If you are on a diet to lose weight or are keeping to a diabetic diet, you don't have to go without eating baked goods if you eat those that are healthy, high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Muffins can be made with healthier ingredients than standard muffins. If you make them healthy enough, they may even help you lose weight.
Quinoa contains a high amount of protein, about 8 g per cooked cup, along with all the essential amino acids your body needs, so it is a complete protein. You can replace half of the normal flour you use with cooked quinoa. Use whole-grain flour instead of white flour to reduce your effective carbohydrates, because complex carbohydrates affect weight gain less. Whole-wheat flour may actually help you lose weight because it contains insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to your intestines and satisfies your appetite for a longer period of time to reduce your calorie consumption. Berries are ideal for muffins because they add a mild sweetness yet are low in sugar. Use naturally processed stevia and or organic agave nectar as a sweetener.
You can replace all the grain flour in a normal pumpkin muffin recipe with flour made from ground almonds. Almond flour is higher in protein, lower in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats than wheat flour. Add canned or cooked pumpkin to the recipe, and spice it as you would pumpkin pie.
The Atkins diet popularized the low-carbohydrate craze, which is a healthy idea as long as complex carbohydrates are not eliminated from your diet. Complex carbohydrates are essential to optimal health. Complex carbohydrates are those in unrefined grains like whole wheat flour, brown rice and oatmeal. Because whole grains do not spike your insulin levels like refined grains, you can include them in your muffin recipes. Limit or eliminate simple carbohydrates such as white or refined wheat flour, sugar, candy and juices.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine explains that most American diets are too high in protein and according to studies are causing kidney disease and other health issues. To prevent this, use a calculation to figure out what your recommended daily intake of protein is. Multiply your body weight by 0.36, which gives you a target amount of grams of protein to eat daily. Account for how many grams of protein you are adding to your muffins by reading the nutritional label on the package of almond flour or quinoa.