Are you trying to change your diet and exercise habits in hopes of shedding a few pounds this summer? Perhaps you are looking for healthy substitutes for some of your not-so-healthy favorite foods like candy bars, crackers, and frozen desserts. Sometimes it seems like finding substitutes for these foods is easy. Substitute candy bars for granola bars, find wheat crackers to replace the Ritz, and eat frozen fruit bars, popsicles or frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, right?
Not so fast. Food makers often want us to believe that their food is healthy. In reality, it may be just as bad, if not worst. If something is low in fat, it is often high in sugar or sodium. “Sugar free” is another thing on the label to be cautious of. Often times foods that boast about being sugar free use various sweeteners that are filled with harmful chemicals, which can actually be even more damaging to your health than eating sugar.
By using the Fooducate app, you can scan the bar codes of the food items you are planning to purchase before you buy them and find out exactly what is in them. It will tell you the health benefits and also things to avoid. This app provides more information than the label alone, and it helps you to make sense of some of the ingredients listed. In addition, it will give the food a grade from A to D-, with A being the healthiest.
A scan of a box of Nabisco Cheese Nips tells you that it has 150 calories per serving, no cholesterol, contains trans-fat (even though the label might claim it has none), and it gives it a food points value of 4. There is also an option to “like” this product, leave a comment, and read comments from others.
Cheese Nips may not be the healthiest product to consume if you are looking to lose weight, but the good news is that their are many alternatives available, and Fooducate will help you to find them. Some of the alternatives they list for Cheese Nips include Triscuits, Sunshine Acres White Cheddar Puffs and Publix Rice Cakes.
If a food is not yet listed in the Fooducate database, it will give you the option of taking 3 pics – one of the product front of package, one of the nutrition label, and a third picture showing the ingredients. Once you finish taking these pictures, you will be prompted to send an automatic e-mail to Fooducate including the images and UPC to ask them to add it to their database.
In addition to their app, Fooducate is also active on both Facebook and Twitter. On their website, you can discover what the top products are in various categories such as breakfast, dairy/eggs, meat & fish, other proteins, condiments, prepared food and soups, and even fast foods. You can further breakdown these products by seeing which has the best health grades, what is the most popular, and which foods were added most recently. Their website also includes healthy recipes, information about nutrition, tips, and more.
In the past year that I have been dieting, I have lost nearly 30 pounds. I believe that Fooducate has been a very helpful tool for my dieting and weight loss. In the months that I have been using this app, I have learned that some of the foods I previously thought were really healthy, like Kellogg’s Special K Granola Bars, actually aren’t healthy at all. I’ve learned to find better alternatives such as Kashi Granola Bars. I have also learned to seek out foods that are “hidden” in the stores rather than those that are easy to find.
I recently found a whole healthy food section in my grocery store that I never knew existed before! I use Fooducate’s iPhone app every time I shop at the grocery store. I am pleased with the progress I have made so far, and I’m confident that Fooducate will help aid me in seeing even more positive results with my diet and weight loss journey in the future.
Fooducate is free to download on Google Play or iTunes
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