Why did it take us so long to realise sugar, not fat, was the enemy? In a move that would make most big pharma companies proud, new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found sugar companies paid to downplay the white stuff’s role in heart disease during the 1960s. Scary stuff, even more so because it’s had lasting effects on public perceptions. It’s time everyone woke up to the truth about fat and sugar. MH investigates…

This morning, as I do most days, I breakfasted on a three egg omelette cooked in coconut oil, with a whole milk coffee. I enjoyed a wedge of full fat cheese with my lunch, poured a liberal dose of olive oil on my evening salad and snacked on nuts throughout the day. In short, I ingested a fair amount of fat and, as a cardiologist who has treated thousands of people with heart disease, this may seem a particularly peculiar way to behave. Fat, after all, furs up our arteries and piles on the pounds – or at least that’s what prevailing medical and dietary advice has had us believe. As a result, most of us have spent years eschewing full fat foods for their ‘low fat’ equivalents, in the hope it will leave us fitter and healthier.

Yet I’m now convinced we have instead been doing untold damage: far from being the best thing for health or weight loss, a low fat diet is the opposite. In fact, I would go so far as to say the change in dietary advice in 1977 to restrict the amount of fat we were eating helped to fuel the obesity epidemic unfolding today. It’s a bold statement, but one I believe is upheld by an array of recent research.

These days I make a point of telling my patients – many of whom are coping with debilitating heart problems – to avoid anything bearing the label ‘low fat’. Better instead, I tell them, to embrace full fat dairy and other saturated fats within the context of a healthy eating plan. It’s an instruction that is sometimes greeted with open-mouthed astonishment, along with my request to steer clear of anything that promises to reduce cholesterol – another of those edicts we are told can promote optimum heart and artery health.

As we will see, the reality is far more nuanced: in some cases lowering cholesterol levels can actually increase cardiovascular death and mortality, while in healthy people over sixty a higher cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of mortality. Why, exactly, we will come to later.

First though, let me make it clear that until very recently, I too assumed that keeping fat to a minimum was the key to keeping healthy and trim. In fact, to say my diet revolved around carbohydrates is probably an understatement: sugared cereal, toast and orange juice for breakfast, a panini for lunch and pasta for dinner was not an uncommon daily menu. Good solid fuel, or so I thought, especially as I am a keen sportsman and runner. Still, I had a wedge of fat round my stomach which no amount of football and running seemed to shift.

That, though, wasn’t the reason I started to explore changing what I ate. That process started in 2012, when I read a paper called ‘The toxic truth about Sugar’ by Robert Lustig in the science journal Nature.  In it, Lustig, a Professor of Paediatrics who also works at the University of California’s Centre for Obesity Assessment, said that the dangers to human health caused by added sugar were such that products packed with it should carry the same warnings as alcohol. It was an eye-opener: as a doctor I already knew too much of anything is bad for you, but here was someone telling us that something most of us ate unthinkingly every day was, slowly, killing us.

The more I looked into it, the more it became abundantly clear to me that it was sugar, not fat, which was causing so many of our problems – which is why, along with a group of fellow medical specialists I launched the lobbying group Action on Sugar last year with the aim of persuading the food industry to reduce added sugar in processed foods.

Then earlier this year I had another light-bulb moment. In February Karen Thomson, the granddaughter of pioneering heart transplant surgeon Christian Barnard, and Timothy Noakes, a highly-respected Professor of Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, invited me to speak at the world’s first ‘low carb’ summit in South Africa. I was intrigued, particularly as the conference hosts are both fascinating characters. A former model, Thomson has courageously battled a number of addictions including alcohol and cocaine, but lately it is another powder – one she labels ‘pure, white and deadly’ – that has resulted in her opening the world’s first carbohydrate and sugar addiction rehab clinic in Cape Town.

Noakes, meanwhile, has recently performed a remarkable U-turn on the very dietary advice he himself expounded for most of his illustrious career: that is, that athletes need to load up on carbohydrates to enhance performance. A marathon runner, he was considered the poster boy for high carbohydrate diets for athletes – then he developed Type 2 diabetes. Effectively tearing pages out of his own textbook, Noakes has now said athletes – and this goes for those of us who like to jog around the park too – can get their energy from ketones, not glucose. That is, from fat not sugar.

Alongside them were fifteen international speakers ranging from doctors, academics and health campaigners who between them produced an eloquent and evidence-based demolition of “low fat” thinking – as well as suggesting that it is carbohydrate consumption, not fatty foods, which is fuelling our obesity epidemic.

Opening the conference was Gary Taubes, a former Harvard physicist who wrote The Diet Delusion, in which he argued that it is refined carbohydrates that are responsible for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many other of our Western maladies. The book caused controversy when it was released seven years ago, but his message is finally gaining traction. And that message is this: obesity is not about how many calories we eat, but what we eat. Refined carbohydrates fuel the over production of insulin, which in turn promotes fat storage. In other words: it’s not calories from fat themselves that are the problem.

It’s a robust message that was reinforced time and again at the conference. Take Swedish family physician Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, In his home country, studies show that up to twenty three percent of the population are embracing a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. A ticking time bomb you might think – but contrary to expectations, while obesity rates are soaring everywhere else, they are now starting to show a decline there.

More research on this correlation is yet to be done – but in the meantime The Swedish Council on Health Technology has made its position clear. After a two year review involving sixteen scientists, it concluded that a high fat, low carb diet may not only be best for weight loss, but also for reducing several markers of cardiovascular risk in the obese. In short, as Dr Eenfeldt told the conference, ‘You don’t get fat from eating fatty foods just as you don’t turn green from eating green vegetables.’

