Low-Carb and Still Delicious? You Bet!

Chocolate Pumpkin Chili: A great low carb twist on beef chili.

Right now, between two big food-oriented holidays, is the perfect time think about a low-carb diet. From the Atkins Diet to the South Beach Diet and even a very low carb (VLC) ketogenic diet, people have seen results in weight loss by watching their carbohydrate count. But consuming less carbs is important for more than just weight loss. A low-carb diet can also increase your “good” cholesterol, decrease high blood pressure, increase your energy, and improve your mood, emotions and mental concentration. A reduction in excess carbs in your diet can also end the vicious cycle of cravings for sweets and other high-carb foods.

Diabetics need to watch their carb and sugar intake daily. Which is why this week’s theme was a perfect shoe-in for Carolyn Ketchum, who writes the blog,All Day I Dream About Food. Almost all of her recipes are low-carb because Carolyn was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her last pregnancy. The condition never went away, despite her relatively healthy lifestyle, and being pre-diabetic has caused her to re-evaluate her cooking and baking methods. We love what she’s done so far!

In addition to low-carb, most of Carolyn’s recipes are gluten-free, too. The link between diabetes and gluten is just beginning to be understood. A recent article in the Journal of Immunology has shown that sensitivity to gliadin (the protein found in wheat) can cause insulitis in mice. But diabetics already know that wheat has a high glycemic index, so for them, being (almost) gluten-free is a natural part of their diet.

It used to be that a gluten-free diet was almost automatically low-carb, too, because tasteful substitutions for gluten-free baked goods used to be hard to come by. But talented bakers and food manufacturers have found ways around that, and now you can find gluten-free baked goods that taste just as great as the original gluten versions. But they are just as high-carb, and sometimes more. Its important that if you are on a gluten-free diet, that you don’t just replace all your favorite wheat foods with gluten-free renditions of them, and think that you are doing yourself a favor. A cupcake is still a cupcake, whether its gluten-free or not, and should be eaten as a treat, not on a regular basis. The same can be said of pastas and breads, which, although gluten-free, are still high in carbohydrates and calories (unless its a bread made from almond flour).

So before you begin the holiday party circuit this month, please enjoy some low-carb meals, and try to think of party food as just that – occasional (and small) indulgences, not your main meal. We have many low-carb recipes, some so low in carbs that they are even diabetic-friendly. While they are all delicious and satisfying, this amazing combination of chocolate and pumpkin in a chili, was a clear winner. Rich, heavenly, and still healthy! Enjoy!

You can view more low-carb recipes here.