Like we mention on our About page, 40 Aprons is all about healthy food that doesn’t feel (or taste) like stereotypical “healthy” food. We focus on delicious, nutritious recipes that are full of flavor. Almost all of our recipes fit one special dietary need or another, and we’ve got plenty for you “everything in moderation” cooks, too.
What Do We Mean By “Healthy?”
Every person’s definition of what’s “healthy” for them and for their family is different. Our definition means focusing on real foods made with real ingredients and homemade elements. We try to avoid processed foods and instead use whole, organic foods whenever we can, often swapping store-bought options for a homemade version. That doesn’t mean you won’t find us posting about, say, pizza rolls in the air fryer from time to time, though. C’mon.
Our recipes are not necessarily low fat or low calorie. Some recipes will be “skinny”, and others will be low carb, keto, paleo, dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, Whole30, vegetarian, or vegan. We label each recipe with any diets the recipe fits, and we recommend taking a look at our categories if you have any dietary needs.
Our Dietary Standards
We’re as careful as we can be to be completely sure a recipe adheres to the specific ins-and-outs of a certain dietary consideration before labelling it as such. Throughout our recipes, you’ll sometimes find “Notes from Our Nutritionist”, a section in which nutritionist & 40 Aprons team member Hema highlights key reasons why we consider that recipe to be especially healthy or particularly appropriate for a certain diet.
Hema is a Canadian-based nutritionist, food & wellness educator and traveller. She believes that cooking and eating at home doesn’t need to be stressful. With the right foods for you, you can promote and maintain good health simply and easily, at any budget and without sacrificing flavor.
In general, in order for us to consider a recipe to be appropriate for a specific way of eating, it will need to meet the relevant criteria below.
Whole30 or Paleo
- The Whole30 program is a 30-day eating plan that focuses on real food: meat, seafood, eggs, fruits & veggies, natural fats, herbs, spices, and seasonings. On the plan, participants avoid consuming sugar (real or artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes (with some exception), dairy, food additives, and treats or baked goods. We ensure any recipes classified as Whole30 on our site adhere to these principles.
- The Paleo diet, founded by Dr. Loren Cordain, has evolved over the years from its origins as a moderate-carbohydrate, low-saturated-fat diet. While there are different variations and interpretations of Paleo, these days most followers of a Paleo would agree that it is a nutrient-rich diet based on whole, unprocessed foods. Our Paleo recipes do not contain added sugar, gluten, legumes, vegetable oils, trans fats, grains, or dairy*.
Vegetarian or Vegan
- Vegetarian diets do not contain meat, poultry, or fish, or products that contain or are derived from these ingredients. Our recipes follow these guidelines and may contain dairy, eggs or honey.
- Vegan diets are plant-based and do not contain animal products (meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, insects) or products derived from animals (eggs, dairy, honey). Our recipes follow these guidelines and offer substitutions to maintain a plant-based diet.
Keto or Low Carb
- The keto diet consists of foods and meals that are high fat, low carb, and moderate protein. With these macros, the body starts to use fat as the primary energy source, instead of carbohydrates. There are various forms and interpretations of the keto diet, and you may find recipes on our site that are better suited for one variation or another – we’ll make it clear when that’s the case. In our recipes, we focus on real food ingredients and less than 20 grams of net carbs (net carbs = total carbs – fiber) per day. We do not use high-starch vegetables, grains, or sugars in these recipes.
- Like keto, there are many takes on low carb diets, ranging anywhere from 30 grams to 150 grams of carbs per day. In general, for our purposes, we consider a “low carb diet” to consist of foods and recipes that total less than 50 grams of carbs per day. These recipes may include high-starch vegetables, grains, or sugars, and are typically appropriate for an “If It Fits Your Macros” approach to eating.
- Our gluten-free recipes swap out ingredients with gluten such as wheat flour, soy sauce, and grains containing gluten, instead focusing on alternatives that are appropriate for anyone on a gluten-free diet.
Please note: The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this site. We always recommend talking to your specific doctor, nutritionist, or other medical professional prior to starting any diet or meal plan.