This, of course, is a difficult message for many to swallow; particularly for heart patients, most of whom have spent years pursuing a low fat, low cholesterol diet as the best way to preserve heart health.

It’s a public health message that was first promoted in the sixties, after the globally respected Framingham Heart study sanctified high cholesterol as a major risk factor for heart disease. It’s a cornerstone of government and public health messages – yet what people didn’t know was that the study also threw up some more complex statistics. Like this one: for every 1mg/dl per year drop in cholesterol levels in those who took part in the study there was a 14% increase in cardiovascular death and an 11% increase in mortality in the following 18 years for those aged over 50.

It’s not the only statistic that doesn’t sit with the prevailing anti-cholesterol message: in 2013, a group of academics studied previously unpublished data from a seminal study done in the early seventies, known as the Sydney Diet Heart study. They discovered that cardiac patients who replaced butter with margarine had an increased mortality, despite a 13% reduction in total cholesterol. And the Honolulu heart study published in the Lancet in 2001 concluded that in the over-sixties a high total cholesterol is inversely associated with risk of death. Startling, isn’t it? A lower cholesterol is not in itself the mark of success, it only works in parallel with other important markers, like a shrinking waist size and diminishing blood markers for diabetes.

Conversely, a mounting slew of evidence suggests that far from contributing to heart problems, having full fat dairy in your diet may actually protect you from heart disease and type 2 diabetes. What most people fail to understand is that, when it comes to diet, it’s the polyphenols and omega 3 fatty acids abundant in extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fatty fish and vegetables that help to rapidly reduce thrombosis and inflammation independent of changes in cholesterol. Yet full fat dairy has remained demonized – until now.

In 2014, two Cambridge Medical Research Council studies concluded that the saturated fats in the blood stream that came from dairy products were inversely associated with Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Meaning that in moderate amounts – no-one is talking about devouring a cheese board in one sitting here – cheese is actually a proponent of good health and longevity. The same study, incidentally, found that the consumption of starch, sugar and alcohol encourages the production of fatty acids made by the liver that correlate with an increased risk of these killer diseases.

It is around type 2 Diabetes, in fact, that the anti-fat pro-carb message of recent decades has done some of the greatest damage. A lot of patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes – the most common kind – are laboring under the dangerous misapprehension that a low fat, starchy carbohydrate fuelled diet will help their medication work most effectively. They couldn’t be more wrong. Earlier this year, a critical review in the respected journal Nutrition concluded that dietary carbohydrate restriction is one of the most effective interventions for reducing features of metabolic syndrome.

It would be better to rename type 2 diabetes “carbohydrate intolerance disease”. Try telling this to the public though. Like the man who called into a national radio show in Cape Town on which I was taking part to discuss the relationship between diet and heart disease. Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, he was under the impression he had to consume sugar so his diabetes medications could ‘work’ – when in fact it was going to worsen his symptoms. And how many doctors and patients know that although some of these medications to control blood sugar may marginally reduce the risk of developing kidney disease, eye disease and neuropathy, they don’t actually have any impact on heart attack, stroke risk or reduce death rates? On the contrary dangerously low blood sugar from overmedicating on diabetes drugs has been responsible for approximately 100,000 emergency room visits per year in the United States.

But who can blame the public for such misguided perceptions? In my opinion a perfect storm of biased research funding, biased reporting in the media and commercial conflicts of interest have contributed to an epidemic of misinformed doctors and misinformed patients. The result is a nation of over-medicated sugar addicts who are eating and pill-popping their way to years of misery with chronic debilitating diseases and an early grave.

It’s why, these days, I very seldom touch bread, have got rid of all added sugars and have embraced full fat as part of my varied Mediterranean-inspired diet. I feel better, have more energy and – even though I didn’t set out to do so – I’ve lost that fatty tyre around my waist, despite reducing the time I spend exercising.

Perhaps you can’t face making all those changes in one go. In which case, if you do one thing, make it this: next time you are in the supermarket and are tempted to pick up a pack of low-fat spread, buy a pack of butter instead or, better still, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Your heart will thank you for it. The father of modern medicine Hippocrates once said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. It’s now time we let “fat” be that medicine.

Dr Aseem Malhotra is a cardiologist, founding member of the Public Health Collaboration and advisor to the National Obesity Forum. 



5 Delicious Healthy Pumpkin Recipes For Breakfast

Healthy Pumpkin Recipes For Breakfast - article head image

Whether it’s fresh from the garden or found in a can, pumpkin can be a great resource for preparing yourself a healthy breakfast. The nutrient-rich squash can keep your taste buds and waistline happy year-round so it deserves our recognition beyond Halloween jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving pie.

Here are a few healthy pumpkin recipes for breakfast to get your thoughts flowing. Happy cooking!

Easy Pumpkin Muffins


Pumpkin Recipes For Breakfast - pumpkin muffins imageYou will want one cup of pumpkin puree, half a cup of applesauce, two eggs, one fourth a cup of almond milk, a third a cup of honey, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and two cups of whole wheat flour.


Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. If you want to get technical, you can add in all the wet ingredients in your mixing bowl and then in a separate container you can mix together all your dry ingredients before combining the wet and dry mixtures, but this recipe is incredibly flexible. Spray your muffin pan with a fat-free canola oil and bake the goods for around twenty minutes with your oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


If you don’t like almond milk, use cow’s milk or some plain Greek yogurt. If you don’t like using honey in recipes, use a half a cup of sugar or a fourth a cup of Truvia Baking Blend. If you’re gluten intolerant, use a rice flour blend. If the texture is a little too gummy for your taste, add in a tablespoon of olive oil. If you don’t have any pumpkin spice on hand, add in equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg. Throw in some grated orange zest if you’re feeling adventurous or play around with the grains, adding in less flour and including a handful of oats.

