Recipes FAQ

Recipes FAQ

On this page we aim to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding our low-carb and keto recipes. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please ask it in the and we’ll do our best to answer it.

If you want to learn more about our thoughts on different ingredients, please see our food policy.

 


1. Where can I find the nutritional information for your recipes?

In all recipes we have a section called nutrition. It’s located directly underneath the ingredients. Click the plus sign and you will find the amount of carbs, protein and fat in percentage and in grams per serving. There you’ll also find the number of calories per serving.

 


2. How come there are moderate and liberal recipes with fewer carbs per serving than in some keto recipes?

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 carbs in our recipes, where 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.

Because the levels are defined by percentage, you can sometimes find a small serving of a liberal recipe with fewer carbs per serving than a large serving of a keto recipe.

Please see our guide How low carb is low carb? to learn more about our categories.

 


3. Where can I find the number of calories for each recipe?

All nutritional information, including calories per serving, can be found in the section underneath the ingredients in all recipes.

If your aim with calorie restriction is to lose weight, please see our guide: How to lose weight

Read more about our thoughts on calorie counting here:

Isn’t weight loss all about calories?
The top videos about calories

 


4. Can I combine a vegetarian or vegan diet with a keto diet?

If you are a vegetarian who eats dairy and eggs, known as lacto-ovo, it’s not a problem to combine that with a low-carb or keto lifestyle.

A strict vegan diet can be complicated to combine with keto and is not something we recommend in the long run because of the problems of getting enough essential protein and vitamins. For individual meals it’s usually not a problem, a great example is this recipe for vegan kale and spinach soup.

If you’re vegan and you want to follow a more liberal low-carb diet, where beans and lentils may have a place, that could in theory be possible. Due to our hesitation about how healthful this is long term we’ve chosen not to make this our focus.

Guide: How to follow a healthy vegetarian keto diet

 


5. I don’t like/can’t eat a certain ingredient, can I substitute it for something else?

Yes! We think of our recipes as guidance for your inspiration and assistance in making low-carb and keto simple. We absolutely love it when people change ingredients in our recipes and make them their own.

There are a few things to consider though from a food safety perspective. If you substitute your protein you need to make sure it’s cooked until safe to eat. This goes especially for poultry, pork and eggs. If you feel uncertain about how to tell when it’s done, we recommend using a food thermometer.

When it comes to vegetables it’s usually easier to substitute for something that resembles the vegetable you’re swapping. By that we mean resemblance in texture and size. That way you can use the same cooking procedure and estimated cooking times.

In order to keep the macros in the recipe in the same range we recommend using our guide to low-carb vegetables.

 


6. What can I use to substitute dairy in a recipe?

For information on when to use butter, and how to substitute it if you don’t want to use it, see .

When it comes to products like milk, heavy whipping cream or créme fraiche we suggest substituting for coconut milk or coconut cream. Make sure the one you buy doesn’t have any sugar added to it.

Cheese is a trickier thing to replace in a recipe. Many who limit dairy still enjoy cheese made from goat or sheep milk because they contain a type of milk protein (A2 casein) that humans tolerate better than the milk protein from most modern cows (A1 casein).

 


7. Why do some of your dairy-free recipes list butter in the ingredients?

In some recipes we have butter as an alternative source of fat. Many people who limit dairy can still enjoy real butter which, despite being made from milk, contains only trace amounts of milk protein and sugar. In recipes where the butter can’t be substituted for another source of fat, we do not label them as dairy-free.

Excluding dairy from your diet can be an effective way to speed up your weight loss and help reverse type 2 diabetes. Dairy products contain not only milk sugar (lactose), but also milk protein (casein), which stimulates insulin secretion more than other types of protein. This is why milk is great for a growing baby, but not that great for an adult who wants to lose weight.

In recipes where you want to exclude butter, here are our recommendations for substitution:

  • In general, we recommend substituting butter for ghee (homemade versions may still have traces of milk protein in them so if you’re allergic we don’t recommend that), coconut oil or olive oil.
  • For frying, we recommend using ghee or coconut oil.
  • When adding to the finished dish as a sauce or flavor enhancer, we recommend ghee or olive oil.

