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.

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119 comments

  1. Regina
    Could you please include a specific category for SOUPS? I can't remember the names of all the recipes and have a hard time finding them especially if the recipe title begins with low carb or keto etc. Cab you help?
    Reply: #52
  2. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Could you please include a specific category for SOUPS? I can't remember the names of all the recipes and have a hard time finding them especially if the recipe title begins with low carb or keto etc. Cab you help?

    You can use the website's search feature. Click the magnifying glass at the top right of the page. Then you can choose to search just recipes.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/?s=soup&st=recipe

  3. Lynn Swanson
    I have a question about the Keto Cauliflower Chicken Alfredo recipe. First, it says 1+1 servings (dinner + lunch), then below on the instructions it says it’s for 4 servings. Which is it?
    Reply: #55
  4. jihad
    hello,
    just a small question. I am coocking the "keto chicken with herb butter". It says in the nutrition facts that it has 64g of fats ( 69%) and 63g of protein ( 30%) per serving. How come for the approximatly same ammount of grams, it has very different percetage rates?
    Reply: #56
  5. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I have a question about the Keto Cauliflower Chicken Alfredo recipe. First, it says 1+1 servings (dinner + lunch), then below on the instructions it says it’s for 4 servings. Which is it?

    The ingredient measurements are scaled from your meal plan to meet the 1+1 serving. The written instructions do not scale from the original recipe page, but generally are not amount-specific in any case.

  6. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    hello,
    just a small question. I am coocking the "keto chicken with herb butter". It says in the nutrition facts that it has 64g of fats ( 69%) and 63g of protein ( 30%) per serving. How come for the approximatly same ammount of grams, it has very different percetage rates?

    This is an important question, thank you for asking! Carbohydrate provides 4 calories per gram, protein provides 4 calories per gram, and fat provides 9 calories per gram. Therefore, even if you are eating the same amount of grams of protein and fat, your percentages will be very different.
    https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/how-many-calories-are-one-gram-fat-carb...

  7. Emma
    I’m based in the UK and I’m enjoying everything DD has to offer especially the keto recipes. However, they are difficult to follow as there are no metric equivalents. While we can work out the Oz/mg/ml equivalents (quite laborious), we simply don’t do cups here and most Brits (and most of the the rest of the world!) don’t have the equipment to measure them. In this worldwide web community it would be helpful if you could please provide this information.
  8. Leslie
    Hi Kristin,

    I am keeping to strict keto and using the provided recipes. I would like to be able to substitute side dishes or mix and match.
    Each recipe is broken into sections. For example burger, topping, side. But the only carbs listed are for the entire dish so I do not know how many carbs I am subtracting if I omit the toppings/side.

    As someone who cooks and has always cooked it's frustrating. I am used to making my own recipes but am having trouble. There are also vegetables used in your recipes that are not pictured on the "veggie guide" For example some of your keto recipes use onion and others use mushrooms. Mushrooms are not listed on the "Foods to eat," so I do not know how many carbs to account for when making my own recipes. Onions are listed as foods NOT to eat.

    Can you point me in the direction of a source that lists ALL foods and their carb counts so I can get more creative? I am quickly running out of recipes that I enjoy and do not want to quit!!

    Thank you!

  9. Leslie
    Hi Kristin,
    I am keeping to strict keto and using the provided recipes. I would like to be able to substitute side dishes or mix and match.
    Each recipe is broken into sections. For example burger, topping, side. But the only carbs listed are for the entire dish so I do not know how many carbs I am subtracting if I omit the toppings/side.

    As someone who cooks and has always cooked it's frustrating. I am used to making my own recipes but am having trouble. There are also vegetables used in your recipes that are not pictured on the "veggie guide" For example some of your keto recipes use onion and others use mushrooms. Mushrooms are not listed on the "Foods to eat," so I do not know how many carbs to account for when making my own recipes. Onions are listed as foods NOT to eat.

    Can you point me in the direction of a source that lists ALL foods and their carb counts so I can get more creative? I am quickly running out of recipes that I enjoy and do not want to quit!!

    Thank you!

  10. Leslie
    I am keeping to strict keto and using the provided recipes. I would like to be able to substitute side dishes or mix and match.
    Each recipe is broken into sections. For example burger, topping, side. But the only carbs listed are for the entire dish so I do not know how many carbs I am subtracting if I omit the toppings/side.

    As someone who cooks and has always cooked it's frustrating. I am used to making my own recipes but am having trouble. There are also vegetables used in your recipes that are not pictured on the "veggie guide" For example some of your keto recipes use onion and others use mushrooms. Mushrooms are not listed on the "Foods to eat," so I do not know how many carbs to account for when making my own recipes. Onions are listed as foods NOT to eat.

    Can you point me in the direction of a source that lists ALL foods and their carb counts so I can get more creative? I am quickly running out of recipes that I enjoy and do not want to quit!!

    Thank you!

