Food policy

The Diet Doctor food policy

There are many thoughts and ideas about what foods are and aren’t part of a healthy low-carb or keto diet, and that can sometimes be confusing to say the least. With this food policy we aim to make transparent where we stand on the matter and what foods you can expect from our low-carb and keto recipes.

Our goal, to empower people everywhere to revolutionize their health, humbles us to the fact that all individuals are different and have different needs at different times. We hope you will find this policy helpful when you embark on the journey of finding out what foods work best for you.

  1. Different levels of low carb
  2. Protein
  3. Fat
  4. Higher-carb ingredients
  5. Fruits and berries
  6. Sweeteners
  7. Sugar
  8. Gluten
  9. Gluten-free grains
  10. Dairy products
  11. Nuts and seeds
  12. Legumes
  13. Soy
  14. Chocolate

 


Different levels of low carb

Here’s how we define different levels of low carb at Diet Doctor:

  • Ketogenic low carb <20 gram carbs per day. This is a ketogenic diet (if protein intake is moderate). This level is defined as below 4 energy percent (E%) carbs in our recipes. We also keep the protein level low or moderate (excess protein is converted to carbohydrates in the body)1. In our ketogenic recipes the amount of carbs per serving is shown in green balls.
  • Moderate low carb 20-50 grams per day. This level is defined as between 4-10 E% carbs in our recipes and the amount of carbs per serving is shown in yellow balls.
  • Liberal low carb 50-100 grams per day. This means 10-20 E% carbs in our recipes and the amount of carbs per serving is shown in orange balls.

 



Low-Carb Vegetables

Carbohydrates (carbs)

We aim to provide recipes with 0–20 percent of the total energy intake coming mostly from unprocessed real food (e.g. vegetables). Carbs are not essential to the human body but if they come from unprocessed food, they contribute nutrients and fiber. They also give you the possibility to vary how you eat and add texture and color to your plate. On our site, we show net carbs (total carbs with fiber subtracted) because in most people the fiber doesn’t cause an insulin release.

Visual guide: Low-carb vegetables – the best and worst

 
 


Protein

We recommend meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and/or dairy as sources of protein, preferably as unprocessed as possible. Protein is essential to the human body but an excess intake can lead to some of the protein turning into glucose, which may raise insulin levels and reduce ketosis. This is why we slightly limit protein in our keto recipes but not otherwise.

Learn more about protein

 


Low-Carb Fats & Sauces

Fat

Fat is essential to the human body. We primarily recommend fat that’s part of natural foods such as fatty cuts of meat, eggs and avocados over added oils and butter. Minimally processed fats, such as butter, olive oil and coconut oil are used in amounts needed to provide satiety. However, they should still be seen as part of a diet and not the main component due to their relative lack of essential nutrients. Vegetable and seed oils (not olive or coconut oil) are high in omega-6 and are not something we recommend because in large quantities they can increase inflammation. Processed fats such as margarine are not used on our site.

Visual guide: Low-carb fats and sauces – the best and worst

 
 


Higher-carb ingredients

We see real foods high in carbs, like potatoes and rice, as something that can be a part of a healthy diet, in small to moderate amounts, for most people (especially if they are insulin sensitive). However, such foods are high in carbs, reduce the effects of a low-carb diet, and can be a problem for insulin-resistant people. Therefore, we have chosen to not include potatoes and rice in our recipes. Herbs, like buckwheat and quinoa, are not something we recommend eating large amounts of, but are allowed in quantities that keep the recipes within our set limits for carbs. As a general rule, we don’t use them in our keto recipes.

 



Low-Carb Fruits

Fruits and berries

We see fruits and berries as nature’s candy and something that can be an occasional part of a healthy diet for most people. Fruit contains a large proportion of calories from sugar. We aim to clearly mark recipes with a significant amount of sugar in them as moderate or liberal. This is to make it simple for people sensitive to sugar, such as diabetics, to take that into consideration. As a general rule, we don’t have any fruit in our keto recipes. Berries are usually a better option and are used in recipes as long as they stay within our set limits for carbs.

