– Get to Know Your Food

Posted on January 10, 2011


I’d like to introduce you to two great websites that will help you track your diet (or that can be used as a quick reference to help you make dietary choices): and

Both are very accessible (free) and user-friendly.  The best thing about FitDay is that it has many commercial foods available, so you rarely have to do any math; it also allows you to set up minimums or limits on nutrients and alerts you when they’re not met or exceeded – plus, you can track your activities.  Nutrition Data is more advanced and offers detailed food breakdowns like amino acid scores and fatty acid profiles, but is still user-friendly and has been expanding its entries of commercial items.

I’ll use the recipe from my last post as an example of what Nutrition Data can do for you.  Please note that these sample calculations are for a 100g portion.

Food summary: ND not only provides you with a Nutrition Facts label for all of their entries, but will also generate one for any custom foods or recipes you enter (requires sign-up).  The Nutrition Target Map is self-explanatory, and the more specific tools like glycemic load and the caloric ratio pyramid are great for those on special diets.

Completeness scores: I think these are great, especially for novice dieters who are unsure about which foods are nutrient-dense or how to combine foods with complementary proteins.  Fun fact:  the quinoa in this recipe is already considered a complete protein.

Other breakdowns: If you’re looking to, say, eat more foods with Omega-3 fatty acids or a particular mineral, that information is provided.  What’s great is that you can search/browse foods,  while filtering them for levels of specific nutrients (a great feature).  I really like their detailed fatty acid profiles.

These sites are nothing new – I’ve been using them for 5+ years, and they were a great tool for my clients when I was a personal trainer – but I hope someone out there who stumbles across this post discovers these sites, which can be great resource for anyone trying to take charge of their health.  With any luck, they’ll be around in the future so I can continue referring people to them.

Posted in: Fitness, Health, Nutrition