But experts like Dr. Ludwig argue that the obesity epidemic is driven by refined carbohydrates such as sugar, juices, bagels, white bread, pasta and heavily processed cereals. These foods tend to spike blood sugar and insulin, a hormone that promotes fat storage, and they can increase appetite. Dr. Ludwig and his colleague Dr. Cara Ebbeling have published studies suggesting that diets with different ratios of carbs and fat but identical amounts of calories have very different effects on hormones, hunger and metabolism. He has also written a best-selling book on lower-carb diets.


To do the new study, Dr. Ludwig and his colleagues collaborated with Framingham State University, about 20 miles outside Boston, where they recruited overweight students, staff members and faculty members. Each participant went through two phases of the study. First, they were put on strict diets that lowered their body weight by about 12 percent, which was designed to stress their metabolisms.
In a 2005 study published in The Upsala Journal of Medical Science, for two groups of obese patients with type 2 diabetes, the effects of two different diet compositions were tested with regard to glycemic control and body weight. A group of 16 obese patients with type 2 diabetes was put on a low-carb diet (1,800 calories for men and 1,600 calories for women) that consisted of 20 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 50 percent fat.
Sugar is addictive and has dramatic effects on the brain, especially when it comes to increasing cravings, anxiety and fatigue. On the other hand, certain kinds of healthy fats, including cholesterol, act like antioxidants and precursors to some important brain-supporting molecules and neurotransmitters that control learning, memory, mood and energy. Your brain is largely made up of fatty acids and requires a steady stream of fats from your diet in order to perform optimally.
This is designed to be dark chocolate, meaning heavy on the cocoa and light on the sweetener. The high cocoa-to-sweetener ratio means you can taste the complex, almost-(pleasantly-)burned flavor of the bitter roasted cocoa. But if you’re not a person who loves 72%-85% dark chocolate bars, this might not be the chocolate for you. If you are, you’ll love the great taste of this pleasantly bitter homemade sugar free dark chocolate.
I made this over the weekend and YUM! The only thing is that it didn’t set very well and I got more of a pudding consistency than anything. As soon as I cut into it it became a pudding/soup. It was still very good. I did use lactose free cream cheese and arrowroot powder…could that have been my downfall? Or did I not let things chill long enough. It didn’t specifiy how long to let the cream cheese filling chill so I only did about 30 min. And I chilled the whole thing overnight. Still very tasty!

Sounds like perhaps your chocolate seized? Can’t say for sure but a few tips for next time: 1. Use good quality chocolate like Ghirardelli…don’t use Baker’s, as it tends to seize more easily. 2. Melt it double-boiler style, especially if you are using an electric range (it’s harder to control the heat with electric). Set a bowl over a pot with some barely simmering water. This takes longer but melts the ingredients more gently.
First, let me say that I do not follow a low carb/gluten free/sugar free diet. However, I volunteered to make LC/GF/SF desserts for the annual music festival that my music club sponsors. So, because of the ratings (not to mention that I loooove carrot cake) I chose this one for Friday night’s festivities. Let me tell you, I was really nervous about taking a dish I had never tried cooking or even tasting, and serving it to a bunch of friends and strangers. Well, I am glad I chose this one! People’s eyes lit up when they saw the carrot cake, and I had so many expressions of gratitude that they would be able to eat dessert. The best was yet to come, though. The next day and into the evening, people approached me and said how awesome the cake was. One lady even told me she wasn’t gluten/sugar free, but took a piece because it looked so good. She said it rivaled any carrot cake she had ever eaten. The sad part? I never got a slice…

