If you’re looking for a quick grocery list app to help you make a simple shopping list, Fooducate isn’t it. However, if you’re looking for something that offers much more, including “healthy living” information, this Free Healthcare & Fitness iPhone app may be right on target. Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet & Nutrition Scanner (by Fooducate) helps grocery shoppers make more informed and better food choice decisions.
This iPhone application uses the UPC codes off of food products to give an A to D grade based on each item’s nutritional value. Fooducate also warns of potential hidden ingredients (excessive sugar, preservatives, trans fats, etc.), offers alternative items, lots of in-depth food-related information to read, as well as the ability to create a personalized profile and shopping list. Too bad it can’t shop and deliver the groceries too.
Regardless, this app has merit and implements its grading scale using an “automatic algorithm” developed by scientist, dietitians, and concerned parents. Fooducate grades grocery food items (even fresh whole food like meat, fruits and vegetables) on a scale of “A to D” based on the item’s comparative nutrient dense whole food value giving us the “skinny” (or not so skinny) on what’s really inside our food packages by using an extensive and growing database with over 200,000+ products.
Fooducate claims the largest product (UPC) database around. Since the intent is healthier options, Fooducate also includes well-known organic grocery outlets like Whole Food and Trader Joe’s. But, before you can really benefit from the apps functionality, you need to “log in/sign up to see personalized info, create lists and participate in the community.” When you create a personal profile, they’ll be 6 questions to fill in (gender, DOB, activity level, height, weight, and the option to receive GMO warnings) along with your nickname and zip code. By allowing use of your current location, you’ll get “more relevant product recommendations.”
To discover how well your food choices rate, you can choose to scan individual items for feedback from the database, type in an item in the search box, or peruse general categories (Cold cereals, Snack Bars, Chips & Puffs, Fruits & Vegetables, Breads & Carbs, Breakfast, Dairy & Eggs, Meat & Fish, Other Proteins, Condiments & More, Dips, Spreads & Jams, Prepared Foods & Soups, Salty Snacks, Sweet Snacks, Beverages, Cooking & Baking, and Baby Food).
When I browsed the Snack Bars category I came across the CLIF Builder’s Bar – Chocolate Mint that my kids eat for lunch or when on the go since they tend to skip lunch at school or resort to eating total garbage that I don’t really want to know about. These bars received a B- (270 calories , 4 Food Points, strikes against them for having more than 20% saturated fat and more than 5tsp of sugars per serving, but they did get good marks for being naturally high in vitamin C, among other things. The 7 alternatives for snack bars were other “B-” bars — with only a medium apple with peel recommendation receiving an “A” f course.
Many of you may be familiar with the point system where points are assigned to the food items based on your daily allotment goals (the less points per items consumed the better). Fooducate does assign FoodPoints calculated by the amount of fat, protein, carbs, and fiber of the food item. When you fill out the personal profile, you’ll also see your personalized nutrient percentage amount for My Daily Value, however, Fooducate recommends that you consult a dietician intimate with your medical history, etc. for best guidance.
I got a little trigger happy with the scan function in this app and begin to scan everything in sight. I scanned one of my family’s favorite dressings (Publix Salad Dressing, Original Buttermilk Ranch), which received a C grade and had 130 calories per serving (2 tbsp), as well contained Sodium benzoate/benzoic acid and phosphoric acid not that all of this is totally bad.
What’s nice about this iPhone app is that there is a ton of additional information provided in the Product Details section with things to learn about specific ingredients, access to the Fooducate blog for more in-depth food-related topics, daily tips, and more. You have the option to “like or don’t like,” find alternatives, add to your list, and share with others. Also, if you have items not in their database, you can send (within the app) photos with ingredient info and UPC code to them to potentially be added.
For me, the shopping list portion was my least favorite part of this free iPhone app because it is bare bones and doesn’t categorize things (lumps items randomly line after line), however, you can drag and place items in the order you prefer. When I typed in “eggs” the results brought back their top-graded choice (The Country Hen Eggs, Large, Brown Organic), as well as the option to choose good alternatives I received 9 other better (same letter grade) options.
My banana search brought back 10 choices for banana (to include Dole Strawberries & Bananas, Pre-cut, Frozen and that medium apple with peel choice again,hmmmm). The shopping list is nice, but lacks the efficient and intuitiveness of other grocery list apps. I’ve become accustomed to like the AnyList Grocery List app. But, if you want a list app that does have basic list making functionality and helps you make better and healthier food choices for you and your family, then this Free iPhone Health & Fitness app is definitely worth a download.
Related Blog Post: A Best Grocery List App To Shop Faster, Easier And Smarter