Monday, November 28, 2016

LCHF Honey Mustard Dressing

As always for Thanksgiving, my family cooks both a turkey and a spiral cut ham. You know the ham that comes with the plastic package of brown sugar and spices to make a honey glaze. As expected the cooking duties fall upon me an rightly so, it sorta comes with the territory of being the chef in the family. Because my wife and I have embarked on our low carbohydrate high fat journey (LCHF), it was time to throw away the brown sugar glaze packet and come up with another type of glaze for the ham. The package for the glaze did not have any nutritional information on it however it contents included brown sugar, refined sugar, and powdered molasses. Suffice it to say it had more carbohydrates than either of us was willing to have.

The first thing that came into my mind was honey mustard, but I really did not want to add the carbohydrates from even 2 tablespoons of honey (34 carbs). However, I figured that since we have been using liquid sucralose, that I could come up with a quick recipe to make a honey mustard dip and or salad dressing that would work as a glaze. So in this article I will show you how to make my version of a LCHF faux honey mustard dressing that is quick, delicious, and your family and or your guests will never know that it is not made with honey. Best of all it contains almost no carbohydrates.

The Recipe

You can search the internet and find a variety of LCHF style honey mustard recipes, but many of them still use honey as their primary sweetener. Granted that 2 tablespoons of honey would only increase the overall carbohydrate count of the total recipe to 36 carbohydrates (2.25 per tablespoon) , I really wanted to make this recipe as low carb as possible, while retaining the flavor of a quality homemade honey mustard dressing. As I try and do for all of our LCHF recipes, I have included the nutritional information of a few commercial brands so that you can compare the nutritional data.

LCHF Honey Mustard (1 cup, 16 tablespoons)

½ cup LCHF mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 drops of liquid sucralose (equal to 1 tablespoon sugar)
1 – 2 pinches of salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and combine with a wire whip or spoon. Place in a mason jar and or other container and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Chef's Note – I think the combination of the three mustards give this dressing a fantastic depth of flavor that is hard to beat. You can use any type of mustard that you want to make this recipe, however if you only want to use one type of mustard I would suggest Dijon, but if regular yellow is all you have, that's fine, it will still make a great dressing, it will however, not have the subtle flavors of this particular recipe.

Total Recipe – Calories 793, protein 3.8 grams, fat 85 grams, carbohydrates 3.8 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 50, protein 0.23 grams, fat 5.31 grams, carbohydrates 0.23 grams

Kraft Honey Mustard Dressing & Dip
Per Tablespoon – Calories 45, protein 0 grams, fat 3 grams, carbohydrates 4 grams

Ken's Steakhouse Honey Mustard Dressing
Per Tablespoon – Calories 65, protein 0 grams, fat 5.5 grams, carbohydrates 3 grams

Wishbone Honey Mustard Dressing
Per Tablespoon – Calories 60, protein 0 grams, fat 6 grams, carbohydrates 3 grams

A quick comparison of the commercially prepared honey mustard sauces versus our LCHF version made with liquid sucralose reveals that the honey mustard dressing sold on most supermarket shelves contains 13 times more carbohydrates per tablespoon (3 / 0.23 = 13.04). Just in case you are wondering the prepared honey mustard dressing contains 92% more carbohydrates. Even I was amazed by this number. For more information of liquid sucralose as an alternative zero calorie sweetener, check out our article on the blog regarding 'Liquid Sucralose'.


Well I did not manage to get this recipe posted before Thanksgiving, if you are going to prepare a ham for Christmas, this might be a good LCHF glaze option for you. Brush it on the ham during the last 30 minutes of baking. My suggestion would be to mix equal parts of the LCHF honey mustard salad dressing with equal parts of the pan juices before basting the ham.

As a salad dressing or dipping sauce, the commercially prepared versions of honey mustard are no match, this recipe has a flavor profile that they simply cannot compare with. If you like bold and spicy flavors, try adding some cayenne pepper, hot sauce or horseradish to the sauce. I think you will be amazed how versatile this recipe is.

