Frequently Asked Questions About
Now You're Cooking!



If I download a recipe from the web, how can I be sure the ingredients I download will match the ingredients in your database so that I get the right nutritional analysis?


For any recipe that you put into NYC, you need to link each ingredient of that recipe to a food item in the nutrition database before you can get the nutrition analysis.  Thus, you are in complete control of the linkages between recipe ingredients and the nutrition database.


If I change a recipe that has previously been saved as a nutrition item, does the nutrition item also get changed?


No, you will need to re-add that recipe as a nutrition item to the nutrition database (on the nutrition analysis window), thus replacing the previous nutrition item.


Does NYC’s nutrition analysis include % daily values (%DV) for any level of calorie intake?




What nutrients are analyzed in NYC’s nutrition analysis?


water                           potassium                                refuse

calories                        magnesium

protein                         zinc

total fat                        copper

saturated fat                manganese

monounsaturated fat   vitamin A

polyunsaturated fat     vitamin E

trans fat                       thiamin

cholesterol                   riboflavin

carbohydrate               niacin

dietary fiber                pantothenic acid

total sugars                  vitamin B6

alcohol                         folate

ash                               vitamin B12

calcium                        vitamin C

phosphorus                  caffeine

iron                              selenium

sodium                        vitamin K


I get omissions in my nutrition analyses.  Do you have any easy suggestions for such items as 3 carrots, a stalk of celery, a cucumber?


Use mass-qualified units [e.g., "large (10 oz)"] to avoid ambiguity and ensure a good analysis.  For example, use


QTY   UNIT               DESCRIPTION

3     single (2 oz)      carrots

1     stalk (2 oz)       celery

1     single (10 oz)     cucumber


Alternatively, you can use the alternate units that match those provided in the nutrition database.  For example, use


QTY   UNIT               DESCRIPTION

3     medium             carrots


Can I delete items in NYC’s nutrition database?


No, you can only delete user-defined entries. 

When I enter a new recipe, new ingredients get automatically added to the ingredient droplist.  Are the droplist additions pre-linked to nutrition if I had those new ingredients linked in my recipe?


Yes.  When you enter a new recipe with new ingredients and you link them and save the recipe, new ingredients AND their nutrition links will be auto-added to the ingredient droplist (see Recipes… Droplists> Ingredients to verify this). 

It would be prohibitively time-consuming to attempt to link every ingredient in every recipe to the nutrition database.  Is there any way around this? 


Each ingredient must be linked to a nutrition database item before the analysis is possible, but there are several shortcuts you may not be aware of.  You can link items in your ingredient list (Recipes... Droplists> Ingredients...), and then anytime you use one a droplist ingredient in a new recipe, it will be pre-linked and need not be linked again.  Also, for existing recipes, use the Nutrition... Get Links From Ingredient Droplist... on the recipe edit window to link all possible ingredients in the recipe to nutrition before manually linking the rest.  Also, it does not take that much time to link ingredients in a recipe if you use the Edit... Find... to search for keywords in the nutrition database.


There is no need to nutrition link every recipe - only those that you need an analysis for.  When you need an analysis, link the ingredients at that time. 


If you have studied the USDA nutrition database that NYC uses, you will see that accurate nutrition analysis requires this linking of ingredients.  It is the necessary tradeoff required to produce a full and accurate nutrition analysis of any recipe from any source, which is what our customers want - especially the dietitians and nutrition consultants who use NYC.


We have some ideas about having NYC users submit nutrition-linked recipes to a common location, so that we can assemble them into downloadable NYC cookbooks. 


Why aren’t ingredients already linked to nutrition in the recipes I download from the NYC site?


The importable recipes and the NYC cookbooks listed on the NYC site were assembled by thousands of people around the globe over a 20 year period.  Most of them are in MM format, which has no nutritional capability.  The NYC cookbooks are simply different folks' collections of imported recipes, so they don't have nutrition already linked.


Can I get WW points per serving on the meal plan screen so a person would know how many WW points they were eating a day?


