French fries = bad, broccoli = good. Most of us know the basics, but we don’t always have specific details when making food choices that aren’t so obvious. Yogurt is yogurt, right? Or is it? Health values of food can vary so much based on ingredients, processing, and even from brand to brand for similar foods. It’s definitely a gray area many times.
I found a free app called Fooducate that is great for this. I’ve been playing around with it this week and really like some of the features that it has. I have the iPhone version but they made one for Androids along with an online version. You can scan a food’s barcode with your phone (or search for it) and it will pull up details about the item. You can choose a random food if you’re bored and read about it too.
You get a food grade and why it received the grade it did. It tells you the good things about the food (like it is high in fiber) and the bad things (like too high in sodium). It’s got comments from users on the foods themselves which is pretty cool to get opinions. Info on calories per serving, user ratings, and more.
It’s got healthy eating tips like the “dirty dozen” where they tell you which foods to choose organic over conventional due to the level of contamination. There’s information about some of the common ingredients in foods and the pros and cons of it. For example, soy lecithin and MSG.
I’ve been scanning all kinds of labels just to see what it says about things. One of the best features that I’ve found is the Alternatives option. I scanned a package of fruit crisp which was graded as a C- due to sugars and added flavorings. I clicked on the Alternatives option and there were recommendations on what I could eat instead ordered from highest grade to lowest. Top of the list included real apples, strawberries, and other fruits!
You can use it to compare brands at the grocery store. Scan both items and see which one is graded higher or better fits your needs to help in your choice. You can create shopping lists with it and they even have daily health tips. You can’t beat this app and the fact that it’s completely free.
I’m really surprised at the uses and features they’ve got. I’ve learned a thing or two in the process of using it. I’m also relieved that the majority of food choices I make are pretty good. The ones I buy for The Kid need a little help though. I’m not affiliated with Fooducate in anyway. I just loved this app so I wanted to pass the word.
Have you tried Fooducate? What are some other food related apps that you like?