Tools that analyze your food photos to determine the energy and nutrient composition do exist! Two that have this capability are described here. Both require you to answer questions verifying (or finding) the ingredients. Ratings on iTunes are good as are linked reviews by registered dietitians.
Pro tip #1: Beyond weight loss, this app allows users to establish loss, gain, or healthier eating goals.
Pro tip #2: Food ratings alerts users of better food choices and cautions those that are high in saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
Database: An important aspect of any food recognition or analyzing program is a robust food database. It needs to be robust. Lifesum has about 3 million foods (compared to the next best database which is MyFitnessPal with 5-6 million foods, which does not have photo recognition at this time).
Pro tip #1: The focus is weight loss which is not everyone’s goal.
Pro tip #2: Calories and macros (carbs, protein, and fat) are calculated.
Cool thing? You can upload a photo and give it a try! I uploaded the picture (the one for the blog) of steak with corn salsa and green beans and it had a hard time sorting out what was on the plate.
Database: There is no information about the database online except it says that it ‘encompasses many regional and ethnic specialty food items.’ I’ve reached out to them for more information but have yet to hear from them.
Cost: Also ~$10/mo
This technology has a way to go before this can be used routinely, but it could be an option for individuals who really want to give it a try.
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
Contact me at email@example.com.
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