Use NYC’s DietPoints to emulate WW pts.  This way, WW pts come out with every NYC nutrition analysis, including when the analysis is done from the meal plan window.  With the meal plan window open, select Nutrition… Analysis…  You can analyze a meal, a day of the meal plan, or the entire meal plan, and the WW points will appear at the bottom of the analysis window that pops up.  Every recipe in your meal plan must have a #servings identified, however, before you can get the analysis of the meal plan by serving.


I have “1   5 oz pkg    thinly sliced canadian bacon” as an ingredient in a recipe.  How can I get the nutrition analysis for this recipe to stop omitting this item?


For nutrition analysis success on your item, use


1     pkg (5 oz)      canadian bacon; thinly sliced


"pkg (5 oz)" is the NYC syntax for a mass-qualified unit, and NYC will work fine if you use this syntax for them.  Also, "thinly sliced" is a prep, not an ingredient, so get it out of your ingredient description.  


If I add a new ingredient, I end up linking it several times before I actually get it linked so it can be nutrition analyzed.  What is the proper process?


I suggest you enter all the ingredients in a new recipe, then use Nutrition... Get Links From Ingredient Droplist.  This will link several ingredients for you automatically.  Then dbl-click the first ingredient.  If it shows already linked, single click the next ingredient below it, linking as needed as you step through each ingredients with a single click.  When done, save the recipe.


I want recipe ingredients to appear in my own language (Dutch), so I add them to the ingredient droplist. But then I also want to know the nutrition values of any given recipe, but it won’t work because I cannot modify the serving sizes of the ingredients already in the database.


For example:


The Dutch word for "apple" is "appel" (spelled just slightly different).  So if an apple is one of the ingredients in my Dutch or translated recipes, I want it to appear as APPEL and not as APPLE. So that's what I put in the recipe.  If I link APPEL ingredient to APPLE in the nutrition database, it has a nutrition value.  At least, when I tell NYC to get these values from the ingredient droplist.  So I can get the nutrition value by linking the ingredient "appel" to nutrition item "apple".  BUT  I would have to use one of the English serving sizes to get this done.  And as you can understand, me being Dutch, I would like my recipes to be all Dutch.  So as far as I can see now, there is no possibility to also adapt the serving sizes for a given built-in ingredient - the modify button is grayed out.


Just as with English ingredients, you must link your Dutch recipe ingredients to Nutrition items, but you only need to do this once.  Here is the easiest way to accomplish what you need to do:


Over time, as you add new recipes in Dutch, Dutch ingredients will automatically accumulate in your ingredient droplist (or you can enter them there).  Link the Dutch ingredients in your droplist to nutrition items using Recipes... Droplists> Ingredients (dbl-click and link each Dutch ingredient).  Then, when you use these Dutch ingredients in new recipes, they will be pre-linked to nutrition and you won't need to keep linking them each time you use them.  For the Dutch ingredients already in your recipes before you do the linking in the ingredient droplist, use Nutrition... Get Links From Ingredient Droplist... and the links will be made in those existing recipes as well. It is not that bad to link the ingredients once.  I did it in a short time for all the English ingredients that ship with NYC.  Do a few more each time and eventually you will find that most of the ingredients you use commonly will be linked.


Regarding units of measure…

You need not modify units in the nutrition database. If you consistently use mass units (e.g., mg, g, kg) in your recipes, NYC can convert them easily as the nutrition analysis is done.  Even with volume units, your recipe ingredients need not match solely the English units that appear in the Modify list.  You can also use ml or other metric volume units if you make sure that a conversion exists between the metric unit you use in your recipe and one of the English volume units that appears in the Modify list.  These unit conversions are stored in the list under Shopping...Conversions...  In other words, if NYC has no conversion between "ml" and "teaspoons", you may have to add one in Shopping... Conversions... to get a nutrition analysis to work for a 100 ml of “appel” ingredient.


In summary, your recipes can be in Dutch and still be fully nutrition-analyzable, even though the nutrition database will always be in English (we use the USDA English-only database in NYC).


