At Healthy Kitchen 101, we believe that healthy eating is an essential part of living a healthy, happy life.
As a result, we strongly believe that eating healthy should be simple, nourishing, non-restrictive, sustainable, and, most importantly, enjoyable.
These guidelines are set by our nutrition experts to ensure that we are bringing you recipes that not only taste delicious, but are actually healthy as well.
As there’s no one definition of a healthy diet, Healthy Kitchen 101 aims to provide recipes for a variety of diets and health concerns.
Unless designed for specific dietary needs, our recipes are developed to meet specific goals for calories, saturated fat, and sodium (per serving):
|Recipe Category||Calories (kcal)||Saturated fat (grams)||Sodium (mg)|
|Breads and muffins||<250||<2||<360|
|Dips and salad dressings||<100||<2||<150|
Additionally, all our recipes focus on using whole foods and limiting the use of added sugars and ultra-processed ingredients.
Our Healthy Eating Guidelines for Specific Diets and Health Concerns
Below is a detailed guide to our recipe tags for specialty diets. You can use these tags to search for and identify recipes that fit your dietary needs and preferences.
Recipes with this tag do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, such as wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.
However, it’s still important to read your ingredient lists carefully on packaged items to make sure they don’t contain any hidden sources of gluten. For products such as oats, which are naturally gluten-free, always check the packaging to make sure they are certified gluten-free to avoid risk of cross-contamination.
Recipes with this tag contain only ingredients approved under the keto diet and follow the approximate macronutrient breakdown of 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrate.
Recipes with this tag have no more than 15 grams of carbs per serving.
Recipes with this tag are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, fruits or vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. As the Mediterranena diet is more of a way of eating rather than a specific diet with set guidelines, there are no set macronutrient recommendations.
However, many studies show a similar breakdown as the current dietary guidelines: 45-65% carbohydrate, 10-35% protein, and 20-35% fat.
Recipes with this tag include only foods allowed on the paleo diet. Unlike the Keto diet, which limits the amount of certain macronutrients, there are no set nutrient targets for the paleo diet.
Recipes with this tag are free of all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, pork, dairy, eggs, honey, and any meat-based ingredients or additives.
Recipes with this tag are free of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and meat-based ingredients. Unlike vegan recipes, vegetarian one’s may contain dairy, eggs, and honey.
Recipes with this tag only contain foods and ingredients that are compliant with the official Whole30 diet program. Similar to the paleo diet, there are no set guidelines for macronutrient distributions.
The Building Blocks of a Healthy Diet
As different nutrients all have their own essential roles and functions in the body, we believe that a healthy diet is one that provides a variety of macro and micronutrients, with an emphasis on healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Macronutrients are those needed in larger quantities in our diets. They consist of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, with each having specific, essential functions in the body.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. There are two main categories of carbs: simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates include sugars and refined sources of starch, such as white rice. These carbohydrates are rapidly broken down by the body, providing a quick source of energy.
While this can be a good thing when the body quickly needs energy, such as when exercising, high intakes of simple carbohydrates has been associated with an increased risk for certain diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Examples: soda, candy, baked goods, fruit juice, white bread, chips
Recommended daily intake: limit intake as much as possible.
Complex carbohydrates include some starches and fiber. They are broken down slower than simple carbs, and as a result don’t spike blood sugar levels as much. Regular intake of complex carbs is associated with a healthier weight and decreased risk of chronic diseases.
Examples: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oatmeal, beans, lentils
Proteins are the main building blocks of our bodies. They play essential functions in muscle growth and repair, cell structure, digestion and metabolism, hormone regulation, as well as are a major component of the immune system.
Examples: beef, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, seeds
Recommended daily intake: 10-35% of calories
Fats are the main storage of energy in our bodies; however, they also have many other essential functions including allowing for the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, helping make up cell membranes, and assisting with numerous processes, including blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
There are three main types of fats:
Unsaturated fats: these fats are liquid at room temperature and are considered “healthy” fats, as moderate intake is associated with decreased risk of chronic diseases. They are broken down into two types:
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats, which include essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Saturated fats: these fats are solid at room temperature and while many healthy proteins and sources of fats do contain some saturated fat, excess intake has been associated with increased risk for heart disease.
Trans fats: while some trans fats occur naturally, most are made in a lab setting to improve the texture and/or shelf-life of various products. They have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases, especially heart disease, and should be avoided.
Examples of healthy fats: olive oil, avocado oil, fatty fish (such as salmon), nuts, seeds, and avocado
Micronutrients are nutrients needed in smaller quantities, yet are vital to metabolism, disease prevention, and overall growth and development. They include vitamins and minerals, which we obtain by eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Recommended amounts for specific vitamins and minerals can be found in this table.
We hope you found our Healthy Eating Guidelines helpful.
In need of more inspiration for your healthy eating journey? Check out our collection of recipes, all of which are developed following these principles and reviewed by our registered dietitian nutritionists before they’re presented to you.
Having a question, or want to share your thoughts on the guidelines? Contact us here.