So if you are a diabetic looking for a good honey mustard dressing alternative that will not cause your blood sugars to rise, then this a great salad dressing and dipping sauce for you and your family. If you are actively engaged in living the LCHF lifestyle, then this is another salad dressing and dipping sauce to add to your growing repertoire of sauces and dips that will help your maintain your LCHF goals. As always, I hope you have found this article to be informative and helpful and if so we ask that you share it with your friends. Don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook on our page CulinaryYouLCHF or add us to your groups on Google+.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

LCHF Kansas City BBQ Sauce

With it's bold, sweet, and tangy flavors, Kansas City (KC) style barbecue sauce has become one of the most popular styles of barbecue sauce purchased by Americans. Now there are quite a few different commercially prepared KC style barbecue sauces, but there is only one problem, not one of them is low carb. So what are you supposed to do if you get a hankering for some good old fashioned barbecue, but are diabetic, or are following a low carbohydrate high fat diet? Well, make your own of course. So, if you love the sweet tangy flavors of KC barbecue sauce, then you should love my low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) version of this popular style sauce that I call 'Sweety Que'.

Kansas City Style barbecue sauces start with a base of tomato sauce, tomato paste, onions, and garlic. The sweetness comes from brown sugar, molasses, and sometimes honey, while it gets it tartness from vinegar or lemon juice, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. It's final flavor component comes from it's spice mix of salt, black pepper, chili powder, dry mustard, allspice, and cayenne pepper. Because Kansas City sauces are bold in flavor and thicker than other barbecue sauces, they are typically used as a finishing sauce which is brushed on just before serving or near the end of the cooking cycle.

In this article I will teaching you how to make my LCHF version of KC barbecue sauce 'Sweety Que'. For this recipe we substitute the brown sugar and molasses with liquid sucralose which contains no carbohydrates, and in place of the traditional ketchup we will be using tomato sauce and tomato paste.

The Recipe

If you love the sweet tangy flavors of Kansas City barbecue sauce, and you have been looking for a low carbohydrate alternative to commercially prepared sauces, then I guarantee you that you will love my LCHF version of KC style barbecue sauce that I call 'Sweety Que'. While tomato sauce and tomato paste have carbohydrates, most of the carbohydrates in commercial KC style barbecue sauces come from brown sugar and molasses. In this recipe we will be substituting liquid sucralose for the sugar and molasses.

KC 'Sweety Que' (Yield 2 ½ cups, 40 tablespoons)

2 (8oz cans) tomato sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ medium onion, diced
1 whole clove, ground
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dark chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 drop liquid smoke (optional)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, allspice, and cloves and cook, stirring, until paste is dark brick red, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and heat just until the sauce simmers, the cook for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Remove and discard bay leaf. If desired, puree with an immersion blender or add to a table top blender once the sauce has cooled.

Chef's Note – I suggest that you start out with 8 drops of sucralose and then taste the sauce for sweetness, if it is not quite sweet enough then add 2 more. Remember KC style barbecue sauce tends the be sweeter than other styles, but as always adjust the sweetness to suit your personal preferences.

Total Recipe – Calories 399, protein 5.75 grams, fat 14.89 grams, carbohydrates 44 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 10, protein 0.14 grams, fat 0.37 grams, carbohydrates 1.1 grams

Just for comparison, I have listed the three most popular commercial KC style barbecue sauces with their nutritional information.

Bull's-Eye Kansas City Style
Per Tablespoon – Calories 25, protein 0 grams, fat 0 grams, carbohydrates 6.5 grams

Heinz Kansas City Style, Sweet and Smokey
Per Tablespoon – Calories 30, protein 0 grams, fat 0 grams, carbohydrates 7.5 grams

KC Masterpiece Original
Per Tablespoon – Calories 29, protein 0.2 grams, fat 0.1 grams, carbohydrates 7 grams

As you can see, all of the commercially prepared KC style barbecue sauces have at a minimum 6 times more carbohydrates than my KC 'Sweety Que' barbecue sauce. That's quite a substantial difference especially for those of us who are diabetic or are following an LCHF diet regimen. And the best part of all my 'Sweety Que' will not cause your blood sugar to spike like all the others mentioned in this article.


This has become one of my families favorite BBQ sauces. It is low carb and will not cause your blood glucose levels to spike. So if you are a diabetic or are eating LCHF you no longer have to worry about the number of carbohydrates in your barbecue sauce as this recipe only has 1.1 grams of net carbohydrates per tablespoon. For information on how to use and where to purchase liquid sucralose check out our article on the subject on our blog.

As always, I hope you have found this article to be informative and helpful and if so we ask that you share it with your friends. Don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook on our page CulinaryYouLCHF or add us to your groups on Google+.