  11. Leslie
    Can you point me in the direction of a source that lists ALL foods and their carb counts so I can get more creative? I am quickly running out of recipes that I enjoy and do not want to quit!!

    Thank you!

  12. Doug
    Following the Keto meat pie recipe - some ingredients are fractional -- don't quite understand 1/3 garlic clove, or 1/6 yellow oninon, or 1/3 tbsp dried oregano or 1/6 cup of water or 1/3 egg -- please explain how i should interpret fractional measurements
    Reply: #63
  13. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Following the Keto meat pie recipe - some ingredients are fractional -- don't quite understand 1/3 garlic clove, or 1/6 yellow oninon, or 1/3 tbsp dried oregano or 1/6 cup of water or 1/3 egg -- please explain how i should interpret fractional measurements

    I am assuming you scaled the recipe to make more or fewer servings than the recipe originally called for. While that feature is awesome, it can definitely yield some weird measurement results. Feel free to round to a number that makes sense.

  14. Irene
    I have just started making a meal plan and can't find out how to add the side dishes. For instance, a green salad with dressing is recommended to be served with the meat pie. Where can I enter this?
    Reply: #65
  15. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I have just started making a meal plan and can't find out how to add the side dishes. For instance, a green salad with dressing is recommended to be served with the meat pie. Where can I enter this?

    Unfortunately, at this time, we can only add full meals to the meal planner, not individual recipes. Our awesome meal planner is working on building a better version and I will pass your feedback on to them.

    Reply: #66
  16. Irene
    Thank you for the information.
    However, I meant the already existing possibility of entering additional recipes below the meal boxes, for example in Bjarto Bakke's meal plan.
    Reply: #68
  17. Jane
    Eggs: If the recipe doesn't state the size, (large, medium etc) which should be used? (eg the vanilla ice cream recipe). Love the DietDoctor site and especially the recipes, thank you.
    Reply: #69
  18. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Thank you for the information.
    However, I meant the already existing possibility of entering additional recipes below the meal boxes, for example in Bjarto Bakke's meal plan.

    That should hopefully be one of the improvements the team is working on!

  19. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Eggs: If the recipe doesn't state the size, (large, medium etc) which should be used? (eg the vanilla ice cream recipe). Love the DietDoctor site and especially the recipes, thank you.

    Standard recipe convention calls for eggs to be the large sized eggs, unless otherwise specified.

  20. Leigh
    Hi Kristin
    I am very new to Keto and have a question about fructans. I am very sensitive to high fructan foods and would like some suggestions for being able to keep strictly Keto as well as low fructan. What can I use instead of garlic and onions for instance?
    Reply: #71
  21. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi Kristin
    I am very new to Keto and have a question about fructans. I am very sensitive to high fructan foods and would like some suggestions for being able to keep strictly Keto as well as low fructan. What can I use instead of garlic and onions for instance?

    I was unfamiliar with fructan sensitivity so I did a little research and I found this website. They list some alternatives to some high fructan foods. Please note of course, in the sweeteners section, cane sugar is not keto friendly.
    https://casadesante.com/blogs/low-fodmap-life/foods-high-in-fructans

  22. Bryan
    How would I submit recipes for your team to test and possibly add to your site?
    Reply: #73
  23. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    How would I submit recipes for your team to test and possibly add to your site?

    Recipes
    Is your favorite recipe missing on our site? Have you got any suggestions how to improve our meal plans or recipe pages? Maybe you would like to be one of our amazing recipe collaborators?
    recipes@dietdoctor.com

  24. Marsha Taylor
    Is the kcal really 425 per serving for the cottage cheese pancakes with berries. Seems like it’s a lot for 1 pancake. Also the fat content seems high also. Wondering if it’s for the entire recipe and not just 1 serving.

    Thank you!

    Reply: #75
  25. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Is the kcal really 425 per serving for the cottage cheese pancakes with berries. Seems like it’s a lot for 1 pancake. Also the fat content seems high also. Wondering if it’s for the entire recipe and not just 1 serving.
    Thank you!

    The nutrition facts are per serving. We use the USDA nutritional database to calculate the nutrition for each recipe.

  26. Harald
    Love the recipes on Diet Doctor. I've got a bit of a challenge though.
    When using metric ingredients, US cups are being translated to ml. Where nl is for fluids, it's shear impossible to convert to gr.
    eg 1 cup of Parmesan equals 90 gr but 1 cup of butter equals 240 gr. How can I convert all these different ingredients?
    Reply: #77
  27. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Love the recipes on Diet Doctor. I've got a bit of a challenge though.
    When using metric ingredients, US cups are being translated to ml. Where nl is for fluids, it's shear impossible to convert to gr.
    eg 1 cup of Parmesan equals 90 gr but 1 cup of butter equals 240 gr. How can I convert all these different ingredients?

    Our recipes team is working on improvements and standardization for our recipes on our website. I will pass your feedback on to them.

  28. Christy
    Can I put my own recipe in?
    Reply: #79
  29. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can I put my own recipe in?

