The last twenty years has brought us into such a technologically advanced age with information literally at our fingertips. One of the main things I suggest to people who are new to cooking, eating healthier, working out, or living a healthier lifestyle in general is to use this technology to your advantage. I know a lot of people out there are still very weary of all this technology and that its access may just be too easy and even unhealthy and habit-forming. My opinion is that the world is changing whether we want it to or not and it is up to us to use these changes in positive ways. With smartphones containing access to a bazillion different apps, it can sometimes be hard to find the good ones. This is where I come in!
The first app I am going to suggest here on my blog is the Fooducate app. This was one of the first apps I ever downloaded when I first entered the world of smartphones. Fooducate is available for iOS and Android and, the best part, it's FREE!
How Fooducate Got Started
Fooducate was developed by Hemi Weingarten a few years back. As a father of three babies he tried his best to buy and make healthy foods for his children but soon came to realize how difficult that can be when your babies grow into toddlers and start becoming more picky. With so many products out there claiming to be healthy, even as a high tech executive with a graduate degree under his belt, Hemi found it extremely confusing and difficult to make the simplest decision as what groceries to put in his cart. (So if you're new to eating healthy and feel overwhelmed at times, it's not just you!)
He started asking himself questions such as, "Do my kids really need to drink juice?", "What are nitrates?", "Should we avoid all food colorings?", "Which pasta sauce is more nutritious?", and "How much sugar is too much in a breakfast cereal?" He became overwhelmed and just plain confused. So he decided to do something about it. Fast forward through a lot of education, books, web research, and articles about the modern food system, nutrition, and food preparation to his invention of the Fooducate app!
Fooducate is a personal grocery advisor. It's literally like having a nutritional expert right in your phone at all times. Fooducate is NOT funded by any food, drug, diet, or supplement industries so you know you are getting the most factual and honestly detailed information there is about each product.
Within the app, you can browse ingredients within their HUGE database or, and this is my personal preference, simply use the scan button to scan the barcodes on the packaging of food items and all the information about that item will pop right up. Fooducate grades every item on an A through D scale, (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, and D). Fooducate’s algorithm is based on information that is publicly available on a product’s package: the nutrition facts panel and the ingredient list. They do not receive any additional information from manufacturers. The algorithm rewards minimally processed, nutrient dense foods with the highest grades. This means that real foods, with intrinsic (meaning "natural" or "true") nutrients will score better than processed foods that are poor in built-in nutrients and use fortification as a means to appear healthy.
For a more in-depth explanation of how Fooducate calculates it's grade based on a product's nutrients, ingredients, category (such as "breakfast cereal", "yogurt", "bread", etc.), processing, and fortification, click here.
|Browse through the enormous food database.|
Other Options Available Through Fooducate
You can also track your meals and beverages throughout the day, as well as any physical activities. It will calculate the total calories you have ingested and/or burned for the day giving you a better insight and handle on your calorie intake. This option is very similar to the My Fitness Pal app, if that is something you are already familiar with (a future blog post).
|Fooducate's Health Tracker calculates your daily caloric intake|
as you enter in your meals, beverages, and physical activity throughout the day.
|I have found the daily tips to be extremely|
informative and well backed-up with facts.
|For a reasonably low price,|
get access to even more detailed
information and personalized meal plans.