Low carb, keto and dairy free recipes

 


8. Why do you limit sweeteners in your recipes?

Sweeteners are often used in low-carb and keto recipes as a substitute for sugar since they don’t raise blood sugar or cause insulin release as regular sugar does. So why do we feel a need to limit them?

Our recommendation is to not consume sweeteners. They are problematic for a number of reasons – for example they’ve been shown to potentially increase appetite and maintain cravings for sweet foods.

We do allow some natural sweeteners in dessert recipes. Please read more about our use of sweeteners in our food policy.

That being said, if you feel comfortable using sweeteners and wish to continue doing so, you can alter our recipes as you see fit to better suit your needs and preferences.

 


9. Do your recipes show net carbs or total carbs?

We use net carbs throughout this site. Net carbs means digestible carbs, i.e. the total amount of carbs minus fiber. Since fiber passes through our bodies without affecting blood sugar in most people, we believe that this is the easiest way to calculate.


10. What is the nutritional information based on?

To the largest extent possible we use the USDA database for nutritional information (US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy Release. Current version: September 2019.).

If an ingredient isn’t listed there we use a Swedish equivalent (Livsmedelsverket) and if we’re not successful finding it there either we use the nutritional information provided on the product used.

 


11. Why are most of your side dishes marked as moderate or liberal low carb and not keto?

Most of the side dishes on our site are marked as moderate or liberal low carb (yellow or orange ball). That’s because they, by themselves, often contain a percentage of carbs too high to be labeled keto.

In practice this means that a “moderate” or even “liberal” side dish, together with a “normal” portion of protein of your liking and a generous dollop of sauce or flavored butter (fat) most likely will become a delicious keto meal.

If using unprocessed protein and fat they won’t add many, if any, carbs to the plate and the number on the side dish will be true for the entire serving.

So feel free to indulge in all of our side dishes and combine them with your favorite meats and condiments for the perfect keto meal.

 


 

Visual low-carb guides

Here are more detailed visual guides to the amount of carbs in common foods. Is a specific food item low or high in carbs? Click to find out:

Comments

If you couldn’t find the answer you were looking for above, please ask your question here and we’ll do our best to answer it.

  1. The limit of four energy percent means that you’ll stay below a maximum 20 grams of carbs on a 2,000-calorie diet, even if you only choose our very 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 30 energy percent protein. For lower carb levels we accept slightly more protein:

    • 3 % carbs = max 32 % protein
    • 2 % carbs = max 34 % protein
    • 1 % carbs = max 36 % protein
    • 0 % carbs = max 38 % 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.

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239 comments

  1. latoyadchris
    So you're saying, just divide the full meal prepared by the number of servings listed?? So if I prepare a meal with six servings, I need to plate 6 plates with equal servings?
    Reply: #202
  2. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    So you're saying, just divide the full meal prepared by the number of servings listed?? So if I prepare a meal with six servings, I need to plate 6 plates with equal servings?

    Yes. You can do that by portioning it out immediately or simply visualizing the finished dished divided into 6 sections.

  3. Emma Scott
    Hi there. Really new to this, but finally got into it and enjoying it. One question though, some recipes say that a recipe is for example; 300 ml (150 g) almond flour. I thought that ml and g weighed the same? On my scales if I put in 300ml of almond flour and changed it over to grams, it would say 300g - which figure do I follow?
    Reply: #204
  4. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi there. Really new to this, but finally got into it and enjoying it. One question though, some recipes say that a recipe is for example; 300 ml (150 g) almond flour. I thought that ml and g weighed the same? On my scales if I put in 300ml of almond flour and changed it over to grams, it would say 300g - which figure do I follow?

    Ml and grams only 1:1 for water I believe. Some ingredients are naturally denser and heavier while others are lighter and fluffier. Almond flour is not a 1:1 ratio, so you can use either ml or g but make sure and use 300ml OR 150g, whichever is more convenient.