Light Pumpkin Soup


Pumpkin Recipes For Breakfast - Light pumpkin soup imageTo create the base of the soup, start with two cups of pumpkin puree, three cups of chicken broth and a half of a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Depending on your preferences, you may want to include a tablespoon of onion powder and half a teaspoon of garlic powder along with a pinch of salt and black pepper. If you like additional spices like cumin, curry powder or chili powder, you can certainly toss in a teaspoon or two of any combination that suits your tastes. You can alternatively opt for including fresh chopped-up herbs like thyme, sage and parsley.


Put all of your ingredients, besides the almond milk, into a saucepan on medium heat. Periodically stir the soup and let the ingredients simmer for around twenty minutes. Pour in the almond milk and stir. Cook for an additional minute or two until all the soup in its entirety is warm. Feel free to use a potato masher or blender to smooth out any inconsistencies.


If you don’t do chicken broth, vegetable broth will work just fine in this recipe. If you want a richer consistency, add in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If you have a high-tech blender like the Vitamix with a soup function at the ready, pour all of your ingredients in the blender and let the soup setting naturally heat the dish while it blends your soup into a perfectly smooth texture.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin Recipes For Breakfast - roasted pumpkin seeds imageYou’ll need pumpkin seeds, but any additional spices or seasonings are up to you. Per cup of seeds, you can use a tablespoon of olive oil and half a teaspoon of cinnamon for a dessert-like snack or you can opt for a teaspoon each of ginger and chili powder for a more savory option.


Instead of throwing away your pumpkin seeds when you have a fresh squash on your hands, rinse the seeds off with water and discard any pumpkin flesh or strings that may be lingering. Dry the seeds off with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel and spread the seeds out on a baking pan that has been sprayed with a fat-free canola oil. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the pumpkin seeds for twenty to thirty minutes, stirring the seeds a few times throughout the baking process. If you want to add seasonings to your seeds, pull the seeds out from the oven with roughly five or ten minutes to go. Stir the seeds and your oil and spices in a large mixing bowl, being careful to disperse the oil and spices evenly. Spread the coated seeds back onto your baking pan and cook for the remainder of the time.


If you’re working with hulled pumpkin seeds that you bought prepackaged, they probably won’t need to bake for so long. Keep your eye on the oven and pull them out early as needed. You can also look on the package to see if there are any fun recipes to try out.

Delicious Pumpkin Smoothie


Pumpkin Recipes For Breakfast - Delicious pumpkin smoothie imageAccording to your tastes, you’ll want half a cup of pumpkin puree, one banana, one cup of unsweetened almond milk, a half of a teaspoon of cinnamon, a half of a teaspoon of vanilla extract and some ice cubes.


You can throw in all of your ingredients at once into the blender or you can pulse the ice, banana and puree before adding in the milk and flavorings. Keep blending until the drink is as smooth as you like, adding in more ice or more water if you want to adjust the thickness.


If you want to make a protein smoothie, add in a scoop of vanilla protein powder. If you want to add a half of a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey, I’m not going to stop you. You can also toss in a dash of ground ginger, nutmeg and/or cloves according to your tastes. If you want to increase the nutritional value of your pumpkin smoothie, you can certainly add in a carrot or a half cup of applesauce as well. If you’re really looking to win brownie points with health advocates, throw in a handful of spinach or romaine leaves, too. Yummy.



the world’s best sandwich Bacon Lettuce and Tomato with Oopsie Bread 2% Carb-Diet Program

No, you don’t have to say goodbye to the world’s best sandwich just because you’ve chosen not to eat regular bread. Here’s an even better BLT with healthy low-carb oopsie bread.

Image result for Bacon Lettuce and Tomato with Oopsie Bread


  • 8 pieces of oopsie breads or other low-carb bread
  • 6 – 8 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 5 oz. bacon
  • lettuce
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • fresh basil

Image result for Bacon Lettuce and Tomato with Oopsie Bread

  • Instructions

    • Start by frying the bacon slices.
    • Place the oopsie bread pieces top surface down.
    • Spread 1–2 tablespoon of homemade mayonnaise on each.
    • Place lettuce, tomato, some finely chopped fresh basil and fried bacon in layers between the bread halves.
    • Serve immediately.

      Oopsie bread recipe

Oopsie bread

Ketogenic low carb

86% Fat

11% Protein

2% Carbs




There are tons of carby, yet delicious snickerdoodle cookie recipes out there. So your left with slim to non when it comes to healthy, low carb, or even gluten free snickerdoodle cookie options.

What if I told you I bake and tested a scrumptious low carb, snickerdoodle cookie recipe? You’d be pretty excited. I know I was!

Low Carb Snickerdoodle Cookies - Simple but super yummy cinnamon cookies.

Snickerdoodles have been one of my favorite cookie recipes, in the entire world, and beyond. These little gooey snickerdoodles are perfect for any dessert inspired foodie and health craving low carber.

They are easy, delicious, and full of cinnamon. These little cookies are perfectly coated in sweetened cinnamon layer of granular goodness.

This delicious snickerdoodle recipe took me less than 30 minutes to finish and yes thats including baking time! Talk about done in a jiffy.

