By Jane Barthelemy. I love all brownies! But they’re not always what they claim to be. I analyzed three brownie recipes to see which is best. All of them taste great. But which one is healthiest? Paleo Brownies are always low-carb and healthy, right? Not always. The Nutrition Facts are surprising!
The SECRET to low-carb health and weight control is to limit carbs and sugars. Modern foods are often high in refined sugars and carbs, which are by far the leading suspects in our epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases. Many people are looking to the Paleo diet as a guide to a healthy ancestral diet. So in these recipes I wanted to measure carbs and sugars.
Recipe #1 is the Ultimate Brownie from Betty Crocker, with Gold Medal white flour and sugar.
Recipe #2 is a popular Paleo recipe made with dark chocolate, coconut flour, and honey.
Recipe #3 is from my new book Paleo Desserts, with shredded coconut, chicory root, and cacao.
#1 Betty Crocker brownies are very high in carbs and sugars. An invitation to weight gain!
#2 the Popular Paleo brownies are high in carbs, with more sugars than Betty Crocker! Uh oh!
#3 My Paleo Desserts brownies are extremely low in both carbs and sugars. Aha! Finally!
Why are #1 and #2 so high in carbs and sugar?
#1 Everybody knows Betty Crocker brownies are high in carbs and sugars – this way of eating is part of what’s making us fat. Diabetes and obesity are epidemic, and we want to stop this trend.
#2 But why are the Popular Paleo Brownies so similar to Betty Crocker? I’ll tell you. Look at the ingredients. Dark chocolate is sweetened with sugar. How Paleo is that? Coconut flour is refined, defatted with chemicals and heat, then pulverized with the brown husk and hull. That’s why it is darker and high in carbs (71%). How Paleo is that? But it’s mostly the sugar in the honey that’s driving the numbers up. Honey tastes delicious, and is a true Paleo food, however it is extremely high in sugars (50% fructose, 44% glucose). Fructose is especially hard for the liver to digest, and has been linked to diabetes and insulin resistance. Our Paleo ancestors certainly enjoyed honey, but probably not daily. Since there are no Paleo Police, you’re free to choose.
#3 My brownie recipe is rich and delicious, made with all hunt-and-gather ingredients – the “flour” is shredded coconut with only 27% carbs. The sweetener is natural chicory root fiber with 0% carbs and 0% sugar. It’s easy to see why this recipe is so low in carbs and sugar. You can compute these nutrition facts for yourself online at Calorie Counter.
The SECRET to low-carb health and weight control is to limit carbs and sugars.
If a food is truly Paleo, then it will be low in refined carbs and sugars. It’s easy to read the labels and compute the carbs for yourself. For homemade sweet snacks on the Paleo Diet, consider changing to a zero-carb, natural sweetener. Check out Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root. It tastes delicious, and it is expensive – but then so is an illness. I don’t sell it, I just love the difference in how my body feels. You can experiment with any sweetener you choose in my recipes, however you may miss out on the low-carb benefits. Read more about this in my articles Paleo Sweeteners, and 325 Sweeteners, Which is Best?
For the past few years I’ve been like a mad scientist in my test kitchen, working to re-invent yummy low-carb desserts that are true to the hunt-and-gather diet of our ancestors. I studied hundreds of sweeteners and dozens of flours to find the most natural, healthiest, and delicious. The results of the research is my book Paleo Desserts, 125 Delicious Everyday Favorites, Gluten and Grain-free. ALL the recipes are luscious and incredibly low in carbs, not just the brownies! Here’s the complete brownies recipe, a free online preview from the book. Here’s a list of the many free Paleo Desserts recipes on this site. For a complete selection of all your favorite sweets in low-carb form, check out my book and taste them for yourself!
FABULOUS BROWNIES AND NO SUGAR RUSH!
November 7, 2012 By Johana Moore
“I got my book and bought Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener at my local market… I’m a diabetic and was delighted there was no rise in blood sugar. I tried the Awesome Fudge Brownies and they blew me away, moist and luscious…. I am DELIGHTED to have this book!!! I now have a selection of healthy, low-carb, sugar and gluten free desserts that I can make. Best healthy dessert book EVER. Love it!”