Checking if a Recipe is Balanced

NOTE that this article contains a LOT of information, but the time it takes to actually USE the new recipe builder is very quick. I just wanted to be completely thorough for you for all of the options and information!

You have two options:

Option 1: Label Analyzer

IF you know the totals for grams of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, you can use the Label Analyzer (www.formulazone.com/labelanalyzer.html). Just enter the grams into the appropriate boxes on the label analyzer, and it will tell you if it is balanced, and a best-guess at the glycemic index.

Option 2: Recipe Builder

If you don’t know the totals, but want to enter the ingredients to find out the totals, then you should use the Recipe Builder (you were in the right place!). You might try the tutorial (it’s the question-mark link at the far right end of the orange toolbar at the top). Plus, I’ll try to add some information here that may not be clear from the tutorial:

  1. Step 1 is to find the ingredient you want to add. The new recipe builder is MUCH smarter than the old one when searching, but still some tips apply.
    1. First, try NOT to enter too much in the name field. The more you enter, the more it restricts the list, and the less likely you are to find the food you want. For example, entering “94% ground beef” will not give ANY results, but entering “ground beef” will show a short list of the available ground beef options
    2. Remember that “close is good enough”. Sometimes you can’t find the EXACT ingredient – that’s ok. Finding one that is close is good enough. The nutritional differences between 94% and 95% ground beef are effectively irrelevant, so don’t worry too much about it!
    3. Don’t think “brands”. Because it’s complicated enough with SO many ingredients already, we don’t typically put in every different brand of something (unless it is nutritionally significantly different). So, think of the food itself – not about the specific brand.
  2. Once you see the ingredient in the list, just click on the one you want to use. In our example with the “ground beef”, you’d see about 8 options – just click on the “Beef, Ground, 95% lean” to select it. Clicked the wrong one? That’s ok – just click on the right one.
  3. Once you’ve selected the ingredient you want to use, then it’s time to enter the amount called for. Enter the amount, select the measure from the drop down, and click the “Add Ingredient” button.
    1. Once the ingredient is added, you can STILL make changes. In the list of ingredients in the recipe, you still can change the amount, change the measure, or even delete the ingredient.
    2. ALSO, once the ingredient is in the list, you will see the carbohydrates, protein, and fat – as well as the Glycemic Index (L for Low, M for Medium, H for High, or VH for very high).
  4. Repeat steps A through C for each ingredient in the recipe. As you add foods, you will notice that there is a row just below the list of ingredients in the recipe that shows you a lot of information about the recipe:
    1. “Balanced” or “Not Balanced” (along with the balance ratio),
    2. a link to help you balance it (makes suggestions for foods to add)
    3. The TOTAL carbs, protein, and fat
    4. The overall glycemic index of the recipe.

Happy Balancing!

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