” vegetables such as slow-cooked beans (pinto, lima, black beans), carrots, parsnips, corn, peas, potatoes, French fries, potato chips. Meats on a basic keto diet plan: Meat: Beef, steak, hamburger, pork , ham, bacon, lamb, veal, etc. Processed meats are OK too (like hot dogs and and sausage) but try to buy the organic stuff so that you’re not packing your body full of preservatives and other yucky things. Also look out for corn syrup on the labels which is a common gross additive. Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, or other fowl. Fish and Shellfish: Tuna, salmon, catfish, bass, trout, shrimp, scallops, crab, crab legs and lobster. Basically anything that isn’t f Continue reading >>
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Complete Guide To Sweeteners On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
Most people on low-carb find that once they get used to the diet, the cravings for sugar go away. Many even claim not to use any sweeteners at all. However, you may find it hard to give up sweets, especially at the beginning. I've been researching for natural low-carb sweeteners as well as other healthy alternatives to sugar. As always, there are many sweeteners you should avoid. I personally avoid using sweeteners regularly and only use them for occasional treats. In fact, most of my recipes in KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my new cookbook don't include any sweeteners at all. If your target is weight loss, sweeteners may impair your progress, as even so-called "zero-carb" sweeteners may cause cravings. If your weight is stalling, avoiding sweeteners or joining my 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge is a good way to break the weight loss plateau. You can download a print-friendly version of this guide here! Best Natural Low-carb Sweeteners Following is an overview of healthy sweeteners you could use provided your net carbs limit allows for it. People with very low net carbs limit should avoid using anything other than "zero-carb" sweeteners, like Stevia, Monk fruit sweetener or Erythritol. 1. Stevia Stevia is an herb, which is commonly known as "sugar leaf". The extract from this herb is used as a sweetener and sugar substitute. Based on the USDA database, Stevia belongs to a group of non-nutritive sweeteners. This means there are no calories, vitamins or any other nutrients. The availability of Stevia can vary from country to country. Nowadays, it is commonly used in the US and was approved for use in the EU in 2011. The health effects of Stevia have been questioned for the past few decades. However, based on recent studies of the WHO (World Health Organization), Stevia extra Continue reading >>
Ketosis And Raw Honey.
I do not eat raw honey every day but sometimes I will have two cups of coffee in the morning (only once or twice a week, normally I only have water or plain green tea) and I will sweeten it with raw honey (one teaspoon each cup) together with heavy cream. Will the honey ruin my ketosis, will that little damage my weightloss results? 1 1 Worst Carb After Age 50 If you're over 50 and you eat this carb you will never lose belly fat. healthplus50.com 2 3 Foods to Throw Out Cut a bit of belly bloat each day, by avoiding these 3 foods nucific.com Note: I also have not been eating anything but meat lately and will reintroduce vegetables closer to my goal weight. Continue reading >>
What’s The Best Artificial Sweetener?
One of the most popular questions asked by people who are just beginning the Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle is about what they can use as a sweetener. Is aspartame okay? Or saccharine? What about Splenda? How about coconut sugar, it’s from a coconut, so it’s good, right? Honey is all natural, right? Make no mistake about it, there is a lot of confusing information out there about what sweeteners you can use. So I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain some things. First off, a little background information is needed. When assessing a sweeteners benefit to keto, the first thing that must be considered is what is known as the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly certain foods will cause a spike in blood sugar. Spiking blood sugar will result in insulin spikes. Insulin spikes is the mechanism for type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and a host of other illnesses. So the idea behind keto is to keep the blood sugar low, and certainly to prevent any kind of spiking. The higher the number of the GI for any given food, the more insulin will be produced. Any food with a GI of 70 or higher is considered high. Below 55 is considered low. Everything else (56-69) is in the middle. Okay…now for a brief detour to talk about terms. The question is what “artificial” sweetener is best, but I’m also including some other sweeteners, known as natural sweeteners. And I show the lists separately. Any food with a value of 100 is, essentially, considered “pure sugar.” I included what I consider to be the most common sweeteners, and certainly the most common asked about sweeteners. Name Type of sweetener GI Maltodextrin Sugar 110 Maltose Sugar 105 Dextrose Sugar 100 Glucose Sugar 100 HFCS-42 (High-fructose corn syrup) Modified Sugar 68 Sucrose Sugar Continue reading >>
Why Jerky Is Not Always Keto-friendly
