Educate Yourself with Fooducate – Diet and Health Tracker App

Total Score: 28.5

If you want an app that allows you to track your food and help you make smart food choices, then Fooducate is the app for you.  You can set goals, enter your meals and record your exercise.  You may be asking yourself how is this one different from the other apps that record your meals?  What it does is grade the foods you are eating so that you can learn to make better choices.  Or, you may wish to eat foods that are not genetically modified, but don’t know which ones are.  This app can help there too.  Knowledge is power (according to Francis Bacon) – and this app helps you find that knowledge.

  Price Rating = 5     Free.  There are multiple versions of this app.  The ad free and diabetes versions are $3.99.  The allergy and gluten free diet tracker is $4.99.  The free version is full-featured and would be the way I suggest you start.

Ease of Use Rating = 5    It’s easy to add and delete foods.  By far the easiest way to add a food is to scan bar code.

  Readability Rating = 4     The font is somewhat small.   Key bits of information like calorie counts are larger.

 Will You Use It Rating = 5     If you wish to learn more about food choices, or perhaps teach your children, this is a great app.

 Downsides Rating = 0     I have not discovered any downsides at this time.

  Consumer Review Rating = 4.5     More than 9,000 people have rated this app with a large majority of people very positive about it.  Most of the negative ratings relate to the necessity of signing in.  People consider it an invasion of their privacy.   

This app was rated a “Best of the iPhone Health & Fitness category” by Apple App Store.  It was also given 1st prize in the US Surgeon General Healthy App Challenge.

  Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5     Tracking what you eat has been proven an effective tactic for weight loss.

How does it work?

  1. When you download the app you will need to choose whether to use your Facebook or Twitter sign-in or an email address.   Once you determine that and set up your account you can go in and give basic information – height, weight, birth date and activity level.   There is also a setting to toggle on/off information relating to GMOs. (genetically modified foods.)
  2. You also set your goals – it doesn’t have to be about weight loss.  There are options to control carbs, eat vegetarian, eat vegan or avoid processed food.   You have the option here to toggle on/off motivational messages.  It can also remind you to use Fooducate when you are in the grocery store.
  3. Once settings are out of the way, you can start entering your foods. By far the easiest way to enter a food item is to scan the package, box or can.  If you can’t scan the product, there is a large database of items to choose from.  You type in the food item and then choose from the list that is provided to you.  The list is usually ordered by grades (A to D) to help you make the wisest choice.    Once you select your food you can add it (by tapping the plus button) or tap the “alternatives” button to see what options you might have that are similar, but healthier.
  4. If you add something and want to delete it, you swipe the item and a delete button comes up.
  5. If you can’t find your food item, you can tap the plus sign at the bottom of the food search screen.  It offers you the opportunity to name the food, add a photo, indicate a serving size, calories, carbs and other nutrients.  You can also give it a grade.
  6. At the top of the screen you will see a Calories bar.  It remains green if you stay at or under your goal and turns to red if you go over it.  Tapping on that bar takes you to a screen that gives you additional details like the number of carbs and a pie chart that shows the foods you have eaten that are minimally or highly processed.  This is helpful information in meal planning.
  7. While on the screen noted in step 5, you see a “see my progress” bar.  Tapping it takes you to charts showing calories, food points (while not sanctioned by Weight Watchers, these appear to be Weight Watcher points), carbs and weight.  You can also change these to be for a week, a month, 3 months or 6 months.
  8. By going to the home screen and choosing shopping list you can search for and add items to your list.  Once you buy them you can put a check by the item.    You can email the list or share it through Facebook or Twitter.
  9. You can add exercise by tapping the BURN button at the bottom of the screen.  You select an exercise and the time you spent and it will calculate calories.  There aren’t a lot of exercises to choose from, but there are a few catch-all type categories you can use.
  10. Tapping the WATER button adds 8 ounces of water to your list. I’ve tested a number of apps and this one has the easiest way to add water.
  11. If you want to add notes about your day you can tap the NOTES and start typing.
  12. You can share your love of the app through the Share button.

This is a full-featured app that has been tested by users and found useful.  If the ads don’t bother you, you can have all of this at no cost.  I’ve been a fan of the MyFitness App and MyNetDiary Pro apps, and still think they are very good.  But, having said that, I think this one offers some guidance along with the functionality of food tracking. All would provide you with health benefits.  You need to check them out and see which one works for you. Let me know what you think.

Devices:  This app is compatible with iPhone,  iPod touch and iPad.  It requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone5.  It was developed by Fooducate Ltd.

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