Low Carb Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe - Healthy and dense snicker doodle cookies.


  • If you loved these snickerdoodle cookies, I bet you’ll love my Snickerdoodle Cake.


  • Sweetener – Swerve Sweetener
  • Cream Tartar – McCormick Cream of Tartar
  • Baking Pan – Simply Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Pan

Author: Andres Regalado
Recipe type: Dessert
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups almond flour
  • 1½ cups sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon cream tartar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
    • 3 tablespoons sweetener
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix butter, sweetener for cookies and eggs in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients. Blend until dough like texture.
  2. Chill dough for 15 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Mix coating ingredients in small bowl. Shape chilled dough into rounded spoonfuls and roll into coating mixture.
  4. Bake 10 minutes or until set. Let cool on cooling rack.
Serving size: 1 cookie (Total recipe makes 24 servings)
Protein 3.00g, Cals 141, Carbs 2.66g, Fiber 1.25g — NET CARBS: 1.41g



A few weeks ago I got an email from Angela touting the deliciousness of a dish called “Crack Slaw“. With such an interesting name, I had to check it out. It’s basically a quick stir fry made with cabbage and beef (or pork or turkey) that is so good that it’s supposed to be insanely addictive. Wouldn’t you know it, I saw two more recipes for this “crack slaw” on the same day that Angela emailed me! So, I took it as a sign from the blogging gods that this addictive beef and cabbage stir fry just had to make its way onto Budget Bytes.

I happened have a half pound of beef in my freezer leftover from my Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, so I used that as the meat component for the stir fry. Honestly, I think pork or even ground turkey would work just as well or better, and will most likely be less expensive than beef. You can use a whole pound of meat if you like extra protein, but I found that the half pound I had gave me just the right ratio of meat to cabbage.

I also added some shredded carrot and sliced green onion for color. There are so many other fun things you can put in your beef and cabbage stir fry, though, like sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced red bell pepper, water chestnuts, or even some snow peas. But hey, I like to keep it simple and even in this very basic form I would have to say that, yes, this stir fry is addictive! If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my empty post-photoshoot bowl (in my stories). It took me about 5 minutes to devour the bowl below. LOL


This fast and easy Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a filling low carb dinner with big flavor. BudgetBytes.com

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.33
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha* $0.05
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • ½ head green cabbage $1.78
  • 2 carrots $0.22
  • 3 green onions $0.17
  • ½ Tbsp neutral cooking oil $0.02
  • ½ lb. lean ground beef $3.90
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger $0.13
  • Pinch of salt and pepper $0.05
GARNISHES (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha $0.05
  1. Prepare the stir fry sauce first. In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sriracha, and brown sugar. Set the sauce aside.
  2. Shred the vegetables so they are ready to go when you need them. Cut one small cabbage in half, remove the core, and then finely shred the leaves of one half the cabbage (4-6 cups once shredded, save the other half for another recipe). Peel two carrots, then use a cheese grater to shred them (1 cup shredded). Slice three green onions. Mince two cloves of garlic. Peel a knob of ginger using either a vegetable peeler or by scraping with the side of a spoon, then grate it using a small-holed cheese grater.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the cooking oil, ground beef, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the beef until browned (about five minutes).
  4. Add the cabbage and carrots to the skillet and continue to stir and cook until the cabbage is slightly wilted (or fully wilted, if you prefer). Stir in the prepared sauce and the green onions. Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve.
* 1 Tbsp sriracha makes a medium-spicy stir fry. If you don’t like spicy, I’d start with 1 tsp. The sriracha adds flavor as well as heat, so I don’t suggest skipping it all together.

This fast and easy Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a filling low carb dinner with big flavor. BudgetBytes.com


Stir Fry SaucePrepare the easy stir fry sauce first, so it’s ready to go when you need it. In a small bowl stir together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (it has a dark amber color and VERY nutty flavor, not always labeled as “toasted”), 1 Tbsp sriracha, and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar. This makes a medium-spicy stir fry, so if you’re sensitive to heat, start with 1 tsp sriracha.

Shredded VegetablesNext, shred the vegetables. Cut one small cabbage in half, remove the core, then slice half of it into fine shreds (save the other half of the cabbage for another recipe). You’ll need about 4-6 cups of shredded cabbage. Peel and shred two carrots (about one cup). I used a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrots. Slice three green onions. You’ll also want to mince two cloves of garlic and grate about 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater for this). More info on working with ginger can be found here.

Browned Beef Garlic and GingerHeat a LARGE skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil (something like canola, corn, vegetable, safflower, peanut, etc.), 1/2 lb. ground beef, the minced garlic, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the beef until fully browned.

Add the shredded cabbage and carrots to the skillet and continue to cook and stir until the cabbage has wilted slightly. I like my cabbage to still have a little crunch, so I only cooked it until it was partially wilted. If you like the cabbage fully cooked and soft, just cook it a bit longer.

Pour on Stir Fry SaucePour on the prepared stir fry sauce…

Mix in Green Onion

and toss in the sliced green onions. Stir until everything is evenly combined.

Garnish with Sriracha and Sesame SeedsGarnish the stir fry with a little drizzle of sriracha and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. I particularly liked the sesame seeds for the texture they added to the dish!

This fast and easy Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a filling low carb dinner with big flavor. BudgetBytes.comAnd that’s it! Probably one of the easiest dishes I’ve ever made. 🙂



Your 3 Day Keto Kickstart And Menu Plan – Fast Weight Loss Diet Plan


So I’m writing this post today as much for me as I am for you. As some of you know, I’ve been doing the low carb and gluten free thing for 2 years now, with great success. Over the Summer though, I got a little lax and the weight started creeping on. I got serious for a bit, then lax again, then serious, then lax, etc.

