The words “diet” and “dessert” don’t seem to go together. When you go on a diet the goal is often to lose weight. In the past, that meant swapping out desserts. The main reason was old-school desserts contained high amounts of white sugar and bad fat. Today’s low-carbohydrate diets like Keto and Atkins take a different approach. You can pair low-carb meals with low carb desserts. For example, if you’re on keto then you’ll want your desserts to be both low in carbs and high in good fats. Traditional baked goods, in particular, have lots of sugar whether it’s white, light/dark brown, or raw sugar. Such foods cause blood sugar spikes and can lead to problems like type-2 diabetes.
The good news is you can find many low-carb desserts. One of the biggest tweaks is using options like coconut or almond flour instead of white flour. These options are lower-carb so you won’t have to worry about causing your blood sugar levels to sky-rocket. Meanwhile, you can get good fats from options like heavy cream, organic butter, and coconut oil. This is critical for diets like keto that are around 70% or higher in good fats. This will help you feel fuller and avoid snack attacks.
Benefits of Low-Carb Diets
Before Keto and Atkins, there was the first low-carb diet. The Stillman Diet (1967) focused on a diet low in carbohydrates. One surprising feature is it was low-carb, low-fat, and high-protein.
Today the trend is towards low-carb/high-fat (LCHF) like the ketogenic diet. In recent decades scientists and doctors have been focusing on the importance of eating a high-fat diet. They’re high in “good” fats. In fact, high-fat diets seem to be healthier than low-fat diets.
Here are some good examples. Trans-fats are generally considered to be “bad,” while unsaturated fats are often labeled as “good.”
Saturated fats are a mixed bag. For example, they seem to boost good AND bad fat. Some health experts warn you should minimize your intake of saturated fats, so there’s that.
Let’s get to low-carb’s benefits:
- Type-2 diabetes (prevention): Over 8% of the world now has diabetes. The figure might seem low but it’s spiked in the past few decades. This is caused by your blood sugar levels going through the roof.
One of the best ways to prevent diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels low. You can do that by taking basic steps like swapping out refined flour and white sugar from your diet. Focusing on low-carb whole foods can help to greatly lower your risk of diabetes.
- Weight loss: This isn’t surprising based on how these diets affect the human body. In normal cases, the body gets energy from food and drinks.
However low-carb diets are a game-changer. They cause you to get energy from the body’s stored fat instead of food calories.
- Lower blood sugar: Decreasing carbohydrates helps to prevent blood sugar spikes. Lowering carbs also lower weight.
- Good Cholesterol: Swapping out carbs and swapping in fats can help lower cholesterol. That’s because you’re boosting your intake of good cholesterol. Foods like avocados, fatty fish, seeds/nuts, and olive oil are excellent sources of good fats/cholesterol.
Best Low Carb Desserts That You Should Try
1. Chocolate Pudding
This isn’t the high-sugar, high-carb stuff you find on supermarket shelves. This keto choco pudding is still rich and creamy and includes whole foods like cacao powder. We often think of chocolate as being unhealthy but it’s mostly due to the processing and added sugar.
2. Fat Bombs/Cheesecake Bites
This is arguably one of the best low carb desserts. What’s the big deal? Traditional cheesecakes can wreck just about any diet including a low-carb one. These desserts are different. You might see them online by other names. These desserts are the bomb—keto bomb, that is.
What are they all about? These fat bombs are different from energy/protein balls. That’s because they put fat in front and center.
We’re talking about good fat, of course. They also avoid white sugar and wheat flour.
What are they made of? Ingredients like coconut butter, cacao beans, and tree nuts like almonds and walnuts make these desserts keto-friendly.
3. Vanilla Milkshake
This drink/dessert is one we often consider as unhealthy. It shouldn’t be. Consider that the main ingredients are actually quite healthy: fruit, milk, and cream.
That’s why this keto milkshake is a good choice. It swaps out sugar to avoid glucose spikes.
Another key ingredient is vanilla. Go with products close to the vanilla bean and minus added sugar to keep it low-carb
4. Ginger Snaps
We often forget the fact that ginger is a natural herb that’s often considered a “superfood.” This version of the old-school cookie is keto-friendly. You can even tweak the recipe to make it chewy or crispy.
This version is also gluten-free so you won’t have to worry about sugar spikes from wheat flour. In fact, this is one of the main features of keto baking.
- Chocolate/Nut Ice Cream Sandwich
- Cinnamon Pie
- Chocolate Slushie
- Pear Custard
- Brownie Drops
Best Keto-Friendly Flours
This is another name for ground flaxseed. You can use it for different recipes like keto crackers. It’s a great option for several baking recipes that are low-carbohydrate.
Here are some uses for flax meal. Sometimes you can swap in flaxseed flour and swap out eggs. It’s also vegan-friendly so if you don’t eat animal products this is a good option.
Wait–there’s more! Flaxseed flour is also a great option for people with egg allergies.
First, what’s this all about? This is the husk from a certain kind of plant seed. It’s a good option for adding fiber and moisture when doing low-carb baking.
That’s not all. A plus is this seed’s husk is also a “prebiotic” so it can boost gut health. Psyllium flour is a good option when you need moisture from eggs.
This is easily one of the top flours to use for keto baking. You can pick the standard almond flour or almond meal if you want a thicker texture. The texture is from the almond’s skin that is ground up along with the tree nut.
Almond flour is a good option for cookies and crusts in particular. You’ll usually want to pick flours made from almonds that are skinless and blanched.
This is a very flexible ingredient for keto cooking. You can use it for a wide range of low-carb baking like keto soft pretzels.
This is a good option for staying in ketosis while on the keto diet. In recent years coconuts have become known as a superfood. For example, coconut water is sky-high in healthy fats and can be used for various health benefits like urinary tract infection (UTI).
This is a great option for ketogenic-friendly baking recipes because of the low count of net carbs. It’s not zero-carb but close enough when making low carb desserts.