App Obsession… Fooducate!

We all know when trying to make a change for the better is easier said then done. Recently I was asked by Tufts to be part of their Ask the Experts panel. My question was How can I change bad eating habits?  In order to change you need to be invested in creating new healthy habits to replace those old bad habits. Best way to do this is setting up new routines.

With about 45% of all cellphone users having a smartphone, mobile applications (apps) are all the rage. What apps and how to use them has become major part of my counseling sessions. I have found health based apps to be some of the best support in doing such a daunting task as creating healthy behavior change.  So keep a look out for my latest App obsessions and reviews.

Fooducate if the first app I am featuring, it was chosen by Apple as the best health app of the year!  This is free application (available for both iPhones and Android) is like having a dietitian shopping right beside you in the store.

Fooducate automatically grades foods and beverage on a scale from A to D. There are 10 distinct grades: A, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, and D. The apps uses an algorithm based on information on a product’s package: the nutrition facts panel and the ingredient list.

In 3 simple steps you can find out if a food product makes the grade! 

(1) Download and open Fooducate on your smart phone. (2) Scan the food item’s bar code. (3) Evaluated if the food makes the grade for you.

If a grade alone was not enough help in making a food choice, the app provides a detailed report called 10 Things to Know. In this section explanations of what makes a product great or harmful is provided. This list provides warnings (such as hidden trans fat or controversial additives), basic information about the product (such as FoodPoints for those using Weight Watcher) and positive points (such as  20% of your daily fiber or Naturally high in Vitamin C).

Finally my favorite part of the application is the Alternative list. This is a list of 10 other alternate choices that have received a better grade in the same product category. This is so useful when you are shopping.

Say you are in the bread aisle. Lets be honest all the wheat breads look amazing and healthy if you went by the front of the package. But you scan your favorite bread using Fooducate. The app rates the bread as a B because it contains azodicarbonamide a dough conditioner used because it bleaches the flour. With a click of the Alternatives button, you have a list of 10 breads that all got an A-. And just your luck one of those A- breads  is sitting right next your usual wheat bread! In a matter of minutes you learned what makes your bread a lower grade and a list of upgraded alternatives are at your fingertips.  This is when technology amazes me!

This product gets 5 out of 5 Apples for a health app that educates and helps clients make better food choices and even upgrades. My challenge for you this week is to download Fooducate and go through your kitchen to see if your cupboards would make the grade! 

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4 Responses to App Obsession… Fooducate!

  1. Howard says:

    Hey Kerri,

    Gave it a try on line as I have a “stupid phone”. Not surprisingly, it mostly rates branded “packaged” foods of broad exposure (e.g., didn’t know Iggy’s focaccia). Also, way to basic for me but I see how it could be valuable to those at the beginning of the learning curve.

    — Howard

  2. Dan says:

    I’m always curious about how apps like this make money since that might indicate a bias. I was surprised at how many of the recommendations were for “normal” products and the rationale for their choices make perfect sense. Doesn’t seem like just a mouthpeice for Kashi etc which makes me trust it a bit more. Good find.

  3. Hi Kerri,

    Thanks for th writeup!

    Hemi & the Fooducate Team

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