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, Release 28. Current version: September 2015, slightly revised May 2016.).

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 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.

42 comments

  1. Maureen Wolfaard
    Please Dr have an issue: LCHF three years now. Cured RA totally. Knees in RA /Osteo process damaged. Needed knee replacement however it has ENTERCOCCUS bacterior and treatment is PENISILLIEN. This is surely going to destroy the Microbiome of the gut!
    What suggestions do you have? Cannot have another knee replacement which is apparently the best to do.
    Will SO appreciate an answer.
    Reply: #2
  2. Kristin Berglund Team Diet Doctor
    Hello,

    We can't give personal medical advice on this site, only general recommendations. I suggest discussing with you doctor if you have concerns about your treatment.

    On a general note I would suggest continuing with LCHF if you feel good eating this way.

    Best,

    Kristin

  3. Christine
    Before I started using Keto recipes I sometimes used Quorn, is it possible to use it for Keto?
    Reply: #4
  4. Kristin Berglund Team Diet Doctor
    Hello,

    Qourn is a very processed product. I believe there are better options if you're on a vegetarian diet. Please see our guide: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/vegetarian

    Best,

    Kristin

  5. Joan Meyer
    Can we use commercial egg whites for recipes like Oopsi bread?
    Reply: #6
  6. Kristin Berglund Team Diet Doctor

    Can we use commercial egg whites for recipes like Oopsi bread?

    Hello,

    We have only made it using real eggs but my guess is that you would get a similar result using commercial egg whites.

    Best,
    Kristin

  7. Mary
    Two things food wise: #1 Nuts are a no, no. #2 I like soups, & stews also chili. Since it seems you do not eat beans, or barley, ?

    Mary

  8. JO
    Is it possible to have the ingredients in metrics?
  9. Dan
    I'm a bit confused about the use of Psyllium Husk powder in your recipes. Almost all your recipes with husk powder have just a few carbs, but on the husk label it states there is 11g of carbs per serving (2tsps). Seems like an awful lot. Couldn't find this stuff anywhere but Wal-Mart. Did I but the wrong stuff?
    P.S.
    Just finned the 1st 2 weeks and lost 17lbs. Love the Diet. Thanks so much!
    Dan
    Reply: #17
  10. Susan
    I just wanted to make a suggestion for searching the recipes. They are great, by the way, but sometimes (as I am working within recommended macros which include moderate protein) it would be really helpful to search by protein volume. For example on a day where I have used 60-70% of my daily macro I would be looking for a recipe with reduced protein but potentially higher fat content. Is this something the CMS might be able to do eventually thanks?
  11. Vivienne
    Hi, trying 2 week challenge so couple of questions.

    1. I have trouble eating, say for example 3 eggs at once, will it effect my results if I use less ingredients than are on the recipe?

    2. On the recipes are the grams quoted per serving or for the whole recipe?

    Thanks

    Reply: #13
  12. Lynda
    Can you suggest a replacement for psyllium husk powder?
    Reply: #14
  13. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Vivienne, if you are not hungry, don't force yourself to eat the whole portion. Eating to hunger is the important part. For the recipes, the nutrition information is per serving.
  14. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can you suggest a replacement for psyllium husk powder?

    Unfortunately there is no good substitute.

  15. Pamela
    Can you use Bakers unsweetened chocolate in lieu of sugar free dark chocolate? Would the taste be the same?
    Reply: #16
  16. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can you use Bakers unsweetened chocolate in lieu of sugar free dark chocolate? Would the taste be the same?

    That's going to depend on the recipe. You may find you want to add a little extra sweetener as the unsweetened can be quite bitter. Adjust sweetener amount to taste.

  17. Dan
    ???

    I'm a bit confused about the use of Psyllium Husk powder in your recipes. Almost all your recipes with husk powder have just a few carbs, but on the husk label it states there is 11g of carbs per serving (2tsps). Seems like an awful lot. Couldn't find this stuff anywhere but Wal-Mart. Did I but the wrong stuff?
    P.S.
    Just finned the 1st 2 weeks and lost 17lbs. Love the Diet. Thanks so much!
    Dan

    Reply: #18
  18. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Dan, you want the ingredients to be nothing but psyllium fiber. Since it's almost all fiber, you can subtract the fiber carbs from the carbohydrate amount to get the net carbs.
  19. Dianne
    I am having trouble understanding the portion sizes. When I put in one serving on my recipe do I keep half for lunch the next day or should I be putting in 2 servings. Very confusing. Also it states eat freely so why are the serving sizes so small.
    Reply: #20
  20. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    If you need 1 serving for dinner and 1 more for lunch, please select 2 servings. If you prefer to eat larger portions, choose 3 or 4 servings.
  21. Christi
    I am a little confused with the serving size amount. I have looked on several recipes and it states how many servings the recipe makes, but omits what is considered a serving size. Can you direct where to look on the recipe page where I can find this information.
    Reply: #22
  22. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Final dish volume is going to vary from kitchen to kitchen based on many different factors, which is why we list the number of servings rather than serving size.
  23. Angela
    Could someone clarify for me how the recipe servings work? If I am shopping for a family of four for and I am planning to cook enough dinner for my family to eat the same meal for lunch the next day as leftovers, do I adjust the servings to 8 people or are the leftovers built into the shopping list for 4?
    Reply: #24
  24. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    2 meals for 4 people would mean adjusting for 8 servings. The recipes are also used by people not using the meal planner so they list the actual number of servings the recipe would yield.
  25. Carol
    Hi. So if we are 2 people doing the diet, and in the recipe it gives 4 serves.. Does that mean that I should lower the quantity cooked or can we ear the whole thing? Thanks
    Reply: #28
  26. Julie
    Hi, is it possible for Diet Doctor to provide keto slow cooker recipes?
    Reply: #27
  27. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi, is it possible for Diet Doctor to provide keto slow cooker recipes?