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Liquid Sucralose

Like many diabetics I have been using Splenda low-calorie sweetener (the Great Value version at Walmart) for about four years. The problem is that like many people, I never really payed much attention to the carbohydrate count of this low-calorie sweetener. Until I decided to go low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) I never thought much about counting carbohydrates. This week I decided to take my LCHF regimen to the next level by replacing the powdered Splenda which I have been using with liquid sucrolose.

Why you may ask? Well, the granulated or powdered Splenda is made of sucrolose, but it has maltdextrin added to it for bulk, therefore, 1 cup of Splenda contains 24 carbohydrates. This means that the coffee, sweet tea, kool-aid, and homemade Gatorade that I have been drinking each day contained many unwanted carbohydrates. In fact, the two cups coffee (2 carbohydrates) I have in the morning, 16 ounces of sweet tea (3 carbohydrates) at lunch, and 24 ounces of kool-aid (4.5 carbohydrates) with my dinner on the way home contained a total of 9.5 carbohydrates. That's one-third to one-half of my total carbohydrate intake goal for the day. That's a lot of carbs if you are trying to keep your total carbohydrate intake in the 20 – 25 per day range. So I started looking for alternatives.

That's when I discovered liquid sucrolose which contains zero carbohydrates, but tastes just like sugar.
I am not sure when the maker's of Splenda decided to finally make a liquid version, but it is quite expensive. If you search the internet, you will find a wide variety of manufacturers that sell liquid sucralose. Prices for liquid sucralose can vary quite a bit, with some being quite expensive, still they can be purchased on the internet for quite or a lot less than you will find on your local supermarket shelves. With the exception of the EZSweetz brand, most of the liquid forms of sucralose are sold in a 25% concentration. EZSweetz Travel version is 50% concentrate, and their family size is 25% concentrate.

What Is Liquid Sucralose?

Because they do a better job of explaining what exactly sucralose is than I would, the following information comes from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) website.

“Sucralose adds sweetness to foods and beverages without adding calories or carbohydrates. As an alternative to sugar and other calorie-containing sweeteners, it can play a role in weight management programs that combine sensible nutrition and physical activity. While the process to make sucralose begins with sucrose, or table sugar, the final product is different from sugar. Sucralose is made by replacing three select hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms, resulting in an intensely sweet, no-calorie sweetener.

Unlike sugar, the body does not break down sucralose into calories for energy. Yet, both sugar and sucralose activate the same taste buds on your tongue. Most of the sucralose people consume is not absorbed and passes through the body. The little that is absorbed is excreted in the urine, and doesn’t accumulate in the body...Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and it can be used in place of or combined with sugar in cooking and baking. Sucralose has been studied extensively and has been found to be safe by experts and researchers around the world. Government agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have also reviewed the science on sucralose and found it to be safe for human consumption.”

That pretty much about sums it up. Despite what you may have read, according to the FDA, sucralose is safe. In addition, the Mayo clinic has also endorsed the use of sucralose as a safe sweetening alternative to sugar. Ultimately, the decision to use sucralose as a sweetener is up to you. I encourage you to do your own research so that you can make an informed decision regarding the use of sucralose. Personally, I have found liquid sucralose to be an amazing sugar substitute that does not affect my blood glucose levels. As a diabetic, I have found liquid sucralose to be quite amazing.

How To Use Liquid Sweeteners

Liquid sucralose can be used in both hot an cold beverages as well as baking and cookign sauces. I have used liquid sucralose in my 'Sweety Q' Kansas City style barbecue sauce with great results. Having said that, the hardest part of using liquid sucralose is getting the right amount of sweetness. Because liquid sucralose is so concentrated (25%) you have to be careful when adding it to recipes. For example 1 drop of sucralose has the sweetening power of 1 teaspoon of sugar. So if you are heavy handed with the bottle, you can easily add to many drops to your recipe or beverage of choice. I recommend buying a seperate bottle with a good dropper to help you control the drops as I have read that some varieties and containers do not seem to have good ways to measure drops.

Because many of the liquid sucralose containers you may purchase do not have instructions printed on the bottles, I have included the most common measurements for 25% concentrated liquid sucralose. For a printer friendly version of how to use liquid sucralose see the end of this article.

