Sunday, April 8, 2012

Low Carb Hot Fudge Sundae Recipe (and Why I Won't Eat It)

It is possible to construct a great tasting, low carb hot fudge sundae using the following recipe. I cobbled together the recipe below using my experience eating in France as a guide.

Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Artificial sweetener to equal 1/2 cup of sugar

Mix all ingredients together and pour into an ice cream maker (such as this Cuisinart). In 25 minutes, you have vanilla ice cream.

Total grams of carbs in the entire batch: 2 (in the egg yolks and vanilla extract). Assuming you get eight small servings of ice cream, that is about 1/4 of a carb per serving.

Hot Fudge Topping
100 grams 70% dark chocolate (e.g., Lindt 70% dark chocolate, available at Wal-Mart)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons of butter

Break chocolate bar into pieces over a double boiler, and add the butter. When the butter and chocolate are melted, add in the heavy whipping cream. Remove double boiler from heat source, but leave over the boiler until ready to serve. It will be hot going on to the ice cream but will harden to a shell if left on the ice cream for too long.

Makes three servings. Total carbs in the batch: 33, or 11 per serving.

Whipped Cream
Whip up a quarter cup of heavy whipping cream and sweeten with your favorite artificial sweetener.

Servings: 2. Total carbs: 0.

Making the Hot Fudge Sundae
Make the hot fudge sundae by scooping out 1/2 cup of ice cream, 1/3 of the hot fudge topping, and half of the whipping cream.

Total carbs per decadent serving: about 12.

This is an example of a high fat, low carb (and low protein) dessert. According the the received wisdom, that carbs alone are fattening, that eating fat helps us lose weight, and that calories don't count, this should be an ideal food for weight loss.

But look at the calorie count in the dessert listed above: 250 calories per half cup serving of the ice cream, 325 calories for the hot fudge topping, and 100 calories for the whipping cream. A total of 675 calories for a relatively small dessert. Assuming that you only eat the portions described above.

But hey, even if you ate the entire batch, it would only have 35 total grams of carbs, so it shouldn't be fattening, should it? I could eat the whole batch and still stay in ketosis. Just ignore the 3,017 total calories. Move along, nothing to see. Prominent low carbers are actually promoting dessert recipes laden with fat similar to my hot fudge sundae recipe above, so this is not an extreme example. (The "prominent low carber" recipe linked to above contains a whopping 4,400 calories and fits into a 9x13 pan, so I am assuming there are 12 bars per recipe, or 365 calories per square. Sincere question: how many people would eat just one square?).

And I won't even begin to discuss all of the food reward issues in the hot fudge sundae recipe.

Which is why I am no longer following a low carb diet. I eat a sane diet (the Perfect Health Diet) comprised of real, nourishing foods. It's calories that matter for weight loss, in combination with real, whole foods and exercise.


  1. Just found your blog, good for you going away from low carb!

  2. Hi Debbie. It took a while, but I eventually saw the light. Real food, humanely produced, in moderation, plus adequate exercise is the way to go.

  3. Bravo on not being a tool. What's scary is how easily manipulated we are in this day and age. We have been told from day one junk is bad for us, but under the guise of 'low carb' it suddenly turns good? Scary that most of us can't distinguish right from wrong. Right now it's 'just' (and i say that very loosely) nutrition, but what else is victim to our wavering discretion?

  4. I think this is my first visit to your blog. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the Perfect Health Diet link on the left actually goes to Free the Animal. I checked the others and they were correct. I didn't see a way to email you about it, so putting it in a comment.

    I agree with you about the recipe above. Heavy cream is dangerous. Maybe it's because it's a liquid, but it was really easy for me to eat a lot of it without realizing when I was on a LC diet. It was much worse for me than the cheese and nuts that a lot of people have trouble with.

  5. Thanks for the head's up. I fixed the link.

  6. It seems like low carb advocates and enthusiasts have been making a transition from being former carboholics to becoming lipoholics. I can't help but think that it's just a matter of time before the trend really harms the community.

    I just started a blog and one of my first posts is about observing this trend in Jimmy Moore: From Carboholic to Lipoholic . I'm glad I ran across the likes of CarbSane and Paul Jaminet who helped me avoid that pitfall.