Visual guide: Low-carb fruits and berries – the best and worst

 
 


Low-carb sweeteners

Sweeteners

We recommend minimizing the use of sweeteners due to the potential for addiction, normalizing a sweet taste or stimulating over-consumption. Some people can also experience gastrointestinal problems when consuming them. Certain sweeteners that we deem less harmful, such as erythritol and stevia, may be used in small amounts in our low-carb and keto dessert recipes.

Visual guide: Low-carb sweeteners – the best and worst

 
 


Sugar

We don’t see a need to use pure regular sugar, brown sugar, honey or agave in our recipes because they don’t provide anything necessary for a healthy diet: they contribute nothing other than a sweet taste. Sugar raises blood glucose which causes insulin release.

Learn more about how sugar effects your health

 


Gluten

We don’t use ingredients containing gluten knowingly because it can cause problems for people sensitive to it, even in small amounts. We can’t guarantee that some ingredients in our recipes (ground psyllium husk, oat fiber and protein powder etc.) haven’t been contaminated in production.

Learn more about gluten and wheat

 


Gluten-free grains

Gluten-free grains, such as oats, are not something we recommend eating a lot of due to their high carb content. We do think that they, in small to moderate amounts can be part of a healthy diet for insulin-sensitive people. That’s why small amounts of gluten-free grains are allowed in our moderate and liberal low-carb recipes as long as they stay within our set limits for carbs. As a general rule, we don’t use them in our keto recipes.

 


Dairy products

We use full-fat dairy products such as butter, heavy whipping cream, yogurt and cheese in our recipes unless they are marked as dairy-free. Full-fat dairy products have a high protein and fat content, which provides satiety.

Learn more about dairy on a low-carb diet

 


Low-Carb Nuts

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are used in our recipes, both in their natural form and as flours. They add texture and flavor and can be used as a handy snack. The carb content between different nuts and seeds varies quite a lot and if used in a recipe it must stay within our set limits for carbs.

Visual guide: Low-carb nuts – the best and worst


 
 


Legumes

Some legumes (sometimes referred to as grain legumes), such as beans, lentils, peas and peanuts are often high in carbs but are allowed in our recipes as long as the recipe itself stays within our set limits for carbs. Legumes have varying amounts of resistant starch which can have a lowering effect on blood sugar for some people.

Learn more about resistant starch

 


Soy

Products made from soy, like tofu, are not something we recommend eating often, if at all. This is because they contain phytoestrogens, which studies have shown can be detrimental to health. Since this is a matter of amounts, soy may be used in some recipes as a substitute for animal protein, but only on rare occasions.

Guide: How to follow a healthy vegetarian keto diet

 


Chocolate

Dark chocolate with ≥70% cocoa solids (preferably ≥85%) and sugar-free chocolate may be used in our dessert recipes if they stay within our set limits for carbs. It’s only allowed in desserts and intended for occasional consumption, not in breakfast or snack recipes or in recipes that can be considered everyday foods.

 


  1. The limit of four percent energy means that you’ll stay below a maximum 20 grams of carbs on a 2,000-calorie diet, even if you only choose our most carb-rich keto recipes.

    In most cases you’ll end up with far fewer carbs than that, as some of the keto recipes you use are likely to have significantly less than the maximum amount of carbs.

    Our keto recipes are also limited in protein. Our rule is that for keto recipes with 4 energy percent carbs we accept a maximum of 25 energy percent protein. For lower carb levels we accept slightly more protein:

    • 3 % carbs = max 27 % protein
    • 2 % carbs = max 29 % protein
    • 1 % carbs = max 31 % protein
    • 0 % carbs = max 33 % protein

     
    If there’s too much protein in a recipe to classify it as keto low carb, we instead classify it as moderate low carb.