Even though I am certified in nutrition, it is almost impossible to remember the nutritional content of every single food out there. I often have to do some Googling and research in many situations with my job, such as when posting the nutritional breakdown of one of my recipes, when a client has an advanced nutrition question such as “what are the best sources of magnesium?” — or if I am exploring a new food or looking up food additives.
Many of these nutritional food information websites are hard to understand. They also have too much information about prepared food.
Some sites are hard to use if you are looking up a simple vegetable. They will have pre-packaged vegetables in sauce as the first choice. If you are eating a Ruby Tuesday sandwich, chances are you are not interested in whether it is good for you or not!
Another thing to watch out for: “overly alternative” sites that make all kinds of healing claims about food. The healing power of food is not without merit, but take these sites with a grain of salt.
Wikipedia, we all love it we all use it. I will use it as my third or fourth source of information when looking up anything. But really since anyone can add to it, it might not be the most accurate.
Here are a few apps and websites that I find the most clear and concise.
A good magazine and the nutritional information on foods on their website is perfect. It’s easy to read and very clear. I love the charts too.
Despite the scandal of Lance Armstrong — oh the shame of it all! — this website offers clear and concise information on foods. The articles are easy to read and provide good, useful information.
Hands down this app is the best. Just search any food and Nutri Explorer will give you TMI (too much information) about it. It has everything, ash (the undigested part of food), sugars, protein, and every single trace nutrient in the food. I love how this app gets specific for individuals. You have a choice of information for babies, kids, adults in every age range, and even lactation options.
It is from the USDA so the nutrients are minimal requirements for health.
You can also search a specific nutrient, such as copper. I just found out that braised Alaskan Moose liver has 2.78 mg of copper per serving. Yes, the Nutri Explorer app is very, very detailed.
This is a food activism blog against Big Food and the GMOs available as an app. I love the newsletter. It has some very good “101” basic information for the everyday consumer and some good tips for professionals too. I paid $5 for the Fooducate Pro app and consider it a good investment. You can also scan products at the grocery store and get a rating on them. I had an easy time scanning the big commercial brands, but the app seemed to not recognize the many alternative products I have in the house.
When trying to find out the best information about what you are eating, just stick with these sources.
Fooducate can even set up a diet plan for your age and activity level. If you are lacking in certain nutrients, Nutri Explorer can help you find the right foods. Remember the most important part of nutrition, everyone is different.
The best way to eat right depends on who you are as an individual — for example, if you have individual needs (such as an iron deficiency or low blood sugar). If you have questions, you should consult a nutrition expert or registered dietician.