    We have several recipes for slow cookers! If the site search doesn't return the results you are looking for (we are working on improving it!) you can do a google search for Diet Doctor Slow Cooker and check out our awesome recipes.

  28. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi. So if we are 2 people doing the diet, and in the recipe it gives 4 serves.. Does that mean that I should lower the quantity cooked or can we ear the whole thing? Thanks

    You can eat 2 of the servings for dinner and save the other 2 for lunch the next day.

  29. Alison
    hi, I too am a bit confused about the servings. I had adjusted to 5 servings but on comparing to 1 serve it doesn't seem to increase properly?
    I am guessing that even though at the top of the recipe it says "Instructions are for 4 servings, Please modify as needed" but if you have selected just 1 serving, the ingredients should be for one serving only? However in saying that because I am using leftovers for lunch but only for me, if I select 1 serving, up the top it shows 1 + 1 servings (dinner + lunch) so does this mean the ingredients are actually for two servings, not just one?
    It makes it very hard to adjust the shopping list? I think I am going to have to go through each recipe then and adjust down to 1 true serving and then multiply by the number i want for each and every ingredient?
    Please tell me there is an easier way?
    Thanks
    Reply: #30
  30. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Is there a specific recipe that is doing that for you? When I pull up random recipes to check. they are scaling appropriately and aren't showing 1+1, just the number of servings. So if you want 1 for dinner and 1 leftover for lunch, that would be 2 servings.
  31. Terri
    Is cream cheese acceptable to eat with smoked salmon.. if so, what quantity.
    Reply: #34
  32. Tammy
    Why are some of the measurements so confusing? 1/4 tbsp--how are you supposed to measure that? And isn't 2/3 Tbsp the same as 2 tsp? I've never seen a 2/3 Tbsp measuring spoon. And 1 oz of butter...it's so messy to put it into a scale.
    Another example...2/3 lb...my scale doesn't measure in fractions of pounds, it measures in ounces...and 2/3 pound comes out to 10.667oz. Tonight I made zoodles and asked for 2/3 lb of zucchini. Isn't easier to say "1 medium zucchini"?
    I do not like cooking, and I'm making a serious effort to get healthier, but these recipes completely stress me out...enough so that right now I won't bother with a monthly subscription (I probably won't make it beyond what I bought groceries for, to be honest).
    Reply: #33
  33. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    I haven't seen 1/4T on a recipe - are you using the drop down menu to change the number of servings? Unfortunately that is one limitation of that feature! ...and yes, there are 3t in 1T. Most butter has the ounces marked on the side of the wrapper.

    Zucchinis can vary widely by size. When it comes to keeping track of carbs it's important to be as accurate as possible.

  34. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Is cream cheese acceptable to eat with smoked salmon.. if so, what quantity.

    Yes, that's fine. Quantity is going to depend on your carbohydrate intake level and what else you are eating for that meal. The lowest carb cream cheeses are 1g carb per ounce, but the higher ones can be 3g carbs per ounce.

  35. Denise
    Hello. Love the recipes and especially the meal planner. My question is about the recipes that require "boneless chicken thighs". In my grocery stores (US, MidWest), I can get boneless skinless thighs OR bone in, skin on. So, in those recipes, should I remove the skin from the bone in or keep it? I don't mind boning chicken. Its cheaper to buy that way but I can't tell from the pictures about the skin. If that makes sense. Thanks
    Reply: #36
  36. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    You can debone chicken thighs or you can remove the skin (and then fry it up!!). Personal preference!
  37. Denise
    @Kristin Parker I fear that doesn't actually answer my question unless you mean debone but its up to you about the skin? Thanks
    Reply: #38
  38. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Yes, my wording was clunky!
  39. Mortezah
    Hi, just a quick question regarding the meal planner shopping list. On many occasions I'd like a serving for 2 on some dishes and a serving for 4 on others but I can't seem to find a way to have them broken into different servings for the overall shopping list... For instance it's either 2 for the whole lot or 4 for the whole lot.

    Is what I'm trying to achieve possible?

    Reply: #40
  40. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Unfortunately it is not an option at this time, but we may be implement it at some point in the future.

    Personally, we have 4 people in the house for dinner, but I am the only one who needs lunch. I set my meal planner for 3 people - that way I am making 6 total servings. 4-5 for dinner (I have 2 teenagers!) and then I get the leftovers for lunch the next day. I have found this works out very well.

  41. Natalie
    HI there,

    following your advice on the percentage of fat i should be eating per day, I am confused at your meal plans as they have roughly 100g extra fat than is recommended to eat on the keto diet. I have researched following this thinking it was my mistake, but eating over 200g of fat per day as your meal plans suggests means weight gain. Are you able to shed some light on this, have I picked something up wrong here? Thanks

    Reply: #42
  42. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Fat intake can vary from person to person - here is a good article on our website about how much different people need.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/much-fat-eat-ketogenic-diet

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