    In the meal planner? Unfortunately that is not currently an option.

  30. Arlene
    Have just imported the lemon layer cake recipe into my fitness pal app and the carbs calculated are not the same as the nutrition info on your website for 20 servings as stated. My fitness pal calculated the carbs as 22 per serving. Any suggestions?
    Reply: #81
  31. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Have just imported the lemon layer cake recipe into my fitness pal app and the carbs calculated are not the same as the nutrition info on your website for 20 servings as stated. My fitness pal calculated the carbs as 22 per serving. Any suggestions?

    You do not need to include the sweetener and oat fiber in your calculations.

  32. Denney
    Please explain kcal vs calorie.
    Reply: #83
  33. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Please explain kcal vs calorie.

    They are the same thing.
    https://www.nutrition.gov/subject/whats-in-food/faqs

  34. Caroline
    I am not a very good cook so rely heavily on the instructions in a recipe. Vegan kale and spinach soup, is there something missing or is it eaten cold?
    Reply: #85
  35. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I am not a very good cook so rely heavily on the instructions in a recipe. Vegan kale and spinach soup, is there something missing or is it eaten cold?

    It is warm/room temperature as written but you could enjoy it hot or cold, whichever you prefer.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/vegan-kale-spinach-soup

  36. Kevin
    I just started the free two week beginner diet. The recipes state that each recipe is made for a dinner and next day lunch, two servings per person; however, I haven’t been able to find what constitutes a single serving size...6oz., 8oz.? Thanks for the help!
    Reply: #87
  37. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I just started the free two week beginner diet. The recipes state that each recipe is made for a dinner and next day lunch, two servings per person; however, I haven’t been able to find what constitutes a single serving size...6oz., 8oz.? Thanks for the help!

    That's going to vary by recipe, and is why all our recipes give the number of servings instead.

  38. Helene
    I would like to make the rolls that call for 3 egg whites. Could I use the whole egg instead of fust the whites?
    Reply: #89
  39. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I would like to make the rolls that call for 3 egg whites. Could I use the whole egg instead of fust the whites?

    Egg whites and whole eggs react very differently in baking.

  40. Darryl
    When you call for coconut milk in a recipe, do you mean the one in the can? Or do you mean the one in the store in the half-gallon container near the almond milk?
    Reply: #91
  41. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    When you call for coconut milk in a recipe, do you mean the one in the can? Or do you mean the one in the store in the half-gallon container near the almond milk?

    You can use either as long as it's not sweetened. Compare labels to make sure you're getting one with the lowest carb count.

  42. Kimberly
    Please I am new to Keto and love the meal planner! Very confused on serving sizes and for how many people? I need the recipe for two people but would that then be 2 servings or 4? I am counting carbs but do not see carbs change when I put in serving size so is that then per serving? So do I double the carbs myself when making 4 servings for 2 people? So confused?
    Reply: #93
  43. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Please I am new to Keto and love the meal planner! Very confused on serving sizes and for how many people? I need the recipe for two people but would that then be 2 servings or 4? I am counting carbs but do not see carbs change when I put in serving size so is that then per serving? So do I double the carbs myself when making 4 servings for 2 people? So confused?

    If you are cooking for 2 people and need leftovers for lunch the next day, cook 4 servings. The carbs do not change because all our recipes list the number of carbs per serving. There's no need to double the carbs because you're only eating 1 serving at a time.

  44. Kimberly
    Thank you ever so much!
  45. Lorraine Rosenal
    Hello Folks! I tried making the Keto Bread this afternoon. I’ve already baked it 20 minutes more than the recipe advises and the inside of the buns do not look baked. Is there a gummy appearance to the bread normally? Thank you so much for your help! Lorraine Rosenal
  46. Jonda
    This is more of a request in the nutrition box for each recipe: Would it be possible to state the serving size/amount and separate at least the carb count between the main dish and the sides? Thanks! I love this website and everyone one of you working so hard to save the world. Doing my part in my little part of the world, too!
  47. Marie
    Hi - new to keto, and excited to make a difference in my health and well-being! My question is fish I enjoy fish in general... except for salmon. Hate it. I've tried it many, many different ways, and I just can't. What do you suggest as a substitute? Sorryif this was covered elsewhere, and I missed it.

    Thank you,
    Marie

    Reply: #98
  48. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi - new to keto, and excited to make a difference in my health and well-being! My question is fish I enjoy fish in general... except for salmon. Hate it. I've tried it many, many different ways, and I just can't. What do you suggest as a substitute? Sorryif this was covered elsewhere, and I missed it.
    Thank you,
    Marie

    You can use any other fish you prefer! Chicken or pork can also make a decent substitute for salmon, depending on the recipe.

  49. Megan
    Can you not look at any recipe without having a membership now?
    Reply: #100
  50. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can you not look at any recipe without having a membership now?

    You should be able to view almost all of our recipes without a membership!
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/recipes

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