Since then I’ve been gaining and losing the same 12 pounds for about 6 months – a cycle I really, really need to break. In the last couple of months the situation has reached Defcon levels, because the 12 pounds has grown to about 18.

This is UNACCEPTABLE, people!!!

I need to start walking the walk, not just talking the talk! So I’m buckling down, getting serious, and hitting the Keto HARD from now on.

I’m guessing many of you are in a similar situation, since blog traffic has about doubled since January 1st! So I thought I’d share some of my tips for getting into ketosis in three days or less. Then we can rock the low carb thing together and lose the weight for good!


Some of you may be new to low carb eating, and whether you are following Atkins, Keto, or another low carb plan, there are a few basic things you should know.  The following are some things that I’ve found to be true by my own experience with low carb/keto dieting:

The IBIH Keys to Success on Keto…

1. Eat less than 20g net carbs per day if you want to get into ketosis. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber grams (or sugar alcohols in some cases) from the total carb grams. Don’t guess – you’d be surprised how many grams of carbs there are in things you might have considered “free” like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and kale, just to name a few.

2. Purchase some ketostix – they aren’t expensive and you can even cut them in half to get double the strips. Some people say they don’t matter, but when you are suffering as much as you will be in the first few days, it’s nice to get the validation that it’s working.

On average it takes most people about three days to get into ketosis.The sticks will confirm that ketones are being excreted through your urine. That’s all. They won’t change color at all for no ketones, then there is trace (light pink) and it goes up from there to dark purple. The darkness of the stick doesn’t matter. As long as you are showing even trace amounts, then you are in ketosis and good to go. In fact, if you are showing really dark on the stick, you may be dehydrated and need to drink more water (see #4.)

3. Eat enough salt! I’m going to say that again so pay attention.


When you eat low carb your body doesn’t retain water the same way, so sodium and other important electrolytes get flushed out quickly. You need to replenish these or you will feel awful – it can even lead to heart palpitations, panic attacks, and other scary things.

saltSalted bone broth or stock is a great way to replenish your electrolytes. In addition, you should supplement potassium (I use a light salt which is half sodium and half potassium – works great and you can find it in your spice aisle) and magnesium to avoid lightheadedness, cramps, headaches, etc. Vitamin C is also good.


You should slosh when you walk and be pee-ing every 10 minutes like you’re 9 months pregnant with an 11 pound baby bouncing on your bladder like a pogo stick (you moms know what I’m talking about).

This is important. I don’t want to hear any whining about how you don’t like the taste of water, etc. You can throw of few drops of mio in there if you need to, but put your big girl pants on and drink it.

Aim for at least 100 ounces a day – especially in the first couple of weeks until your body adjusts. Then you can lower it to 99 ounces a day if you’re feeling confident.

Just kidding. DRINK MORE WATER.

(Necessary internet disclaimer: Use your heads people – there is such a thing as too much water so don’t get crazy about it and drink 5 gallons a day, but do aim for a minimum of 100 ounces a day – maybe more if you have a lot of weight to lose.)

6. If this is your first time doing low carb you may be blindsided by the detox symptoms. I’m not going to lie, depending on how carb heavy your diet is when you start, you may wish you were dead by day three.


Headaches, bone deep fatigue, irritability, dizziness, and more, depending on your body. Hang in there, it’s worth it! The first three days are the hardest. Some of you have done it before and know to just ride it out and it will all get better soon.

Those of you who may be new to what they call “keto flu” might panic, thinking your death is imminent. I can assure you that it is highly unlikely that you will die from sugar/carb withdrawal – but just to be sure it’s always wise to consult your doctor before you embark on any new eating plan, or if something feels truly off it’s better to be safe than sorry – seek medical attention if you feel it’s necessary. Most symptoms can be alleviated by supplementing and drinking enough water (see #3 and >4.)

Your body is going to be like an angry child having a tantrum – IT WANTS SUGAR AND CARBS NOW, but you aren’t going to give it any are you? ARE YOU??? Just like with children, the key is to distract, distract, distract (oooh shiny!). Give it something else desirable, (bacon, cheese, etc.) even if it isn’t what it really wants. Don’t give in thinking you’ll feel better if you just eat a little bit of carbs – there is no compromising!

20g net carbs or less a day. LEARN IT!

It’s tough love time people, trust me on this.


6. Don’t obsessively plan everything and overwhelm yourself so it feels harder than it has to. This may be controversial for some, but I’m here to tell you not to worry about calories, or nitrates, or Omega 3 vs Omega 6, or if the meat you’re eating skipped about on acres of lush pastureland, while being hand fed organic vegan feed by the tiny perfect hands of 1000 virgin milkmaids.


Get into ketosis. Give your body time to adapt to it so you can function. THEN you can worry about fine tuning and all the other stuff. Seriously.

Along the same vein, some of my recipes on the blog include hemp seeds, coconut flour, almond flour, and other not so easy to find ingredients – IGNORE THOSE RECIPES (for now). The focus here is, again, simplicity. You will likely be irritable, fatigued, and not feeling awesome during the first three days to a week. Trust me on this – the last thing you are going to want to do is make complicated meals.

The basic strategy here is to a) never get too hungry, and b) to stuff your face full of delicious, high fat, very low carb foods often. Once you open the door to hunger, your resolve can fly right out the window and you’re back to square one (sadly, I speak from experience on this.)

