About two weeks ago, someone gave me a box of a popular brand of energy bars. For the last 4 or 5 days, I have been eating one each morning for breakfast. (When you are running late, sometime you have to eat on the fly!) And I’m sure I’m not the only one who grabs something convenient like this for a quick breakfast.
For this posting, I decided to review another smart phone app that I have used in the past, but, to be honest, had kind of forgotten about. The app is called “Fooducate,” and is available for both iPhone and Android formats.
This amazing app is basically a food analysis tool for when you are deciding on something to eat or choosing to purchase at the grocery store. This is how it works: when you are at the grocery store and you are thinking about purchasing a product, you use your phone’s camera to scan the item’s barcode. The app then looks up the item from its database and displays an analysis of the item’s nutritional information. The app displays the product’s calorie content, gives the product a rating from A to D, lists some information that would be associated with the product that you might not have known about, and gives you a list of healthier alternative products that are available.
For example, this particular energy bar contains 5.5 teaspoons of sugar. That’s more than 5 times more than I put in my morning coffee! I can’t even imagine putting 4 more teaspoons in my coffee, it would be way too sweet, but I had no problem eating a breakfast bar that was that sweet!
The app also gives the item a “FoodPoints” value. The app states that this point system isn’t associated with any other company, but the number it gives is still based on fats, carbs, fiber, and protein. (I’m sure that this point system would be a helpful accompaniment to other “food point” diets. The app mentions that this product is heavily processed, explains that many energy bars should really be considered meal replacement bars instead of snack bars, gives info about different types of sugars listed in the bar, and, I think the coolest feature…gives me a recipe for a Vegan granola bar, a healthier alternative, by far!
I am so amazed by this app. We tend to “mindlessly” shop for our food. We might look at the nutritional information on the side of the box, but do we really understand what it means? By having other types of product information and a product “health-rating,” we would be better armed at making better choices for ourselves and our families. Next time you see me at the grocery store, be assured that I will be scanning my items with this app first, before I place them in my shopping cart!
Here’s to Healthy Living!
Philip B. Niekro