Nutritional analysis guidelines
We do not include any “optional” ingredients in the nutritional analysis, such as optional sour cream or a slice of bread. We also do not include “suggested” ingredients, such as “serve with pasta or whole grain bread.”
Whenever possible, we attempt to match ingredients in recipes to specific brands in our stores (Bob’s Red Mill, Hain, etc), or else we use standard USDA values for meats, dairy, produce and other ingredients.
If a recipe calls for a marinade that is only used to marinate the food, but not actually used in cooking, then we analyze the recipe based on 1/2 of the ingredients in the marinade, assuming that the other half of the marinade is tossed out.
We select a reduced fat (but not skim) option for milk, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. If you select skim milk, then the fat and calories will be slightly lower; and if you select a whole milk option, then your fat, saturated fat and total calories will be slightly higher than what is published. If a recipe calls for butter, we use unsalted butter in the nutrition analysis.
Meat and Eggs
If a recipe calls for an egg, we assume large eggs are used. If a recipe calls for ground beef, we use a 15 percent fat content, for ground pork or lamb we assume a 28 percent fat content. Our nutrition database does not provide data for grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, which are generally leaner and lower in saturated fat content, so the Nutrition Facts Panels might not always reflect the meats available in our stores.
We select “reduced sodium” versions of broth, soy sauce / tamari and baking powder. For canned beans (and other canned vegetables) we select unsalted versions, assuming that you will drain and rinse them prior to cooking, which greatly reduces their sodium content. If a recipe states to “salt to taste” we add 1 dash of salt per serving.
If a recipe calls for “high-heat oil” then we recommend using grapeseed, almond, avocado, high-oleic safflower/sunflower or canola, but not extra virgin olive oil.
We try to list the number of servings for each recipe, and when we do, this is what is used in determining the Nutrition Facts Panels. If a recipe states 4 to 6 servings, we use 5 servings in the analysis. Here are some general rules that we follow:
- Grains / beans = 1/2 cup
- Meat / seafood = 4 to 6 ounces
- Salad dressing / condiments = 2 tablespoons
- Dips/spreads = 1/4 cup
- Raw vegetable salads = 1 cup
- Cooked vegetable dishes = 1/2 cup
- Casseroles = 9 servings (only when this is not already specified in the recipe)
- Soup/stew = 1 cup
- Beverages = 6 to 8 ounces
A note about gluten
We consider recipes to be gluten-free, when they contain tamari, miso, tempeh, broth, corn tortillas and oats to increase the number of recipes available for those searching for gluten-free recipes, assuming that users will be able to determine if these ingredients are gluten-free. Not all brands of tamari, miso, tempeh, broth, corn tortillas and oats are gluten-free.
Are oats gluten free?
Oats are naturally gluten-free and are safe to eat for those with celiac disease. However most oats you find at the supermarket today will contain traces of gluten as a result of sharing processing equipment on the farm and in storage and processing facilities. If you are avoiding gluten, always be sure to look for oats that are labeled gluten free, and ideally certified gluten-free to ensure safety.