Where To Buy Sucralose

I purchased my sucralose from a vendor on Amazon, but there are a number of products and vendors on ebay and other web sites as well. Even Splenda has jumped into market by offering their own version of liquid sucralose. Most of the liquid sucralose available on the internet come in the standard 25% concentration, and prices for such vary depending on the seller. I purchased a 16 ounce bottle of 'JD Liquid Sucralose' for $27.49 ($1.71 per ounce) on Amazon and shipping was free because I am a Prime member. Compare than with the liquid sucralose sold under the Splenda name that is sold at Walmart for $4.19 for a 1.68 ounce bottle ($2.49 per ounce), that's a 32% savings by buying it off Amazon. Even though we have adopted an LCHF diet, we still maintain a pretty rigorous food budget, and anything we can do to stretch our food dollars we do, so buying the liquid sucralose from Amazon was a no brainier for us.

The Ingredients

The ingredient list for liquid sucralose is pretty straightforward. It is made of sucralose, water, and the food preservatives potassium sorbate and citric acid. The amount of water in the liquid sucralose determines it's concentration (sweetening power). There should be no other ingredients listed on the label. As mentioned, most of the liquid sucralose that you can buy on the internet is listed as 25% concentration.


The bottom line, every gram of carbohydrate you consume can raise your blood sugar by 3 to 5 points. For the average person this may not be a problem, but if you are a diabetic or someone on a LCHF diet, each gram of carbohydrate you consume matters. So those 9.5 grams of carbohydrates that I have been drinking using the granulated Great Value Low Calorie Sweetener (Splenda clone) has the potential to raise my blood sugar by 28.5 to 47.5 points over the course of the day. Granted these carbs are divided up over a 12 to 16 hour period, for a diabetic, any reduction in your blood glucose levels is positive thing especially if it keeps you off or at a lower dose of insulin.

For several years after I was first diagnosed with diabetes we used the granulated Great Value Low Calorie Sweetener (Splenda clone) and it worked well, but the liquid sucralose works even better and it does not have any additional additives that contain hidden carbs to raise your blood sugar. Another great thing is that it tastes just like sugar with not bitterness or aftertaste than some sweeteners have.

At the end of this article I have included a text version of the graphic that contained the conversion measurements for liquid sucralose to make it easy for you to copy and print for your home use. I hope you have found this article to be informative and helpful and if so we ask that you share it with your friends. Don't forget to send us a friend request on our Facebook page CulinaryYouLCHF, or add us to your groups on Google+.

Printer Friendly Conversion Information

Liquid Sucralose 25% Concentration

1 teaspoon sugar = 1 drop liquid sucralose
1/4 cup Sugar = 12 drops of liquid sucralose
1/3 cup sugar = 16 drops of liquid sucralose
1/2 cup sugar = 1/4 teaspoon liquid sucralose
3/4 cup sugar = 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon liquid sucralose
1 cup sugar = 1/2 teaspoon liquid sucralose
2 cups sugar = 1 teaspoon liquid sucralose


Friday, November 11, 2016

Caesar Salad Dressing

This classic egg and oil based Caesar dressing was at one time the most popular salad dressing consumed by Americans. However over time this dressing has been replaced as America's favorite by many others such as Ranch (47%), Italian (18.7%) and Thousand Island (14.4%). According to 'Statista' Caesar was still the 5th most popular salad dressing (13.02%) purchased by American consumers in 2015.

The name of this dressing comes from it's creator Caesar Cardini who is believed to have created this dressing at his restaurant in the 1920's. While modern variations of this dressing include anchovies, Cardini's original dressing did not include anchovies, rather it got it's unique flavor from Worcestershire sauce. Caesar's brother Alex Cardini who worked at Caesar's restaurant also used to prepare a similar salad that he called 'Aviator's Salad' that was made with anchovies. What most of us have come to know as Caesar dressing is and amalgam of both recipes made with anchovies simply called 'Caesar' dressing.

In this article I will show you how to make three distinct variations of this classic salad dressing. The recipe for 'Classic Caesar Dressing' was the recipe I learned to make many years ago in culinary school and is the one many restaurants still make. The Creamy Caesar is the same basic recipe as the classic, except it uses one egg yolk instead of whole eggs and mayonnaise and Dijon mustard are added to give it additional body. The avocado Caesar substitutes mashed avocado for the mayonnaise and mustard.

- Raw Egg Warning -

Because there is always the possibility that raw or undercooked eggs may contain the bacteria salmonella which is the leading cause of food poisioning in America, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not recommend eating eggs that are raw or undercooked, especially if you are pregnant. However, the USDA states that eggs that have been pasteurized are safe to eat. “In-shell pasteurized eggs may be used safely without cooking” (USDA 2016).