  5. 1 comment removed
  6. ABKAAS
    I just made the mushroom and cheese frittata, 2 servings. I ate half, and it tasted great! However, when I entered the recipe in Fat Secret, everything was way off - by a factor of almost 2. There seems to be a fundamental math error someplace. I changed the original recipe number of servings to 2. Also, I would prefer that the nutrition information shows total carbs rather than net carbs, or at least have access to this information. My Fat Secret shows the calories = 2,009; protein = 85g; fat = 175g; and carbs at 18 g for the 2 servings. Per serving, it comes out to: 1,004 calories; 43 g protein; fat = 88g ; and 9 g of carb. CAn you help?
    Reply: #207
  7. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    I just made the mushroom and cheese frittata, 2 servings. I ate half, and it tasted great! However, when I entered the recipe in Fat Secret, everything was way off - by a factor of almost 2. There seems to be a fundamental math error someplace. I changed the original recipe number of servings to 2. Also, I would prefer that the nutrition information shows total carbs rather than net carbs, or at least have access to this information. My Fat Secret shows the calories = 2,009; protein = 85g; fat = 175g; and carbs at 18 g for the 2 servings. Per serving, it comes out to: 1,004 calories; 43 g protein; fat = 88g ; and 9 g of carb. CAn you help?

    Thank you for your feedback. The nutrition information displayed is for a single serving. For total carbs in a given serving, add net carbs and fiber.

  8. debrarose
    I made the bread rolls with sesame seeds on and they were wonderful !
    The next two batches were not so
    They were empty inside !! Full of air!!
    I stuck carefully to recipe etc
    Cannot understand what has gone wrong
    Im wondering if oven temperature is problem ..... it says 175c
    Is that same for fan oven ? Maybe oven too hot ? I usually drop 20 so would be 155c
    Help !!!
    Debra Edwards .... Suffolk,England
    Reply: #209
  9. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    I made the bread rolls with sesame seeds on and they were wonderful !
    The next two batches were not so
    They were empty inside !! Full of air!!
    I stuck carefully to recipe etc
    Cannot understand what has gone wrong
    Im wondering if oven temperature is problem ..... it says 175c
    Is that same for fan oven ? Maybe oven too hot ? I usually drop 20 so would be 155c
    Help !!!
    Debra Edwards .... Suffolk,England

    Hi, Debra! Over mixing the dough can sometimes cause that problem.

  10. Amanda
    Hi i made the pecan butter cheesecake, can it be frozen? It made 10 portions so too much to rst in one week!
    Reply: #211
  11. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    Hi i made the pecan butter cheesecake, can it be frozen? It made 10 portions so too much to rst in one week!

    Yes, cheesecakes typically freeze very well. You may choose to freeze it whole or in individual servings.

  12. leahblackwell6
    Hi, when buying ground beef/mince meat what % of fat do I buy? 5,10 15 20??? The receipe doesn't say and I'm new here
    Reply: #213
  13. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    Hi, when buying ground beef/mince meat what % of fat do I buy? 5,10 15 20??? The receipe doesn't say and I'm new here

    The basic recommendation is to use what you prefer and what is on sale. 85/15 is a good bet for most recipes.

  14. fmortonqueeley
    the Keto chicken pesto stew with zoodles is a lot. Is this supposed to be eaten in one portion?
    Reply: #215
  15. Britta Patterson

    the Keto chicken pesto stew with zoodles is a lot. Is this supposed to be eaten in one portion?

    This recipe instructions are for 4 servings. You can divide this into 4 equal portions for 1 serving.

  16. samuels97mom
    Is there a way to put in my own recipes? And somewhere that I can figure out how many carbs, etc I should be eating everyday for weight loss?
    Reply: #217
  17. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    Is there a way to put in my own recipes? And somewhere that I can figure out how many carbs, etc I should be eating everyday for weight loss?

    We don't currently allow for entering your own recipes. Once you choose whether you want to follow keto, moderate low carb, or liberal low carb, you can simply follow our color-coded recipes and meal plans, and all the macros are already figured for you! https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/how-low-carb-is-low-carb

  18. higginsk001
    Am loving the cloud bread - but my mixture is alway far too runny to make individual breads....it just runs out to make a large flat pancake! Still tastes great but not easy to store or eat. What size eggs should I use? And how best to make it a stiffer mix please?
    Thanks
  19. Aileen
    Hi, do you have an alternative for the Provolone cheese as I am struggling to find it in Melbourne at the moment given we can't travel out and about and have to use the closest supermarket. Same for the psyllium husk powder is there an alternative for that, is gentle fibre okay which is a blend of ground oat bran, linseeds and psyllium husk that make up a natural fibre supplement?