7. WARNING! This is not a high protein diet! Your body can convert excess protein into glucose and we don’t want that. You want your body to learn to use fat for energy – that is the secret to unlocking your fat stores and losing weight almost effortlessly on a low carb plan.

Keto is a Low Carb / Moderate Protein / High Fat Plan.

Don’t think you’re going to cheat the system and lose faster by restricting carbs AND fat – you will feel (even more) awful, and after the intial water weight drop your weight loss can be inhibited by eating a lot of protein.

To find out how much fat/protein you should be getting for your body, try this handy keto calculator.

If you’re going to do this thing you have to commit to eating fat – throw your old ideas about fat = bad out the window and embrace it.

8. All brands are not created equal. Sometimes (but not always) you have to pony up for the name brand over the generic because the carbs are less – this is generally true with cream cheese for example. When buying heavy cream, go organic if you can find it because some brands use thickeners that add carbs. Buy your cheese in blocks or slices rather than in shreds – the shredded cheese is coated with food starch to avoid clumping and that adds carbs.

READ LABELS!!! Don’t assume anything is a free food!

Garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar – all contain carbs that add up. If you aren’t getting into ketosis there is a reason – it’s usually hidden carbs that you aren’t counting. When in doubt, look it up on sites like Calorie King or My Fitness Pal to be sure.

9. This one is strictly for the ladies out there.

If you are not, or never have been, the proud owner of your very own uterus, then I suggest you skip over this one. You’ve been warned.

The first month or two on keto you may experience some strange periods (aka. Shark Week.) Don’t be alarmed. When you lose weight and your body detoxes from sugar and excess carbs, all kinds of hormonal changes (for the better) occur. Initially though, you may experience heavier periods than normal, more extreme PMS symptoms, etc. This is normal, and while it’s inconvenient it shouldn’t last more than a few months at the most.If your weight loss is rapid on keto (let’s hope), you may also lose more hair than normal for a month or two. It can be disconcerting, but it’s not permanent and will stop when your hormones regulate.

I have experienced all of these things on keto since I started, and I can promise you that the increased energy, weight loss, better skin, and other pros far outweigh these few temporary issues. Stay the course unless something seems really wrong, in which case you should see your doctor just to be on the safe side.

In Summary:

Consume 20g or less of net carbs per day, not too much protein, lots of fat, drink at least 100 ounces of water per day, get plenty of salt and supplement with potassium and magnesium. Boom, three days later you’re in ketosis (which you can measure with your ketostix,) and on your way!

Now, what should you eat? There are endless combinations of food and it really depends on your personal preference. I put together a simple 3 day keto menu plan to get you started. This is what works for me, and because my body knows the drill, I can actually get back into ketosis in less than 2 days on this plan. If you are new to low carb, it may take you as long as 4 to 5 days. Don’t despair, it will happen.

I don’t really concern myself with portion size for the first few days – it’s about eating until you’re full and satisfied, and that will differ for everyone. Remember, we’re not concerned about calories right now – it’s just about getting into ketosis – lots of satiating fat, not a lot of carbs. That is all.

3 Day Keto Menu Plan

Day One


Cream Cheese Pancakes with butter and sugar free syrup (if desired)
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)
bacon or sugar free breakfast sausage


2-3 String Cheese


Ham and Cheese rolled in Cream Cheese Pancakes with mayonnaise and arugula or spinach


Half an avocado with lite salt and pepper


Classic Buffalo Wings
sugar free blue cheese dressing
celery sticks


1 serving Chocolate Mousse or Chocolate Truffles (optional)

Day Two


Eggs (any style)
bacon or sugar free sausage
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)


Half an avocado with lite (potassium) salt and pepper


Simple tuna salad (tuna, mayonnaise, salt and pepper) boats
romaine lettuce leaves (just spoon it in and eat like a taco)
1 cup chicken broth


12 almonds and/or 2 string cheese


10 minute no-chop chili
cheddar cheese, sour cream, and pork rinds for dipping (optional)


1 serving Chocolate Mousse or Chocolate Truffles (optional)

Day Three


Cream Cheese Pancakes
coffee with heavy cream (& no carb sweetener if desired)
bacon or sugar free breakfast sausage


12 almonds and/or 2 string cheese


Leftover 10 minute chili, tuna salad, or ham and cheese/pancake rollups


1 cup chicken broth
half an avocado with lite salt and pepper


Easy Cajun Chicken
Cheesy Cauliflower Puree
2 cups baby spinach with carb free dressing


1 serving Chocolate Mousse or Chocolate Truffles (optional)

This should be more than enough to get you started! Feel free to mix and match or eat the same thing every day if you want to – as long as you stay under 20g net carbs. I hope that you will let us know how it works for you in the comments – I’m curious to see how you guys fare on it.

I’m also considering doing more menu plans, with daily calorie and carb counts, maybe with shopping lists – would you guys be interested in something like that? 7-day? 14-day? Longer? Let me know in the comments!



Best Low Carb Quaker Oats as Alternative to Cocoyam in Nigerian Soups-Diet Program

As a continuation of the flours that make the best alternative to cocoyam in Nigerian soups, I bring to you the results of testing Quaker Oats as alternative to cocoyam when preparing Nigerian soups (Bitterleaf Soup and Ora Soup) that require the use of cocoyam as thickener. I have actually done this test a long time ago and have been using it as alternative but completely forgot about posting the results! Today I saw the video clips of the test I recorded in my old external hard drive and I was like … Chineke m oooo!