Classic Caesar Salad Dressing (1 ½ cups, 24 tablespoons)

This was the recipe I learned to make many years ago I culinary school and is the one many restaurants still make. My one personal modification is the fact that I use an Asian fish sauce in place of the anchovies. If you do not like anchovies or fish sauce, then substitute Worcestershire sauce for the fish sauce as Caesar did. While most Caesar dressings use lemon juice, both Caesar and Alex used lime juice in their original dressings. I suspect that lemon juice was not only more readily available but cheaper and that is likely while it became the juice of choice in most modern recipes.

1 cup canola oil
¼ Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, grated
8 anchovies or 2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 whole eggs (large)
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Whip the whole eggs with a wire whip until the whites and yolks are totally combined, then add the garlic, fish sauce (or minced anchovies), lime juice, salt, and pepper and mix until throughly. Slowly pour in the canola oil while mixing with your wire whip until it is throughly combined and an emulsion is formed. You can start out with a small trickle of oil if you wish, but I generally just pour a ¼ of the oil in at a time and make sure it is throughly combined before I mix in the next ¼ cup and it work just fine.

Once all the oil has been combined, add the Parmigiana-Reggiano and stir a few times to make sure it is throughly combined. Place in a jar and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Total Recipe – Calories 2265, protein 22 grams, fat 242 grams, carbohydrates 5.77 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 94, protein 0.92 grams, fat 10 grams, carbohydrates 0.24 grams

Kraft Classic Caesar Dressing
Per Tablespoon – Calories 120, protein 1 gram, 12 grams, carbohydrates 2 grams

Chef's Note: In all my Caesar dressings I use fish sauce that you can find at any Asian grocery and generally even at Walmart in place of the anchovies. Mainly because I hate to open and waste a can of anchovies as most of these recipes only call for 4 fillets, and I use it in many other Thai dishes. Fish sauce is made from anchovies, salt, sugar and water and it is shelf stable so no wastage. If you are going to use whole anchovies, it is better to make the dressing in a blender or food processor so that the anchovies can be throughly combined.

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing (1 ½ cups, 24 tablespoons)

½ cup canola oil
½ cup mayonnaise or LCHF mayonnaise
¼ Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, grated
4 anchovies or 1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 egg yolk (large)
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Whip the egg yolk with a wire whip until it is smooth and light yellow, then add the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper and continue to mix until throughly combined.

Then slowly pour in the canola oil while mixing with your wire whip until it is throughly combined and an emulsion is formed. You can start out with a small trickle of oil if you wish, but I generally just pour a ¼ of the oil in at a time and make sure it is throughly combined before I mix in the next ¼ cup and it work just fine. Once all the oil has been combined, add the Parmigiana-Reggiano and stir a few times to make sure it is throughly combined. Place in a jar and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Total Recipe – Calories 2282, protein 23.07 grams, fat 244 grams, carbohydrates 8.49 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 95, protein 0.96 grams, fat 10.16 grams, carbohydrates 0.35 grams

Wishbone Creamy Caesar Dressing
Per Tablespoon – Calories 90, protein 0.8 grams, fat 9 grams, carbohydrates 0.5 grams

Kraft Creamy Caesar Dressing (Lite)
Per Tablespoon – Calories 60, protein 0.4 grams, fat 6 grams, carbohydrates 1 gram

Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing (1 ½ cups, 24 tablespoons)

½ cup canola oil
½ cup avocado, mashed smooth (about 1 medium avocado)
¼ Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, grated
4 anchovies or 1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 egg yolk (large)
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Whip the egg yolk with a wire whip until it is smooth and light yellow, then add the mashed avocado, mustard, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper and continue to mix until throughly combined.

Then slowly pour in the canola oil while mixing with your wire whip until it is throughly combined and an emulsion is formed. You can start out with a small trickle of oil if you wish, but I generally just pour a ¼ of the oil in at a time and make sure it is throughly combined before I mix in the next ¼ cup and it work just fine. Once all the oil has been combined, add the Parmigiana-Reggiano and stir a few times to make sure it is throughly combined. Place in a jar and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Total Recipe – Calories 1655, protein 24.07 grams, fat 172 grams, carbohydrates 8.84 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 69, protein 1 gram, fat 7.2 grams, carbohydrates 0.37 grams

Chef's Note – Avocados are graded and numbered depending on their length, a #60 is considered a medium size avocado and is about 3 inches in length, and should yield ½ cup of mashed pulp. You can check out the Calavos website for more information about how to choose the right avocado for any recipe you wish to prepare.