These amazing low carb gluten free pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are the best pumpkin treat one can ask for. Filled with sweet sugar free chocolate chips, chopped nuts and pumpkin seeds, you'll want to make this pumpkin snack all year long! This recipe can easily be customized to be dairy … [Read more...] about Low Carb Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Absolutely go for the wine! As long as you go for an unsweetened wine and limit yourself. I only have a glass at the weekends as I know all my good intentions go out the window once I’ve had a glass and it’s harder to say no to more dark chocolate. If your weight loss ever stalls, you may need to reassess how many glasses you have as the alcohol will always be metabolised before anything else so weight loss will often stop. As for gluten, all my recipes are naturally gluten free because all my recipes are grain free. Read my post on Gluten free vs Grain free to truly understand. Beware of GF products because they are so high in carbs because they are made with rice flour, tapioca starch etc. And remember, gluten free junk is still junk 😉 Good luck Mary, keep coming back and asking questions.
The key is to make sure you are getting enough energy from fats and proteins. By going low carb you will probably be eating a wider range of healthy vegetables, meats and healthy fats compared to many other nursing mothers who may be snacking on bread, crisps and cakes. Also make sure you are drinking enough fluids. Here is a good thread from a discussion board on exactly this topic.
Obviously, reductions in the desire to be physical active, experiencing brain fog and being cranky are pretty counterproductive for people looking to feel healthier and lose weight, so these effects are something to monitor yourself for. If you’re feeling very sluggish, moody, or like you have “brain fog” and can’t think clearly while after drastically reducing your carbs over the course of several weeks — especially if you changed your diet rapidly and reduced carbs to very low ketogenic levels — try reintroducing some carbs several days a week until you feel better. Experiencing the benefits of low-carb diets can take some trial and error, plus some patience.
Think about it: That tablespoon of maple syrup in your salad dressing, the honey in your Asian-inspired stir-fry sauce, the generous drizzle of ketchup on your burger. Despite many people’s best efforts, that sugar still manages to creep into so many healthy dinner dishes. But meals can be just as tasty and easy to make without the slightest hint of added sweetener. We’ve rounded up 25 added-sugar-free dinners proving just that.
Cacao, pronounced by the Olmecs as kakawa,[1] dates to 1000 BC or earlier.[1] The word "chocolate" entered the English language from Spanish in about 1600.[30] The word entered Spanish from the word chocolātl in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. The origin of the Nahuatl word is uncertain, as it does not appear in any early Nahuatl source, where the word for chocolate drink is cacahuatl, "cacao water". It is possible that the Spaniards coined the word (perhaps in order to avoid caca, a vulgar Spanish word for "faeces") by combining the Yucatec Mayan word chocol, "hot", with the Nahuatl word atl, "water".[31] Another proposed etymology derives it from the word chicolatl, meaning "beaten drink", which may derive from the word for the frothing stick, chicoli.[32] The term "chocolatier", for a chocolate confection maker, is attested from 1888.[33]
Hi Tara. You are not missing anything, as I subtract erythritol. I don’t subtract all sugar alcohols because some do affect blood sugar. But erythritol is well studied and found typically not to. Most people do subtract erythritol because of this but since your son has such a specific issue, I honestly cannot give you advice with this, it’s too serious. That said, I do have another reader who’s sone suffers seizures and they do follow the keto diet and I know she makes him things with erythritol (Swerve). From the sounds of it, you ARE already following a keto diet if he’s that low in carbs. But again, I do not feel comfortable giving you any advice with regards to this except perhaps to say that you should investigate the reasoning behind NOT subtracting the erythritol on the diet your son is on. good luck and I am so sorry. I wish I could help more.