I can confirm that Quaker Oats is the best alternative to cocoyam in Nigerian soups. In fact, Quaker Oats is the number one alternative because you wouldn’t notice any difference between the soup prepared with it and that prepared with cocoyam; that is if you follow the directions below.

I keep saying Quaker Oats because it is the brand that worked best in my testing. I tested another brand of oats and the smell and taste were so off you would think the soup was prepared with plain flour.

The following soup was prepared with Quaker Oats paste. Can you believe that? Yes! If you remember the first time I posted this photo on Facebook, that was when I did the test.

bitterleaf soup

To use Quaker Oats as thickener in Bitter Leaf and Ora Soup, you need to do the following to prepare it for addition to your soup:

  1. Grind the Quaker Oats into powder with a dry mill. In some places, you can buy powdered Quaker Oats.
  2. Boil some water.
  3. Pour a small quantity of the hot water in a pot, if possible the pot you use in making semolina. You need a pot because the process involves vigorous stirring. LOL
  4. Start adding the powder oats bit by bit into the hot water and mix at the same time with a spatula like you are making Semolina fufu. Please note that this is done off the stove.
  5. Keep stirring till you get a smooth mix that has the consistency of the cocoyam paste we use to cook soup. Watch the video below to see it. Add more hot water as you mix if you feel it is too thick.


  1. The thickening ability of oat paste is much more than that of cocoyam paste so use this Quaker Oats paste sparingly so that your soup will not be mushy, what we call gbudu-gbudu in Igbo language. This is when your Bitterleaf Soup or Ora Soup is filled with cocoyam instead of having the right balance of cocoyam and bitterleaves.
  2. I will recommend using half to three-quarters of the quantity of cocoyam paste you normally use for a pot of soup when using Quaker Oats paste. For example if you normally use four tablespoons of cocoyam past for a specific pot of soup, for Quaker Oats paste, use three tablespoons for that same pot of soup.

That’s it!

Enjoy the video of me using this Quaker Oats paste to cook Bitterleaf Soup below!





You may be more concerned with fine-tuning your six-pack than warding off diabetes, but it’s time to start caring about the latter too. More than 29 million people in the U.S. have the metabolic condition and a whopping 86 million adults are living with pre-diabetes (meaning their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not to the point of having type 2 diabetes), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Luckily you can have the best of both worlds—uncover your abs and ward off diabetes—all by adopting a low-carb diet. When you consume foods low in carbs your insulin levels drop, so your body starts churning stored body fat, resulting in weight loss. And that’s not all. New research from the University of Michigan found just three low-carb meals in a 24-hour span can lower your post-meal insulin resistance, bolstering your body against high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.

In the study, published in PLOS One, researchers recruited 32 healthy women. They were divided into four groups. Two groups engaged in two hours of moderate-intensity exercise before they ate a meal consisting of either 30 or 60 percent carbs; two groups did no exercise before eating the low- or high-carb meal.

The low-carb group, after their third meal, experienced a reduction in insulin resistance of more than 30 percent that lasted up to a day. But the high-carb diet (which, the authors point out, falls in line with the 45-to-60 percent daily carbohydrate intake from the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services) caused high post-meal insulin in those participants.

Here’s just one reason you should care about insulin: It is absolutely essential to metabolism function. If you have high insulin resistance, your body can’t remove extra glucose from your blood as effectively, so the pancreas pumps out more insulin to help out, which can cause diabetes in the long run.

The study also revealed exercise didn’t lower insulin resistance for the high-carb group (the change in insulin was due to an intestinal response to carbs). So, no, you can’t work off a crappy diet as far as your waistline and health are concerned. Exercise usually lowers insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. It just didn’t have that impact in this study; in fact it had the opposite.

“...exercise before the meals made the subjects more carbohydrate intolerant—that is, it increased evening blood sugar levels,” lead study author Katarina Borer said in a press release.

Other research has found similar results when it comes to high-carb diets.

“At least two other studies where high-carbohydrate meals were fed to volunteers for 5 and for 14 days show that the outcome was worrisome,” Borer said. “These subjects developed increased fasting insulin secretion and insulin resistance, increased glucose release by the liver which produced high blood sugar, and dramatically lowered fat oxidation that contributes to obesity. These then were more persistent effects that could be a path to prediabetes and diabetes.”

So, think twice about carb loading and day—or week-long—carb binges. Not sure if you want to adopt to a full-out low-carb diet? Then, do as the study participants did, and just do it for day-long spurts here and there to act as a sort of reset button.




Which Keto Pizza Crust Is King? We Put Them To The Test! Diet Program


The Contenders for the Keto Pizza Crown

Pizza falls somewhere between the theory of relativity and the moon landing on the scale of human accomplishment. It is the embodiment of perfection, and not so coincidentally is one of the first foods we keto-fied. I mean we had to…or why continue living right? With our sights set on the goal of making a keto pizza that we wouldn’t be ashamed of actually calling “pizza”, we began researching the options. We found 2 variations that were by far the most popular. In the right corner Fathead Pizza! And in the left corner Cauliflower Pizza! I know what you’re thinking… one is named “fathead” and one is named “cauliflower”, do you even have to try both? Cauliflower tastes like socks and fathead is pretty much the coolest name ever(whoever came up with it has a career in…naming things?), don’t waste your time. Well it just so happens that we like wasting time and eating pizza, so let the games begin!

How to Make Keto Pizza Tutorial and Tasting Video

We have a video on our YouTube Channel that walks you through the steps for creating both of the pizza’s we are analyzing today. If you’re more of a visual learner this might be your jam, or should I say crust?!:


How Are We Going Choose the Best Keto Pizza Crust?