There are no real commercially prepared Caesar dressings that are made with avocados, or at least none that I know of, so there is nothing that I can compare the nutritional content against. Needless to say, the creamy avocado dressing does have the lowest fat content of the three dressing recipes in this article (7.2 grams per tablespoon). Regardless of whether you choose to use avocados or mayonnaise to make your creamy Caesar dressing, the carbohydrate content is almost the same, while the classic Caesar has the lowest amount of carbohydrates at 0.24 grams per tablespoon.

Your Choice of Oil

According to the Cardini family, both the original Caesar and Aviator Salad's were made with vegetable oil or whatever neutral salad oil the two brothers had on hand in the restaurant. Eventually olive oil replaced the vegetable (salad oil) as the oil of choice for many chef's. By the time I learned this classic recipe olive oil was the oil of choice, although I prefer to use canola oil. While the amount of total fat contained in both canola and olive oil is the same, olive oil has more saturated and monounsaturated fats than canola oil. I have included the following nutritional values for both oils so that you can examine them just in case you are curious.

1 Cup Canola Oil (Calories – 1984, Total Fat 224 grams)
Saturated fat 16 grams, Polyunsaturated fat 62.4 grams, Monounsaturated fat 144 grams

1 Cup Olive Oil (Calories 1904, Total Fat 224 grams)
Saturated fat 30.4 grams, Polyunsaturated fat 22.4 grams, Monounsaturated fat 160 grams

Because I like to refrigerate my salad dressings I prefer canola over olive oil as canola oil does not solidify when refrigerated like olive oil does. The fact that canola oil is cheaper than olive oil is also a deciding factor. One gallon (128oz) of Great Value canola oil is $5.98 ($0.04 per ounce). A 25.5oz bottle of Great Value 100% Extra Virgin olive oil is $5.74 ($0.22 per ounce). As you can see olive oil is five times more expensive than canola oil. Personally, I save my olive oil for cooking, and use canola oil in almost all my salad dressings.


Caesar salad dressing has been a popular favorite here in America for years. While it is most often associated with the dish known 'Caesar Salad' that contains romaine lettuce and oven baked croƻtons, it makes an excellent dressing for a regular dinner salad. There are always concerns when raw eggs are added to any recipe, so if you have concerns regarding salmonella, then both the 'Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing' and the 'Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing' can be made without the raw egg yolks with little noticeable difference in taste. As always, if you have found this article informative, we ask that you share it with your friends and family. Don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook (CulinaryYouLCHF) and or add us to your circles on Google+.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Skinny On Fats

In 1948, a random sample of 5209 citizens in the small rural village of Farmingham Massachusetts (about 2/3 of the population) volunteered to become active participants in a collaborative health study with the National Heart Institute (NHI) known as the 'Farmington Heart Study (FHS)'. The goal of this on-going study was to determine the effects of diet on cardiovascular disease. The bottom line, Dr. Kannel and his team of researchers found no direct correlation between the dietary intake of fats and elevated serum cholesterol levels. Uh...what? That's right, the scientists and researchers of the FHS complied all the results of the study in the early 1970's and published their findings in section 24 of 'The Farmingham Study An Epidemiological Investigation Of Cardiovascular Disease, The Farmingham Diet Study: Diet And The Regulation Of Serum Cholesterol'. In this report they concluded There is no indication of a relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol levels. If the intake of animal fat is held constant there is still no relation of cholesterol intake to serum cholesterol levels. If a multiple regression is calculated [using animal fat and dietary cholesterol] there is also little suggestion of an association between this pair of variables and serum cholesterol levels.”

That's a pretty shocking statement as many organizations including the American Heart Association (AHA) have based their dietary fat recommendations on the results of the FHS. Cardiologist Dr. Christopher Wegener in his article 'On Trial: Saturated Fat: Proven Villain or Medical Myth? States “When compared to the low-fat diet and alternative popular diets, it is the low-carbohydrate dietary strategy that has led to greater weight loss, significant increases in HDL-C with concomitant decreases in total glucose (TG), and noteworthy reductions in hemoglobin A1c. Such findings should not be surprising as such results were evident in the data on the much earlier NIH-funded Framingham cohorts which demonstrated that the subjects who ate the most fat and least amount of refined grains and sugars experienced the greatest increase in HDL-C.” If these findings are true, then why have we been taught to believe that all fats are bad for us?