Cacao pods are harvested by cutting them from the tree using a machete, or by knocking them off the tree using a stick. The beans with their surrounding pulp are removed from the pods and placed in piles or bins, allowing access to micro-organisms so fermentation of the pectin-containing material can begin. Yeasts produce ethanol, lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid, and acetic acid bacteria produce acetic acid. The fermentation process, which takes up to seven days, also produces several flavor precursors, eventually resulting in the familiar chocolate taste.[53]
Thanks so much for sharing all of your hard work with the world! My son recently started the Modified Atkins Diet for seizures. We’ve been told to keep his net carbs (total carbs minus fiber but not minus sugar alcohols) around 20-25/day, and he’s having a hard time giving up all of his beloved carbs, including chocolate. I was so excited to find this recipe! 1.8 net carbs is the perfect splurge! The first batch is in the fridge, but now I’m afraid to give it to him. From our count, it looks like each serving has almost 10 net grams of carbs, mostly from the Swerve (2 from unsweetened chocolate + 120 from Swerve + 11 from unsweetened cocoa = 133 net carbs, divided by 14). Please tell me I’m missing something … my son is salivating, and I’d love to let him have a treat! I’m new to all of this, so maybe there’s a reason I don’t have to worry. (I’ve seen Swerve in another recipe for patients on a related diet, the ketogenic diet, but I just don’t see how it’s safe if we can’t subtract sugar alcohols.) Thank you!
Asher’s milk chocolate is so lush and creamy that, with just one taste, you’ll never be able to turn down another piece of Asher’s chocolate!  All of our best selling chocolates, including Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Sea Salt Caramels, and Almond Bark, are drenched in thick milk chocolate – the same chocolate recipe that has been your favorite for over 100 years. We carefully place these and other specially-crafted milk chocolate treats in our handsome gourmet gift baskets, perfect for presentation to your favorite loved ones. 
Unfortunately Ghirardelli has a facility with potential for cross contamination with nuts. (Chocolate is one of the trickiest foods for a nut allergy! So many cross contamination labels!) Guittard isn’t safe either. Thanks for the Scharffenberger recommendation- I emailed them to see. I’m hoping that since they’re a part of the Hershey company, that no warning label will mean good news. Hershey’s is fabulous about putting warnings on labels. (The only size Hershey bar that is safe is the regular size not jumbo or mini! But that’s not Keto and thus I’m learning to make chocolate from you!!) Thanks Carolyn! I’ll report back in!
Producers of high-quality, small-batch chocolate argue that mass production produces bad-quality chocolate.[49] Some mass-produced chocolate contains much less cocoa (as low as 7% in many cases), and fats other than cocoa butter. Vegetable oils and artificial vanilla flavor are often used in cheaper chocolate to mask poorly fermented and/or roasted beans.[49]

Any suggestions for butterscotch pudding to make this with? We always made a half chocolate (on one side not mixed) and half butterscotch which was personal favorites with this combo. No idea where to begin making butterscotch pudding. Will have to research I suppose. BTW we call this Maxine for some reason through our families recipe of this. But I totally get better than sex too. It’s so yummy.


Is the Stevia a necessary component to making the dish work or is it just an extra sweetener to coincide with the Erythritol? We’ve tried several versions of Stevia, and I just can’t seem to find my way past the after-taste, even in small amounts. I’ve been reading that it’s used to counter something about the Erythritol, but I wasn’t sure if that was the case here (and honestly have been too shy to ask anyone else lol).
swerve is a great natural, zero-calorie replacement to sugar! You can try subbing it as a 1:1 for swerve, but coconut sugar varies in being a 1:1 in recipes – some it is and some it isn’t. Since recipes are only tested as written, I can’t tell you how it will turn out – I am so sorry and hope you understand! I THINK it will work, however I do think it will be less sweet, so you may need to use more. Let me know if you try!
Another great choice is Stevia In The Raw (SITR), a stevia and maltodexterin blend. It has virtually no impact on blood sugar levels, is also heat stable and measures cup-for-cup like sugar, and is widely available. Pure stevia is a bit harder to find in your average grocery store, and is so much sweeter than sugar that it’s impossible to substitute cup-for-cup.

Thank you for the lovely recipe! I’m new to low-carb dieting, and haven’t made chocolate other than the frozen kind made with coconut oil. My question was, why not just sweeten the unsweetened chocolate and add the vanilla? Wouldn’t the cocoa butter and powdered cocoa combined just be the same as unsweetened chocolate? I just wanted to ask before I order some of the cocoa butter. Thank you, and I’m glad I found your website!!
Asian-inspired food is delicious, but unfortunately, tends to use alarming amounts of added sugar, such as honey or sweetened sauces. This one gets its not-too-sweet flavor from a blend of rice vinegar and peanut powder (use peanut butter as an alternative)—it’s so good and so easy, you may want to bottle some of it for future stir-fries and salads.

And these homemade sugar free chocolate chips bake well too, I am pleased to say. I added them to some brownies, and I also baked them up in my Keto Double Chocolate Muffins. They held their shape nicely and didn’t  totally liquify and run all over the pan, as I feared they might. They certainly held up about as well as any bar of chopped dark chocolate I’ve ever used.


Hi! Love this post and concept. I am currently in the midst of a refined grains/sugar-free December. While it was a little bit difficult at first to not indulge in all the holiday treats, I am feeling really good + loving the REAL food + down several pounds. Feeling so good that I think I’m going to continue into January + look forward to following along your journey/getting more yummy recipes! 🙂
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