We will be rating the crusts based on 3 key metrics:

  • Nutrition – (20%)
  • Difficulty – (20%)
  • Taste – (60%)

Anyone who has done a poorly planned science project knows you need to come up with some kind of rating system to make your experiment look legit. This is ours! If you’re not familiar with our blog or YouTube channel, the content is created by 2 of us(Matt and Megha) and we will both be weighing in to get to the bottom of this issue. We’re going 60% on taste. You could argue that this should be an even higher percentage, but 60% is about right for us. We talked about the factors that go into our decision to make a given crust on a certain night, and taste is definitely king, but nutrition and difficulty are also going to factor into our decision. Nutrition is something that is always somewhere in our decision process, but might weigh more/less heavily depending on how strict we are being at the time. Difficulty is a constant factor. The easier something is to make the more inclined we are to make it for the most part.(There are rare exceptions where I pop on some headphones and dig into a 2 hour meditative cooking session though) Let’s get after it!


The process for making these 2 crusts is very different, as detailed in the YouTube video above. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Fathead takes this category easily. Microwave, stir, form. It’s a 3 step process and you’ve got yourself a tasty thin crust pizza ready to go. The cauliflower crust is a bit more involved. You have to turn the cauliflower into rice, microwave, drain, mix, form. There’s a couple added steps in there. The advantage though is that it is much easier to get this crust into the shape of something that looks like a pizza. With the Fathead dough you’re pretty much going to have to settle for “unrecognizable blob” unless you want to cut it into a specific shape or try something else fancy.

keto pizza fathead dough
keto pizza cauliflower dough


The nutrition on these can be tough to give a rating. Each has their place in a well rounded keto diet, but the macro profile on them is completely different.
keto pizza fathead nutrition
keto pizza cauliflower nutrition
As you can see, the Fathead crust is much more calorie dense, but also more keto-friendly as far as carbs are concerned. That is counterbalanced by the fact that the cauliflower crust packs in a few servings of vegetables as well as being lower calorie. So nutritionally each of these pies is very different. We’ll reveal the final tally at the end!


This is what it all comes down to. If you can’t infer from the previous paragraphs, I’ll just spoil it and tell you that we’re neck and neck up to this point. I’d love to say that one of these truly dominated the competition, but it was really quite close in just about every aspect. The taste is very close, and may come down to your personal preference. If you’re a die hard New York style pizza fan, then I can almost guarantee you will prefer the Fathead crust. If you’re more like me and you like a thicker crust then you’re going to prefer the cauliflower crust. So let’s reveal our rankings, tally them up, and crown the Best Keto Pizza Crust.
keto pizza cauliflower final

The Results:

keto pizza scorecard
Whew, that was a close one! These 2 keto pizzas came down to a photo finish, and honestly it’s hard to say that there was truly a winner. By no means are we going to only be making one of these from now on. Both will continue to be mainstays in our kitchen. We each preferred the taste of different pizza’s, but that could have a lot to do with our preferences. The real separator was nutrition. Both of us opted for the lower calorie, veggie filled cauliflower pizza. We definitely recommend that you give them both a try and let us know which one you prefer!

The Recipe’s

The recipe’s we used are posted below. In the video we made a half recipe, but we’re listed the ingredients for a full recipe below. These are not recipes we came up with, like the rest of the recipes on our site. These are recipes that can be found all over the internet, we just wanted to put them to the test to let you know what’s up!

keto pizza pinterest

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Giant Stuffed 3 Cheese Meatballs



“Just Like The Real Thing” LASAGNA!!Low Carb,Gluten Free,Diet Programe

This dish is easy to make and tastes just like the real thing.  I served it to my husband without telling him that I made a low carb version and he had no idea.  Once I told him, he was even more impressed. Here is a little hint about the “noodles”… The noodle recipe also makes an amazing pizza crust


For the “Noodles” 
2 Eggs
4 oz. Cream Cheese – Softened
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese – Grated
1 ¼ Cup Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded
1/4 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

For the Filling

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 ½ Cups Three Cheese Marinara Sauce, Divided
¾ Cup Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded
6 Tbs. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 Tbs. Minced Onion
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Dried Basil
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning


For the “Noodles” This part will take the longest so feel free to make the “noodles” the night before and just leave them in the fridge until you are ready for them.Preheat oven to 375° Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper

In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together cream cheese and eggs.

Next, add Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Mix until all ingredients are well combined.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in mozzarella cheese and mix until well incorporated.

With a rubber spatula, spread the mixture into the baking dish, forming a nice even layer.  Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.

When the “noodles” are done baking, cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes and then cut into thirds.  This makes three perfectly sized “noodle” layers for an 8.5 X 4.5 X 2.5 loaf pan.

For the Filling
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, combine ground beef, minced onion, oregano, garlic powder, dried basil and a pinch of salt.  Cook until meat is browned.

Drain excess fat from pan and add ¾ Cup marinara sauce to meat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pour ¼ cup marinara sauce into bottom of loaf pan.  Top with the first “noodle” layer

Layer a third of the ground beef mixture.  Top with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese and 3 Tbs. ricotta cheese, and cover with another “noodle” layer.  Repeat these steps.

Cover the top “noodle” layer with remaining ground beef, and mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning over top.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Prep Time – 30 Minutes

Cook Time – 40 MinutesMakes Servings: 4

Per Serving:
Calories – 486
Protein – 57 g
Carbs – 9.5 net g
Fat – 34 g