In this article, I am going to try and address the differences between saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats. I will also try explain why they are not only necessary for proper bodily function, but how they can be beneficial for promoting weight loss. In addition, we will examine how partially hydrogenated oils (PHO's) also known as trans fats are the one bad fat that everyone can agrees that we should avoid.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are mostly found in animal fats (beef, pork, poultry), dairy products (butter, heavy cream, and cheese) as well as in tropical oils (coconut and palm). However, our bodies naturally make a certain amount of saturated fatty acids from the carbohydrates that we consume. Saturated fats are not the 'evil monster' that many believe them to be, and current medical research has proven that there is no direct link between the cardiovascular disease and the consumption of natural saturated fats found in most animal and or dairy products. Harvard Medical School concluded that in a meta analysis of 21 independent studies “that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease”.

In fact, when consumed in their natural state they may even be beneficial to your cholesterol levels as they contain many beneficial saturated fatty acids that your body needs. “Recent research has also shown that Mediterranean diets -- admittedly skimpy on red meat but hardly light on saturated fats -- have outpaced both statins and low-fat diets as a means of preventing repeat heart attacks. Other research suggests that the saturated fat in dairy foods may protect against hypertension, inflammation and a host of other dysfunctions increasingly linked to heart attacks.” (Healey, 2013). New York Times best selling author Dr. Joesph Mercola in his article regarding saturated fats states “when you reduce saturated fat and increase refined carbohydrates, you end up promoting obesity, heart disease and diabetes”. He goes on to further state “Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a number of important health benefits. In fact, your body cannot function without saturated fats! Saturated fats are needed for the proper function of your: cell membranes, heart, bones, liver, lungs, hormones, immune system, satiety (reduces hunger) and genetic regulation.”

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA'S)

Polyunsaturated fats can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and vegetable oils. Sometimes called 'essential fats', polyunsaturated fats are used by your body to build cell membranes, are needed for proper muscle movement, help with blood clotting, fight inflammation, and are an essential component used to build myelin sheaths which are necessary for proper neuromuscular function. Unlike saturated fats, our bodies do not naturally produce the necessary polyunsaturated fats our bodies need to function properly so we must get them from the foods we eat.

According to the Harvard Medical School, “Eating polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fats or highly refined carbohydrates reduces harmful LDL cholesterol and improves the cholesterol profile. It also lowers triglycerides”. I think the key phrase here is “in place of highly refined carbohydrates”, as many cardiologists now believe that there is no direct link between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease, however there is a direct correlation between heart disease and high carbohydrate intake. In their article 'The Truth About Saturated Fat' Enig and Fallon state that “Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness of heart disease, but these triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy. The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour”. This is why it is extremely important that Americans need to change our eating habits by reducing or eliminating the amount of highly processed and refined carbohydrates and sugars in our diet, not fats. This is especially true for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or have cardiovascular issues.

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA'S)

The most common monounsaturated fat found in the typical American diet is oleic acid. Oleic acid occurs naturally in vegetable and animal oils. Olive oil is one of the most common and best sources of oleic acid, but it can also be found in almond oil, peanut oil, canola oil, corn oil, avocados, sunflower oil, safflower oil, red meat, fish, whole milk, and most nuts. MUFA's are beneficial to your health by lowering “unhealthy” low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increasing “healthy” high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. According to the American Heart Association “Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant that most Americans need more of”.

As mentioned in our discussion on saturated fats, The Mediterranean Diet also includes a large amount of monounsaturated fats. Studies suggest that overall, the populace of Mediterranean countries consume more total fat than the populace of Northern European countries (up to 40% of total dietary intake in some regions), however most of the fat is in the form of monounsaturated fats from olive oil, fish, vegetables, and meats such as lamb. While the total fat consumption is high, the rate of cardiovascular disease and diabetes among Mediterranean populations is well below the average of Northern European and American populations.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHO's) aka Trans Fats

