Looking to lose a few pounds for the summer? Try of these smartphone apps that can give you instant access to nutritional information with the scan of a UPC code.
Obesity has overtaken smoking as the number one killer of Americans. Recent studies have shown that a major cause of obesity is excessive salt, sugar, fat and preservatives in our modern diet. That is why the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have announced new nutritional guidelines recommending lowering these ingredients in our diets.
Following these guidelines can be a challenge for most people, since nutritional labels on food products are often confusing or misleading. Some nutritional labels that say high fiber or low fat may in fact be full of additives or sodium. Shopping for groceries used to be easy when food came fresh from the farms, but now, a lot of our foods come from factories and are processed, packaged and usually laden with harmful chemicals. These chemical food additives are designed to enhance color, texture, taste or shelf life of food products but offer little or no nutrition and are in fact harmful to our health.
Fortunately, there are various mobile apps capable of scanning UPC codes with your phone that can help you decipher the nutritional value of food products.
Here are some great phone apps that can help you eat healthier and choose more nutritious foods.
Fooducate is a free phone app available from the Android Market and the iPhone App Store that allows you to scan the UPC code on product labels and find out more about its nutritional value so you can make healthier food choices. Once you scan the UPC code on a food product, it gives you a summary of the good and bad nutritional qualities of the food and offers better alternatives. It has a database of over 200,000 unique UPC codes with detailed descriptions.
Honest Label is a free phone app available in the iPhone App Store and the Android Market that has a database of more than 250,000 UPC codes with nutrition information. You can scan the UPC code of any grocery item with your phone, and the interactive app will show you clear, color-coded nutritional information about the product. If you have food allergies or are avoiding certain ingredients, you can personalize the app to warn you if they are present in the food with a red/green background.
- Food Health Level by Eastbanc Technologies is a free phone app from the Android market and iPhone Store that shows you the overall health score of foods based on the nutritional label based on macro and micronutrients. You can get visual alerts for foods with allergens. If you sign up for an account, you can also specify ingredients that you are allergic to or that you dislike and this will be shown to you when you scan a UPC code from a food product.
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