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As large quantities of sugar and starch are banned from low-carbohydrate (or “low-carb”) diets, cookies, which tend to be loaded with both, are usually off limits. Those with an insatiable sweet tooth will be glad to know, however, that dieticians, food manufacturers, and home bakers have figured out methods for creating cookies that are low in carbs. The trick to producing low-carb cookies is replacing traditional, high-carb ingredients, particularly sugar and flour, with low-carb substitutions. There are many different types of low-carb cookies, some of which can be baked at home and others which can be purchased in stores. While these cookies may fit within one’s diet plan, many feel that their taste and texture are inferior to those of regular cookies.
Simply put, low-carb cookies are cookies which have been prepared without the carbohydrate-rich ingredients found in many traditional baked goods. Among the most common high-carb ingredients found in traditional cookie recipes are sugar and flour. When preparing low-carb cookies, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols which are derived from natural sources are often used in place of white sugar. Similarly, white flour is often traded for a flour that is lower in carbohydrates, such as almond flour or soy flour.
Due to the fact that preparing low-carb cookies is generally a matter of making a few substitutions, almost any type of cookie can be prepared in a low-carb version. This can include popular favorites like chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and peanut butter cookies, cookies for Christmas and other holidays, traditional European cookies such as amaretti and biscotti, and so forth. In fact, the possible low-carb cookie variations are largely limited only by a baker’s imagination and her willingness to experiment. It is possible to purchase a wide variety of low-carb cookies from supermarkets, health food stores and Internet-based retailers, and also to make these cookies at home.
While low-carb cookies are widely available and can allow for snacking which conforms to the rules and regulations of a low-carb diet, it should be noted that many find the taste and texture of these cookies mediocre or even unpleasant as compared to regular cookies. Further, some dieters find that believing a particular snack to be “healthy” may actually lead them to overindulge in that snack. Some low-carb diet followers suggest skipping low-carb cookies and other refined desserts, and instead consuming a small serving of a sweet but natural treat, such as fruit.
Almond flour makes a good substitute for wheat flour, and it's very low in carbs. So that's one option.
TV chef Paula Deen has a peanut butter cookie recipe that uses Splenda, an egg, peanut butter and vanilla flavoring. If you use no sugar added peanut butter, you've got a very, very low carb cookie that won't also pack on pounds.
I'm a fan of anything that will help people eat healthier, but will still allow them to enjoy treats. Taking away everything that gives someone a little pleasure is a recipe for disaster. They’ll just binge, then, which does them no good.
It always amuses me when people say fruit is better for a low-carb dieter than a low-carb dessert. This depends on the fruit, and on the person.
Whole fruits, like apples or peaches, are certainly preferable, but any person who has to watch his or her sugar consumption can be taken in by fruit, too. Raisins, dates and all dried fruit are sugary, and concentrated sugar, at that. Might as well go ahead and eat a Snicker's bar. At least the peanuts provide a little protein!
It's easy to be self-righteous and preach the avoidance of low-carb baked goods, but for some people (like me) these kinds of items help keep me on the straight and narrow.
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