Fooducate app lets users know what’s really in their food

You can’t always judge food by their labels. But you can judge them based on their Fooducate score.

Fooducate is an app that allows users to scan items in their supermarket and gives them a score based on nutritional density of the ingredients and how much those ingredients have been processed.

The ultimate goal is to give eaters a clearer idea of what they’re buying. That also means listing any controversial ingredients such as ones that have been linked to health issues such as cancer. It will tell you if the foods are vegetarian, vegan or gluten free.

It’s the advanced use of algorithms that help separate Fooducate from lesser food apps. And the best part– if the food that you scanned receives a so-so rating, it’ll recommend minimally processed, real foods, that are naturally rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

Let’s take the popular cheese-flavored chip, Doritos, for example. When you scan a bag, it’ll show you that the chips received a D+ grade and more importantly why it received that grade.

By tapping on the grade, you’ll find that the item is 100 percent whole grain (the one good quality of the snack food), but you’ll also find a slew of cautionary facts, such as that it contains artificial colors and MSG and that it’s highly processed.

So what’s a better alternative to Doritos according to Fooducate? Well, a lot of different chips. Gehl’s Nachos Tortilla Chips recieved a B- score, Beanitos Nacho Cheese White Bean Chips also received a B- score, and Chiquita Super Crunchy Pineapple Fruit Chips gets a solid A.

The Fooducate even offers the option to remind you to use the app every time you enter the supermarket, a feature I rarely use.

Dietetic novices often struggle to find accurate and substantial information on the foods they eat. Fooducate also updates a blog within the app (also at blog.fooducate.com) that provides pragmatic tips and guides for healthy eating. Even the nutritionally knowledgeable can find a lot of great tips on this blog, which frequently reports on current food industry related news.

While the free version of the app displays the nutritional content of foods, an upgraded version of Fooducate offers several other features such as a warning if the food contains any GMOs or anything that you’re allergic to. The upgraded version of the app will also offer tips on what foods to buy to meet your nutritional goals (you’ll need to input how much protein, fiber, cholesterol, sodium and so on that you’d wish to consume).

If you’re trying to eat healthier, reduce the amount of additives that you consume and generally be more aware of what’s in your shopping cart, Fooducate is a must-download.