    Thanks Aileen

    Reply: #220
  20. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    Hi, do you have an alternative for the Provolone cheese as I am struggling to find it in Melbourne at the moment given we can't travel out and about and have to use the closest supermarket. Same for the psyllium husk powder is there an alternative for that, is gentle fibre okay which is a blend of ground oat bran, linseeds and psyllium husk that make up a natural fibre supplement?
    Thanks Aileen

    Hi, Aileen! You should be able to use mozzarella in place of provolone. And for psyllium husk powder, you can use ground flax seeds, ground chia seeds, or xanthan gum as a substitute. Here's more info regarding ratios!
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/guides/psyllium-husk

  21. Irene
    I don't eat rotisserie chicken unless I grill it myself. For one of your recipes I need 2/5. How much is that in grams?
    Thanks Irene
    Reply: #222
  22. Irene
    No need to answer. I calculated it using the amount of protein shown.
    Irene
  23. Deb
    I've done low-carb for almost 5 years, but then I was hospitalized for sepsis. They gave me huge doses of antibiotics, and now I can't eat onions or garlic. Can you clue me in on your recipes that are onion- and garlic-free, or suggest subs that will work?
    Reply: #224
  24. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    I've done low-carb for almost 5 years, but then I was hospitalized for sepsis. They gave me huge doses of antibiotics, and now I can't eat onions or garlic. Can you clue me in on your recipes that are onion- and garlic-free, or suggest subs that will work?

    So sorry to hear that, Deb! It may change the flavors a bit, but you can simply omit the onions and garlic from recipes.

  25. Jackie
    I’m new here, also. I have tried several bread recipes and they always come out flat. It doesn’t effect the flavor but they don’t come out like the picture. Would increasing the servings help?
    Reply: #226
  26. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I’m new here, also. I have tried several bread recipes and they always come out flat. It doesn’t effect the flavor but they don’t come out like the picture. Would increasing the servings help?

    That may depend on the specific recipe. If you have a question or a problem after you make a specific recipe, you can ask the question on that page so we can make sure to offer troubleshooting relevant to that recipe.

  27. Rosie
    My husband is allergic to coconut, what can I substitute it with in the recipes; mainly with regard to coconut flour?
    Reply: #228
  28. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    My husband is allergic to coconut, what can I substitute it with in the recipes; mainly with regard to coconut flour?

    For most recipes, you should be able to substitute almond flour, however the ratios are not the same.
    Here's more info! https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes/baking

  29. Rosie
    Thank you for answering my question, and for the link. We have only been on the low-carb diet for a few days, and I am very much still finding my feet with regard to the recipes. As coconut appears in so many recipes, not being able to use it is a bit of a problem. It's nice to know what I can use in place of it, and still get similar results. Many thanks!
  30. Samuel
    Hi, I have noticed that all the recipes I looked at have very low count of reviews. I remember that last year there were tons of ratings on the recipes. Now, there is barely any rating left. Why? The comments are still there, so I can read through the troubles with some recipes and such, but still...
    Reply: #231
  31. Britta Patterson

    Hi, I have noticed that all the recipes I looked at have very low count of reviews. I remember that last year there were tons of ratings on the recipes. Now, there is barely any rating left. Why? The comments are still there, so I can read through the troubles with some recipes and such, but still...

    Hi Samuel, in the past week we have implemented improvements in the way members can rate recipes so that it is simpler to use and helps with accuracy. We reset ratings at the same time to ensure that the ratings accurately reflect user experience and reviews! We ask and encourage all to go back through and rate any of the recipes that you have tried with honest feedback.

    Hope that this helps!

  32. Danielle
    What is one serving equivalent to ? Most I see on line it is about 3.5 oz. I need to know ONE serving to keep track of my carbs

    Thank you

    Reply: #233
  33. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    What is one serving equivalent to ? Most I see on line it is about 3.5 oz. I need to know ONE serving to keep track of my carbs
    Thank you

    There is not a standard when it comes to serving size. Each of our recipes lists the number of servings it makes. If you need 2 servings, you can adjust that above the list of ingredients and then each serving would be 1/2 of the total dish.

