and other legumes are too high in carbohydrate for many low-carb dieters, but there is one exception: Black soy beans have a very low usable carb count, about 1 gram per serving, because most of the carb in them is fiber. Several recipes in this book call for canned black soy beans. Many natural food stores carry the Eden brand; if yours doesn’t, I’ll bet they could special-order them for you. Natural food stores tend to be wonderful about special orders. If you can’t find canned black soy beans, you may be able to find them dry and uncooked; if so, you’ll have to soak them and then cook them for a very long time until they soften—soy beans can be stubborn. I’d recommend using your slow cooker.
I would also recommend not eating soy bean recipes several times a week. I know that soy has a reputation for being the Wonder Health Food of All Existence, but there are reasons to be cautious. Soy has been known for decades now to be hard on the thyroid, and if you’re trying to lose weight and improve your health, a slow thyroid is the last thing you need. More alarmingly, there was a study done in Hawaii in 2000 that showed a correlation between the amount of tofu subjects ate in middle age and their rate and severity of cognitive problems in old age. Since scientists suspect the problem lies with the soy estrogens that have been so highly touted, any unfermented soy product, including our canned soy beans, is suspect. This doesn’t mean we should completely shun soy beans and soy products, but it does mean we need to approach them with caution and eat them in moderation. Since many lowcarb specialty products are soy-heavy, you’ll want to pay attention there, too. Personally, I try to keep my soy consumption to 1 serving a week or less.
There are a few recipes in this book that call for raw eggs, an ingredient currently frowned upon by nutritional “officialdom” because of the risk of salmonella. However, I have it on pretty good authority that only 1 out of every 16,000 uncracked, properly refrigerated eggs is actually contaminated. As one woman with degrees in public health and food science put it, “The risk is less than the risk of breaking your leg on any given trip down STAIRS OK BY USING raw eggs now and again without worrying about it, and we’ve never had a problem around here. However, this does not mean that there is no risk. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether this is something you should worry about. I generally use very fresh eggs from local small farmers, which may well be safer than eggs that have gone longer distances, and thus have a higher risk of cracking or experiencing refrigeration problems. One useful thing to know about eggs: Although you’ll want very fresh eggs for frying and poaching, eggs that are at least several days old are better for hard boiling. They’re less likely to stick to their shells in that maddening way we’ve all encountered. So if you like hardboiled eggs (and they’re certainly one of the most convenient low-carb foods), buy a couple of extra cartons of eggs and let them sit in the refrigerator for at least three or four days before you hard boil them.
next : fats and oils