Saturday, February 18, 2006

NutritionData- A Cool Resource

I really like using online calorie and nutrition counters because they are so convenient. What I especially like about NutritionData's site is that you can do several things with their database. Besides simply looking up foods in the search bar, you can compare different foods for their nutritional contents, and you can look up foods based on nutritional values you are interested in. For example, I know that without my vitamins my diet is low in B12, calcium and iron. I used the "find foods that match specific criteria" search, chose "nutrient search tool" and learned that my best vegetable choices are mushrooms (brown, Italian or Crimini mushrooms), and "yeast extract spread" (eew).

The interface for this site is a little clunky, and it might be a little too busy to easily find what you are looking for, but despite the visual shortcomings I find myself going back to it. I like the downloadable nutritional label it draws up for your food item, and the fact that you can click a link on the page (or scroll down) for more in depth nutritional information. Using the mushrooms as an example, the site told me its moisture content, fullness factor, how it ranks compared to other foods in terms of aiding with weight loss, how many of its calories come from fat, carbs and protein, and much more.

Although this site doesn't have everything, it is jam packed with goodies. You can keep an ongoing list of your favorite foods buy adding it to your "pantry" (which is stored in a cookie on your computer). You can convert measurements using their little conversion program at the bottom of the main page. You can find out approximately how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. This will be a handy site for me to build up an online pantry of fruits and vegetables that are high in the nutrients my diet is low in. If you haven't already checked it out, I urge you to take a peek:




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