Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A useful nutrition website

Nutrition Data lets you input a food and it tells you a plethora of information. It gives you a standard nutrition label; plots the food on a scale of filling vs. nutritious; plots the food on a triangle showing where the calories in the food come from (carbs, fat, protein); estimates the glycemic load (useful for South Beach Dieters); a 5-star rating for weight-loss vs. weight-gain; shows a pinwheel for each of the micronutrients it has; another pinwheel for the amino acids (proteins) it has; and several other nutrition scores for completeness. Quite extensive.

Two examples:
The raw, unpeeled cucumber I'm having with lunch, for instance, is filling and nutritious, gets ***** for weight loss, and 79/100 for micronutrient completeness. It's whopping 45 calories in the entire thing come very largely from carbs, but it has a glycemic load of 3 (so I should try to limit myself to no more than 33 cucumbers per day ... I think I can manage). It has remarkably high levels of Vitamin K (which sounds right out of a sci-fi movie), and is a decent supply of Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

My broiled porkchop, by contrast, gets only ** for weight loss, is medium-filling and somewhat nutritious. 69% of its 200 calories are protein, the rest fat, but it has a glycemic load of 0. While the cucumber had an amino acid score of 63, the pork chop scores 151. My pork chop gives me a lot of selenium, niacin, thiamin, B6, and phosphorous, and good amounts of potassium, zinc, sodium, riboflavin, and B12; It's also high in cholesterol for a completeness score of 38 - half of the cucumber.

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