Philip’s Find: An App That Helps You to Scan and Choose Healthy Groceries
Fooducate: a Helpful Ally for Good Health
Someone recently gave me a box of a popular brand of energy bars, and for the last 4 or 5 days, I have been munching on them. After all, when you’re always running late, you sometimes have to eat on the fly! And being in the business of nutrition, I always try — at least for the sake of argument — to grab what seems to be a healthier choice. But are those energy bars really healthy? I was determined to find out.
So 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 it’s available on both iPhone and Android.
This amazing app is basically a food analysis tool that helps you determine if something you’re about to eat or purchase at the grocery store is healthy. This is how it works: You simply use your phone’s camera to scan the item’s barcode, then the app looks up the item from its database and displays an analysis of the item’s nutritional information.
The app then 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, and gives you a list of healthier alternative products that are available.
For example, the aforementioned energy bar contains a whopping 5.5 teaspoons of sugar! That’s more than 5 times the amount I put in my morning coffee! I can’t even imagine putting 4 more teaspoons in my coffee, 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 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 these seeminly healthy energy bars are heavily processed, explaining that many energy bars should really be considered meal replacement bars instead of snack bars. It also gives info about different types of sugars listed in the bar, and then it displays what I think is the coolest, feature — a recipe for a Vegan granola bar, which is 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,” Fooducate arms us with a tool to help us make 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!
Contributed by: Philip Niekro, GMM Customer Service Manager
Philip — one of the warm and friendly voices you hear when you call GMM Customer Service — was recently promoted to GMM Customer Service Manager! His mission is to ensure that every GMM customer receives the highest quality customer service possible, assisting those who wish to place an order, updating customer accounts, and ensuring that customer feedback is a top priority. Philip is also a self-avowed gadget geek, an avid runner, and a very engaged member of the Open Hand Health & Wellness Committee.