How do I get NYC to analyze “1 egg” or “1 each egg” or similar items where no units are specified?


NYC needs a mass unit of some sort, or an alternative volume unit from the list under the Modify button in the nutrition database.  The following are examples from the list in the nutrition database that would work:


qty       unit                              description

1          medium                       egg

1          large                           egg


The following are examples of mass-qualified units, which always work:


qty       unit                              description

1          each (4 oz)                   egg

1          gigantic (9 oz)             egg

1          tiny (2 oz)                    egg


Does NYC include the latest strategy for putting a ceiling on the fiber credit in its WW points calculation?


Yes, NYC’s customizable DietPoints let you specify the fiber credit (e.g., 3-4 g per oz) in keeping with the 2001 WW convention


How do I search the nutrition database to find a certain item?


With the nutrition database open (Nutrition… Database…), use the Edit… Find… command on the main menu to find all occurrences of a specific keyword.  Use single keywords for best success.  Single-lick an item in the results window to pop up its nutrition info in the nutrition database window.


I am on a 1400 Calorie diet.  Can the Now You're Cooking program help me set up a menu for this?


Create a menu plan for a day (or a week or whatever), save it, then use Nutrition... Analysis... with the meal plan open to find out how many calories are in it.  If the calorie count exceeds your 1400 calories per day criterion, delete some items in the meal plan, save it, and reanalyze it.


How do I add nutrition items to the database?

NYC keeps a user-defined nutrition database (user.ndb, user.nix) separate from the main database (main.ndb, main.nix).  You can enter your own items using Nutrition... Database...  Enter information on the right and press Add on the left to enter a new nutrition item.  Both the user and the main database items will appear together in the list on the left.

A strong word of caution on user-defined nutrition entries.  You must have a thorough knowledge of the nutrition database BEFORE you start adding your own items.  You should avoid entering your own nutrition items except as a last resort after a thorough search of the database to make sure the item is not already there.  Usually the items you are looking for are already in there, but not in the place you are looking.    For example, "bacon" is under "pork,cured,bacon" and "baking soda" is under "leavening agents,baking soda".  Use the Edit... Find... menu command that appears at the upper left of your NYC window when the nutrition database window is open to see if an item is already in the database.  The information you enter will never be as detailed as the USDA information that NYC uses, and preferential use of your own information could lead to gross errors in nutrition analysis.

When I try a nutrition analysis, I get all zeroes. What gives?
Recipe ingredients must first be linked to items in your nutrition database before you do the nutrition analysis. Link ingredients to nutrition items from the recipe edit window by dbl-clicking on each ingredient to bring up the nutrition link window, then selecting a nutrition item for linking.  When you do a nutrition analysis, press the Omissions... button in the analysis window to see which ingredients are not yet linked.

The nutritional database of ingredients only includes from abalone to beef.  Where is the rest of the database?

You have the full database but you may not know how to access it.  Use the small + and - buttons at the top of the nutrition item list to scroll to another 1000 items (in alphabetical order).  Or just type a letter of the alphabet to get to items that start with that letter (e.g., enter "z" for zebra).

I tried linking ingredients to the nutrition list, but when I go back and do an analysis on the recipe, the same ingredients are coming up not linked.  But when I go to the Recipes... Droplists> Ingredients it says that they are linked.   What is happening?
Recipes that were built with an ingredient BEFORE that ingredient was linked in the ingredient droplist will not show those ingredients as linked (you must link them from the recipe edit window).  Recipes built with an ingredient AFTER the ingredient was linked from the ingredient droplist will show those ingredients as linked when the recipe is opened.
If I try and link an ingredient to a nutrition item by opening a recipe and selecting the ingredient from there, when I go up to Nutrition menu, the option of Link Ingredient... is greyed out and not available.   Why?
To link recipe ingredients to items in the nutrition database, you must be in recipe edit mode (not fullview mode)   Push the Edit... button on the recipe fullview window to get there.  To make the Edit mode your default way of opening a recipe, use Tools... Options... and click the "edit view" mode radio button.

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Last Updated:  12/2/2013

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