Beef Jerky has Carbs?! If you ask most Keto’ers what some of their favorite low carb snacks are, chances are you’ll hear “jerky” as one of the most popular answers. But be careful, because most jerky out there isn’t necessarily Keto-friendly and low in carbs. In fact, if you look at some of the top national jerky brands, many have 10g carbs or more per 1 oz. serving. For most people following a Ketogenic diet, that’s half of your daily carbs! So why do these manufacturers add sugar and carbs to beef jerky? Let’s look at how most jerky is made to find the answer. Less Beef, More Sugar It takes 3-4lbs of beef to produce just 1lb of jerky, as the cooking process pulls moisture out of the beef, resulting in a much lighter finished product. By adding sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, or other liquid sweeteners, it not only increases the jerky’s carb count, but also weighs down the final product. So, by adding sugar, manufacturers can use less beef (the most expensive ingredient), and make up for the lost weight with sugar. Profit! Keto Carne- More Beef For Your Buck! Keto Carne is beef jerky in its purest form- made with no sugar, no preservatives, and nothing artificial. We started Keto Carne because it was difficult to find zero-carb, sugar-free beef jerky, and now we’re providing jerky that gives you more beef for your buck! Continue reading >>
Keto Coconut Macaroons
Every once in a while, I get a craving for something sweet. And when I say that, I really mean once in a while. One day, I was browsing my grocery store and noticed that there were some pre-packaged coconut macaroons for sale, highlighting the words, “Gluten-Free!” I took a look at the ingredient list and to my surprise, aside from the shit ton of sugar (it was the first ingredient), these weren’t half bad. I knew that I could make a much healthier version that would satisfy my dietary needs! Enter the Keto Coconut Macaroons. These Keto Coconut Macaroons make a delicious snack or dessert. Not only are these keto-friendly, but they are also suitable for primal and paleo diets. While the carb count is essentially fairly low, you can lower it even more by using a different sweetener that is low in carbs like Stevia or Erythritol. I personally prefer the taste of honey and prefer to bake/cook with minimally processed ingredients. If you want these to be more stable at room temperature, instead of using cocoa powder, melt some high-quality dark chocolate chips or bar. Just make sure you check the ingredients to make sure they don’t contain any ingredients you are avoiding (a lot of these have soy and dairy). These are packed with an awesome healthy fat content and totally satisfy any dessert cravings. What are you waiting for? Go make these! What’s your favorite dessert? Have you been able to find a suitable swap for your eating lifestyle? Comment below! Continue reading >>
Sugar, or any alias or variation of sugar (fructose, HFCS, cane syrup, honey, agave, etc), is not keto. Here are the following sugar substitutes that I use on my site: Pyure – This is a mixture of stevia and erythritol. This is my favorite one and I save 15% by buying it through Amazon subscription. Erythritol – Just the pure stuff, such as this one from Now Foods Swerve – This is mostly just erythritol. It comes in granular and powdered. Stevia drops – Such as these from NuStevia Sweet drops – These are also just stevia but they come in flavors. Monk fruit powder, such as this one Sukrin Gold – Brown sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol Sukrin Milis – Powdered sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol Xylitol is also a keto-friendly sweetener, but I have not tried it. This can be toxic to pets so if you buy it just keep it away from your furr babies. Truvia is also keto-friendly. It’s basically stevia/erythritol just like pyure. NOT Keto: Splenda. It has maltodextrin in it. AKA Sugar. That’s right. Splenda, which is advertised to diabetics, actually contains sugar, and our FDA allows this to be marketed as sugar-free! Check out the serving size and you’ll see why. Sucralose. This is another name for splenda. Sometimes you can find pure sucralose which has no maltodextrin in it, however, this is still man made and not technically keto. Stevia in the Raw. Also contains Dextrose which is yet ANOTHER alias for sugar. Opt for pure stevia instead (or a blend of stevia and erythritol) Maltitol. This is man-made sugar-alcohol and can cause terrible bloating or discomfort. Avoid as much as possible. Sorbitol. Same as above. Okay in tiny quantities such as gum or mints. Much lower glycemic response than maltitol though. Aspartame. Stay away from th Continue reading >>
The Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Sweeteners
This is my ultimate guide to low carb sweeteners. Which ones I use, and which ones I don’t. I’ll explain how to use each one and what to look for when you buy them because not all low carb sweeteners are created equally. It can be incredibly confusing when you are just starting to live sugar free. Part of the ethos of living sugar free and low carb is to give up the sweet treats on a regular basis and to reset our taste buds. But being able to make a sweet treat occasionally is a deal breaker for many of you contemplating even starting. If you do want a cake, a dessert or a sweet treat, it is better to have a few good sugar free recipes on hand than to reach for a high carb snack. With so many sweeteners now on the market, which do you choose? Always read each and every label carefully, because even sweeteners within the same brand can contain different ingredients or different bulking agents such as dextrose. It may take some time to readjust your taste buds to living sugar free, and is it any wonder? Sugar is now found in 80% of products on our supermarket shelves. What is astounding is the type of foods that have added sugar. You might expect it to be in desserts and cereals but tuna? Soup? Bacon? There are also several different types of names for sugar which just makes it even more confusing when you’re trying to understand reading food labels. When I write my recipes I will always state the amount of low carb sweeteners I have used to make the recipe but I also add “sweetener of choice, to taste”. This is the biggest variable when it comes to low carb baking. We are all on different parts of our sugar free journey, so what might taste sweet to me, might not be nearly sweet enough for you. Always add low carb sweeteners in the minimum amount that suits yo Continue reading >>