Both readers and Google alike LOVE nutrition information in recipe posts! Create has a provision through our partner NutritionIX, so that you can input ingredients and get auto-calculated nutrition for your recipe. It’s the ultimate time saver!
Ideally, you want the nutrition you display in your recipe card to be as accurate as possible, and sometimes it might feel difficult to trust the automatic calculations. How do you ensure you’re getting the right numbers back?
Why does the auto-calculated nutrition look wrong sometimes?
There are a lot of nutrition calculators out there, and there are differences in each and every one of their databases. None of these tools are going to be entirely accurate, because there are just so many variables.
These calculators have their limits. The only place where you can calculate nutrition for 100% accuracy is in a lab. One can make guesses based on the ingredients in a given recipe, just as these calculators do, but it is really anyone’s guess which is closer to accurate.
This explains most of the small discrepancies you may see between what Create’s nutrition calculator is showing you, and what you may see in Google results, for example. It’s important to keep in mind that whatever numbers you’re seeing in search results or from other nutrition calculators are also only guesses based on the given information.
But, what if you input the ingredients and the calculations look WAY off base?
Basically, the NutritionIX calculator doesn’t really understand English! When you type in ingredients, it’s pulling words that it recognizes as foods, and giving you a calculation based on the given amounts of those foods.
Oftentimes, the calculator is simply misinterpreting your information. This might be based on the way that you type in the ingredients, or how you phrase things.
If I think I’m getting inaccurate numbers, what can I do to fix it?
The first thing you will want to do is double check that you’ve input the right amount of servings for your recipe.
Sometimes it’s just a small oversight like this that causes issues getting the right nutrition per serving. If you’re writing a recipe that makes 5 servings total, make sure you’ve entered a “5” into that field!
If that isn’t the problem, it’s time to find out if NutritionIX might be misinterpreting the way you have worded your ingredients.
It can be helpful to use this demo of NutritionIX’s calculator when you’re trying to troubleshoot inaccuracies. If the calculator is having trouble understanding what you’ve input, the demo calculator can help you identify specifically where the problem is.
For example, let's say you had a recipe that called for "sugar-free mango syrup", and it looks like the calculator is showing too many carbs. If you put "sugar-free mango syrup" into the demo calculator, you will see that it was actually picking up the word "sugar" and listing it as a separate ingredient, thus adding more carbohydrates to the nutrition.
You would then be able to go back and try to word things in a different way, so that you will hopefully get better results! It’s a good idea to experiment with the demo calculator, to try and understand how NutritionIX tends to process the information you provide.
Ideally, you should start by adding in only your basic ingredients with amounts, then calculate, then add in any extra words you need.
For example, add in “½ cup salted butter”, then calculate. Then once you have your nutrition estimates, you can flesh it out more, such as “½ cup salted butter, melted, you can substitute ½ cup unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt” if that’s more along the lines of how you want to write out your ingredients.
I still think that the nutrition is incorrect. What can I do?
We’d always recommend manually editing any information that you can’t seem to get right with the auto-calculator. It is really a matter of picking what you think is the closest and then making sure your readers understand that these are merely estimates.
Nutrition calculators do sometimes have inaccuracies within their database, so it’s not unheard of for this to be the cause of your troubles. If you think you’ve identified an ingredient for which NutritionIX has incorrect info, you can feel free to forward that to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We keep in communication with NutritionIX so that their dieticians can go back to the drawing board, so to speak, if they need to do more research and correct any genuine inaccuracies in their system.