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How to Know If a Recipe is Healthy

I write mostly about healthy living because it's more important. Without a good health there's no enjoyable life.


How to Know If a Recipe is Healthy

This also seemed like a nice topic for an article! It's a lot of information, so really sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee. Here we go!

Almost everyone has a number of cookbooks on their shelf. The internet is also full of ideas for the most delicious meals. This is of course super nice, but how do you know whether a recipe is healthy or not?

Of course, health is always up for discussion. There will also be professionals who would label some of my recipes as unhealthy. However, I would like to give you a kind of guideline about what is healthy for me . Below I will therefore tell you how I judge whether a recipe is healthy or not.


What can you watch out for?

In order to give my opinion, there are broadly two topics that I pay attention to. Namely the ingredients and the amount and proportion in which those ingredients occur in the meal. I discuss them both below.


You can assess for each product used in a recipe whether it is healthy, or whether it is better to opt for a replacement product. I don't think it's necessary to always choose the healthiest alternative, but I do think it's important that you know what healthy choices are. This way you can combine as many healthy products as possible in a recipe with the occasional less healthy product. Below I discuss the healthy and less healthy alternatives per product group. This is of course always up for discussion, but just take it as a guideline!

Carbohydrate-rich products

A recipe for a meal almost always contains a carbohydrate-rich product. For an optimally healthy product, you want it to contain as many 'slow' carbohydrates as possible, which are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream so that your body has time to adjust the insulin release. In addition, you want the product to contain a lot of dietary fiber, which gives a feeling of satiety and ensures good intestinal function. I have listed the most important products and assessed them for health.

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Table Vegetables

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. You may think it doesn't matter in this category, but there are healthy and less healthy choices.

Protein-rich products

Meat, fish and meat substitutes fall under this category, even if you are vegetarian it is important to use something from this category, otherwise you run the risk of a deficiency of, for example, vitamin B12 or iron.


Of course we also want to flavor our food. However, sauces often contain a lot of calories! Below is a classification of tastemakers. In the middle-of-the-road category you will find sauces that are very high in taste, so you need less. Use these products in a very small amount! Remember they are always extras.

Table seasonings

The amount of the different products

The following amounts are intended for a woman between 18 and 70 years. Men can use a slightly larger amount, children a little less. From the age of 70, the nutritional requirement is in any case slightly lower, but for some women this already applies at a younger age. Then use the smallest amount that I have indicated. Need is of course also something very personal, this has to do with many factors (exercise, metabolism, height, weight, etc.). Are you hungry? Then feel free to take a little more. Is this amount too big for you? Then take a smaller portion.

Carbohydrate-rich products:

150 – 200g potatoes or mashed potatoes

70 – 80g unprepared pasta/noodles/rice/couscous

Protein-rich products

Attention, choose one of the following products! You quickly use too much of this group, especially if you add cheese and nuts to a dish, for example. Then pay close attention to the amount you use.

100g meat, fish, soy, tempeh or tofu

2 eggs

40-50g nuts

75g legumes

50-60g cheese


200g, eating more vegetables is no problem at all!

You can safely use products from the preference column. From the middle way column little, assume max. ½ – 1 tablespoon per person. Avoid the exception column as much as possible.

How do you proceed when you see a recipe?

First, go through the list of ingredients. See which column they fall into. If necessary, replace the product with a product from the preferred column. For example, does a recipe contain white rice? Then you can replace this with brown rice.

Then look at the indicated quantities. Does a recipe contain 200g of vegetables for two people? Then you know it's better to add some extra vegetables.

In this way you can at least make almost all recipes a lot healthier.


So so….that was a whole piece of text! Thanks for reading it all the way through. I hope this makes it a bit clearer for you to know how to judge a recipe.

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