EAT SMARTER's Recipe Criteria

Updated on 03. Aug. 2020

At EAT SMARTER you’ll find over 80,000 original healthy recipes, all exclusively created by esteemed nutritionists and chefs to provide our community with the most delicious and healthful recipes possible. While developing each EAT SMARTER recipe, our team zeroes in on the nutritional composition of each ingredient and the overall dish, ensuring that all of our recipes meet our high criteria for nutritional excellence. Below is a rundown of the criteria we use when developing our recipes.

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1. EAT SMARTER’s recipes largely avoid refined sugar. Instead, we use healthier alternative sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, whole cane sugar and coconut blossom sugar. No matter what kind of sweetener we use, our team always ensures that sugars are used in moderation. 

2. We’re all for eating carbs, but not if they’re empty. Instead we prefer complex carbohydrates like whole grains and fiber-rich carbs such as vegetables, hearty grains, fruits and legumes. For baked goods recipes, we always try to skip refined white flour in place of more nutritious flours that won’t lead to blood sugar spikes, such as whole wheat and spelt flour.

 3. All of our savory recipes comprise at least one third heart-healthy vegetables.

4. We use the most high-quality animal proteins (poultry, fish, dairy products, egs) and vegetable proteins (beans, tofu, nuts, mushrooms) whenever possible, skipping less healthy, higher-fat proteins like pork and steak whenever possible.  

 5. EAT SMARTER recipes incorporate heart-healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, as much as possible. You’ll rarely find recipes that utilize refined oils, butters and margarine, which contain unhealthy saturated fats. Instead, we generally use rapeseed oil, olive oil, linseed oil, nut oils, and avocado oils, which are rich in healthy fats.

 6. Our recipes almost entirely rely on unprocessed, natural ingredients.  

7. Full-fat dairy products, cheeses, creams and butter are used in moderation. For many of our recipes, we use healthier plant-based alternatives instead. 

8. Salt is used in moderation. To add flavor, we instead focus on healthier spices and herbs. 

 9. We pay attention to seasonality when it comes to recipes, ensuring that the ingredients you use can be sourced fresh and locally. Our main homepage is updated each week with recipes, cookbooks and articles that reflect the ingredients that are in season.

10. Alcohol is only used in rare cases in our recipes.

11. Each of our recipes are prepared multiple times in our test kitchen before we publish them to ensure they’re not only delicious and nutritious, but easy to prepare as well.  

12. One way we make sure each dish is up to par is with our Health Score tool, a proprietary system developed exclusively for EAT SMARTER which rates the healthfulness of each dish based on deep research and current nutritional recommendations by top food scientists and nutritional biologists. You’ll find these scores, which range from 1-10, on all of our recipes, which we help will aid you in making knowledge-based decisions on what you want to cook based on your own health and nutritional goals. Look out for the number in a little apple, as seen below.

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