  34. Emma
    Hi,

    New here. Is there an option to add snacks/desserts to your meal plan? Can only see Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Thanks.

    Reply: #235
  35. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi,
    New here. Is there an option to add snacks/desserts to your meal plan? Can only see Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Thanks.

    At this time there is only the option to add a single meal to each slot in the meal plans.

  36. Cristina
    Hi there! Is there a limit to how many meal plans I can have in my account. Today, I cannot find any of my meal plans for this year.
    Reply: #237
  37. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi there! Is there a limit to how many meal plans I can have in my account. Today, I cannot find any of my meal plans for this year.

    You should be able to store 100 meal plans. If you'd like tech support, please email contact@dietdoctor.com

  38. Cindy
    Is there a section on best recipes to freeze? I am doing Keto alone, and would love to make ‘batches’ of meals to freeze. It would be SO handy to just pull something out of the freezer, heat and serve.
    Reply: #239
  39. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Is there a section on best recipes to freeze? I am doing Keto alone, and would love to make ‘batches’ of meals to freeze. It would be SO handy to just pull something out of the freezer, heat and serve.

    Here's our recipe collection for freezer meals.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes/keto-meal-prepping-and-fr...

  40. Nigel
    I made a Keto Caprese omelet for lunch today. As I was eating it, I was pondering over the fat levels. I've just revisited the recipe & I think there are some mathematical errors as well as dietary content ones. The percentages for carbs, fat & protein for 2 servings are incorrect. With the respective 4, 42 & 33 gms, the percentages should be 5, 53 & 41. I then took the recipe and calculated the proportions using nutritional data (from internet searches) for each item just for one serving, which resulted in slightly different results, but not major: 4, 50, 46. I'm only in my second week of Keto and am not sure what effect, if any, the higher level of protein will have on me. That apart, I'm also concerned to find this error. I don't really want to start analysing every recipe to check your data. If my calculations are not correct please let me know and let me know how you calculated yours & then why this recipe is in a high fat keto section. Many thanks, Nigel.
    Reply: #241
  41. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I made a Keto Caprese omelet for lunch today. As I was eating it, I was pondering over the fat levels. I've just revisited the recipe & I think there are some mathematical errors as well as dietary content ones. The percentages for carbs, fat & protein for 2 servings are incorrect. With the respective 4, 42 & 33 gms, the percentages should be 5, 53 & 41. I then took the recipe and calculated the proportions using nutritional data (from internet searches) for each item just for one serving, which resulted in slightly different results, but not major: 4, 50, 46. I'm only in my second week of Keto and am not sure what effect, if any, the higher level of protein will have on me. That apart, I'm also concerned to find this error. I don't really want to start analysing every recipe to check your data. If my calculations are not correct please let me know and let me know how you calculated yours & then why this recipe is in a high fat keto section. Many thanks, Nigel.

    All of our nutrition information comes from the USDA database. There are more calories per gram of fat than for carbs or protein.

  42. Nilgun
    Which value do the net carbs indicated next to recipes based upon? i.e. do they equal to 100 grams, one portion, the whole recipe, etc?
    Reply: #243
  43. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Which value do the net carbs indicated next to recipes based upon? i.e. do they equal to 100 grams, one portion, the whole recipe, etc?

    All of the nutrition information listed, including net carbs, are per serving.

  44. Cathie
    Hi, I've just created a meal plan & I was reviewing the recipes and I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. The ingredients reference "1 serving" and the instructions reference "Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed". Do I need to multiply the ingredients by four to align with the instructions? Or are the ingredients referenced for preparation of 4 servings? Thank you.
    Reply: #245
  45. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi, I've just created a meal plan & I was reviewing the recipes and I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. The ingredients reference "1 serving" and the instructions reference "Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed". Do I need to multiply the ingredients by four to align with the instructions? Or are the ingredients referenced for preparation of 4 servings? Thank you.

    Hi Cathie! The "Instructions" don't generally refer to specific amounts of ingredients. Follow the quantity listed in the Ingredients. The place to pay attention is if the Instructions list a baking dish size or baking time as you may need to adjust that if you're making fewer or more than 4 servings.

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