Saturday, December 12, 2015

Small New York Baked Low Carb Cheesecake




I posted the recipe for a delicious Large New York Baked Low Carb Cheesecake based on one posted by Angie, Granny Red, on the ADA forum a couple of years ago. It is a rather big cheesecake which I cut into 16 portions of 6gms carb each. 

Since then I have experimented several times with a reduced size because I found the large cake was too big for our needs. This is the recipe for those who prefer a smaller cake. The size reduction not only cuts the cost in half but is a little easier to prepare and needs less cooking time. The slight increase in egg proportions also tends to make a creamier texture.

I have modified the Splenda and sugar proportions as a reasonable compromise between my wife's sweet tooth and my need to keep the carbs down. Feel free to adjust that to suit yourself as the carb count will be directly reduced as you reduce the sugar. The nutrition count is based on the listed details. 

Ingredients

Crust 

1 cup almond flour or meal
2 tablespoons(tbsp) Splenda
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted 

Filling 

12 oz (375gm) cream cheese
1/3 cup Splenda
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon(tsp) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract or a good squeeze of lemon; orange can be substituted as a variation.
8 oz (300ml) sour cream

Note: the eggs, cheese and sour cream need to be at room temperature. If the cheese is too stiff to beat easily, sit the containers in warm water for a little while until the cheese softens. 

Method

Crust Base 

Use extra butter to grease an 8 or 9 inch (20-25cm) spring-form pan. I also put a circle of greased brown paper on the bottom to be certain the cake does not stick; this step may not be necessary if you use a non-stick pan. 
 
Mix the splenda and almond flour (sometimes I make my own coarse version from almonds in the blender; it works just as well) with melted butter, press evenly onto the bottom of the pan for a thin layer without holes and press any excess up the sides of the pan. If you don't have enough almond flour to go all the way up the sides don't worry; it's not really critical as long as the base is covered. Set the pan aside while mixing the filling. 

Filling 

Beat the cream cheese until light and creamy, keeping the mixer on a low-medium setting throughout the beating and mixing process. Add the mixed splenda and sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.

Add one egg at a time and beat briefly after each egg. When the eggs have been mixed into the cream cheese add vanilla and lemon extract (or lemon juice) and mix briefly until just combined. Add the sour cream last and beat briefly until fully incorporated. 

Baking 

Pour the mixture into the springform pan. Bake at 300 F or 150C for about 40 minutes then check to see if it is set and starting to brown slightly on top. If not, let it cook for another 15 minutes. Try not to over-cook it as it may become too dry. When it is set and beginning to brown turn off the heat, prop open the oven door slightly and leave it in the oven for at least an hour. 

Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the spring-form pan to room temperature before placing it in the fridge until the next day. Don't try to serve it on the day of cooking; it will not be set properly if you do. Do not be disappointed if it sinks slightly in the middle. That is normal, or, at least, it was for the ones I made.

The result is 8-12 satisfying slices. I individually wrap some in clingwrap for the freezer; they freeze and defrost well.


Nutrition per serve: 8 12
Kcals 3000 375 250
Fat 275 34.4 22.9
Carb 100 12.5 8.3
Fibre 12 1.5 1.0
Protein 62 7.8 5.2

Bon appetit, Alan, T2, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fat: The New Health Paradigm

I have just read the opening summary of a startling document published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.


I predict that this publication is going to become one of the most hotly debated documents in the fat vs carbs diet wars this year. The conclusions the authors arrive at are summarised very succinctly on the opening pages.

Their conclusions will not surprise many in the on-line diabetes community as most of us have been saying this for years (for example Eggs, Carbs and Cholesterol, Cholesterol, Fats, Carbs, Statins and Exercise) but they will cause consternation in many of the world's respected dietetic and diabetes authorities. This is not a journalist's article or a book by an organisation with an agenda or a diet to sell; it is a very well researched and supported scientific paper.

Below are abbreviated selections from the summary; these statements are well supported in the body of the document which I am still in the process of studying. I decided to post early to alert readers to the document and allow others to read it in full.