The one type of dietary fat that everyone can agree on that is bad are 'trans fats'. Trans fats are created through a process called hydrogenation which turns liquid oils into solids such as margarine and shortening. This process of hydrogenation turns healthy vegetable oils into not-so-healthy saturated fats. During the Great Depressions (1930's) and World War II (1939 – 45), butter was in short supply and oleomargarine (originally made with beef fat) became an inexpensive and popular substitution. By 1950, manufacturers began to replace the beef fat with cheaper partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Soon food manufacturers began using partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHO's) in everything from commercial cookies and pastries to fast-food French fries. Originally believed safe, research over the last 30 years has proven that eating foods rich in trans fats not only increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, but reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. In addition, trans fats create inflammation of the blood vessels, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Trans fats have also been proven to contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to Enig and Fallon, “Consumption of hydrogenated fats is associated with a host of other serious diseases, not only cancer but also atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, immune system dysfunction, low- birth-weight babies, birth defects, decreased visual acuity, sterility, difficulty in lactation and problems with bones and tendons”.

According to TIME magazine, “In 2013, the FDA determined that PHO's do not meet their distinction of “generally recognized as safe” for human consumption”. Because of the health risks related to partially hydrogenation oils associated with trans fats, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in June 2016 that it is moving towards baning artificial trans fats here in the United States. “Over the next three years, food manufacturers must remove the primary source of artificial trans fat—partially hydrogenated oils (PHO's)—from their products” (TIME, 2016). Keep in mind that trans fat will not totally disappear from the American diet as they naturally occur in some products like meat and dairy products and may be present at very low levels in some oils. However, the ban on PHO's by the FDA should significantly reduce the amount of trans fats consumed by Americans which should lead to a healthier population. However, the future is yet to be determined.

So What Does It All Mean?

Saturated fats tend to have a neutral to beneficial effect on weight and cholesterol levels, whereas polyunsaturated fats which our bodies do not make are necessary for proper bodily function and must be acquired via diet. Monounsaturated fats actually lower “unhealthy” low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increasing “healthy” high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. This is why people who live in the Mediterranean, and consume a traditional Mediterranean Diet which is high in saturated and and monounsaturated fats (up to 40%) have some of the lowest cholesterol levels as well as low levels of cardiovascular disease. Countries such as the United States and Great Britain whose populations consume less saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats, but consume large amounts of foods that contain partially hydrogenation oils (trans fats) as well as carbohydrates have the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The following comes from an article in the News, Farmingham-Natick, Friday October 30, 1970 in which a reporter interviewed Dr. Kannel, then director of the FHS about the studies findings regarding the relationship between diet and serum cholesterol.

'Although there is no discernible relationship between reported diet intake and serum cholesterol levels in the Farmington Diet Study group, “it is incorrect to interpret this finding to mean that diet has no connection with blood cholesterol” Dr. William B. Kannel, director of the Farmingham Heart Study has stated. “It has been repeatedly demonstrated that blood cholesterol levels can be altered by changes in diet; and dietary alteration is still the most acceptable form of medical management for persons with elevated blood lipids” Dr. Kannel said. “The available evidence indicates that coronary heart disease appears to result from a combination of contributing factors and that no single factor capable of producing disease by itself has been convincingly demonstrated,” he stated.

Even the director of the FHS study Dr. William Kannel states that changing dietary habits is the best way to decrease serum cholesterol levels. Substituting saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats for unhealthy trans fats, and decreasing the amounts of refined sugars, and carbohydrates consumed can definitely decrease the risks of diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


Going back and looking at this article I may have went into overload mode and listed more information here than was necessary. However, I hope that this article was informative and helpful. There is no doubt that some of the newer research goes against current conventional thinking when it comes to dietary fat intake. Change is inevitable, but it is a slow process, and many of my colleagues in the medical field are just not ready to make the change despite the current scientific and medical research.

On a side note, I have been on a low carbohydrate high fat diet for eight weeks. As of the writing of this article I have lost a total of 23.25 pounds, decreased my BMI from to 36.6 to 33.2. I have been able to stop taking my insulin as my blood glucose is averaging 105.7 fasting, 104.7 at midday, 107.2 before bedtime. The real proof of the effectiveness of this dietary regimen for me will be in mid December 2016 when I see my endocrinologist and my labs are drawn after being on this diet for 3 ½ months.

Whatever the results, I will post my serum cholesterol and my hemoglobin A1c as an addendum to this article so that you can see whether the choices I have made regarding my dietary fat intake have been benefited or harmed my health. As always, if you have found this article informative, we ask that you share it with your friends and family. Don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook and or add us to your circles on Google+.


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