••
Triangulating several topics such as anthropology, breast feeding, evolution of primates, height trends in the human population, or energy needs of our various vital organs, we have concluded that natural fat consumption is lower than “ideal” and if anything could increase safely well beyond current levels.
••
Saturated fat has not been a driver of obesity: fat does not make you fat. At current levels of consumption the most likely culprit behind growing obesity level of the world population is carbohydrates.
••
A proper review of the so called “fat paradoxes” (France, Israel and Japan) suggests that saturated fats are actually healthy and omega-6 fats, at current levels of consumption in the developed world, are not necessarily so.
••
The big concern regarding eating cholesterol-rich foods (e.g. eggs) is completely without foundation. There is basically no link between the cholesterol we eat and the level of cholesterol in our blood.
••
Doctors and patients’ focus on “bad” and “good” cholesterol is superficial at best and most likely misleading. The most mentioned factors that doctors use to assess the risk of CVDs—total blood cholesterol (TC) and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)—are poor indicators of CVD risk. In women in particular, TC has zero predictive value if we look at all causes of death. Low blood cholesterol in men could be as bad as very high cholesterol. The best indicators are the size of LDL particles (pattern A or B) and the ratio of TG (triglycerides) to HDL (the “good” cholesterol).
••
Based on medical and our own research we can conclude that the intake of saturated fat (butter, palm and coconut oil and lard) poses no risk to our health and particularly to the heart. 
••
The main factor behind a high level of saturated fats in our blood is actually carbohydrates, not the amount of saturated fat we eat. Clinical trials show that a low carbohydrate diet is much more effective in lowering the level of saturated fat in our blood than a low-fat diet.

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia.

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter


Friday, September 18, 2015

I Think I May Have Diabetes...

"I think I may have diabetes....and I don't want to die..."

The wording varies but I see this question with increasing frequency on all the forums I read. I have written replies to these posts so often I felt it was time to archive a standard response.

The web is a wonderful source of information but too often people who really should be asking questions like this of their doctor are asking strangers on the net. 

My usual answer is very brief and says exactly that: see your doctor. I highlighted that because it needs to be emphasised.

Unfortunately that isn't always immediately possible for everyone. There can be many reasons for that.  The most common excuses are lack of money, lack of availability of medical support or simply fear of hearing bad news. 

For those with an urgent need and obvious hypo or hyper symptoms or who have tested repeatedly high on a glucometer the suggestion changes from "see your doctor soon" to "get to an ER (emergency room) fast". 

For others unable to see their doctor soon I urge them to at least make the appointment. Do what is necessary to find the money or time or courage but not seeing the doctor can turn out to be much more expensive in the long term. 

Another variant has appeared recently. Some doctors appear hesitant to diagnose if A1c is OK but fasting or casual blood glucose are just over diagnostic thresholds even when the patient has some symptoms. Too many doctors appear to have forgotten that A1c was only recently approved as a diagnostic tool because the patient can be diabetic if other indicators are high despite a normal A1c. I see an increasing number of posts from people in those circumstances who were told they are “borderline” - whatever that means - or “you are not diabetic yet, just eat healthy and exercise and you'll be fine” without a meter or other advice being prescribed.

At this point I will remind readers: I am a diabetic, not a doctor, and only a doctor can diagnose diabetes.

What follows are suggestions for people whose situation is not urgent, who have a long wait to see their doctor or who have seen their doctor but are still unsure. 

Part 1. Discovery

Obtain a home blood glucose test meter and an adequate supply of test strips. How you do that will vary depending on your local health support system. In the US cheap meters and strips are available from several sources; Walmart's Relion Prime was one of the first cheap meters but you may find others if you search. Note that the cost of test strips will be more important than the cost of the meter in the long term. In Australia you will have to pay full price until you are officially diagnosed, but check with the chemist because there are often discount specials.

When you get your meter read this (click on it): Painless Pricks.
 
Test four times a day for two or three days: immediately on waking (fasting) and one hour after your last bite of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The results you are hoping for are as follows:
  • Fasting: 4 to 5.5 mmol/l (Australia, Canada, UK or other millimole countries) or 70 to 99 mg/dl (USA and other milligrams countries).
  • Post-meal: 4 to 8mmol/l or 70 to 140mg/dl.
If all your tests are inside those ranges, relax. Diabetes is most unlikely to be your problem. Don't throw your meter away because it may be wise to occasionally test in future years to see if anything has changed. In that case be aware that test strips have an expiry date.

If any of your results are outside those ranges immediately wash your hands and re-test. If, after re-testing, it is still out of range just record it the first time. If a second test at another time is out of range make an appointment with the doctor for qualified diagnostic testing. 

Part 2. Action.

If your tests were outside the ranges read this while you wait for your appointment with the doctor: Getting Started
 
For those unable to obtain a meter, this may help while waiting to see the doctor: What to Eat at First

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia.

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter 
There is nothing I could eat I like more than my eyes