The internet is full of information about nutrition; however, finding accurate, user-friendly websites that help you track what you eat while learning more about a healthy lifestyle, can be exhausting. We’re here to help! We’ve gone online and found three popular diet analysis websites to review, all with strong and weak points. Each website requires that you create a personal account, and you need an email address to do so. However, the websites claim that your information remains completely anonymous and private.
The number one spot belongs to the Dietitians of Canada’s www.EATracker.ca. After you complete some forms, you can view reports on how well your food choices match with Canada’s Food Guide. Its software compares your nutrient and calorie intake from a single day’s information to the nutrition recommendations for your age, gender, and activity level. It also rates your activity level against Canadian guidelines. The website has some nutrition quizzes, tips, FAQs, and fact sheets, a useful recipe analyzer, and a resource to find a private practice dietitian in your community. We love the fact that EATracker is completely advertisement-free and is also offered in French. This is a nice beginner site to find basic information and get a general idea of how what you’re eating measures up, without a lot of fuss. On the downside, you can’t click on individual foods to view nutrients, you can only see the sum of nutrients from each day’s input.
Also worth checking out is www.nutritiondata.com, even though its American-based guidelines do not mimic Canada’s Food Guide. Since it has lots of detailed information, the website is quite busy and more challenging to navigate, but once you find your way around, it is very useful. You can search a massive database of foods, including fast foods, and quickly see the nutrient composition in easy-to-read charts. It also offers a number of regularly updated nutrition articles, a nutrient search tool, special sections for heart health and diabetes, a food comparison tool, and a recipe analyzer. On the downside, this website is only for tracking food, not activity. Be warned that it has some advertisements and links to fad diets and questionable products.
Last on our list is www.fitday.com. FitDay is probably the most user-friendly of all the sites, with more than 5.1 million members using it to track their food intake, exercise levels, weight, moods, and body measurements on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. There is also a journal section, which is nice because by using this tool, you might be able to find patterns correlating your diet and lifestyle to your gastrointestinal symptoms. FitDay also provides many reports, pie charts, and graphs showing your nutrient intake, calorie ratio, weight change, and more, allowing you to get a good handle on your health state. On the downside, although there is a lot of nutrition information available, there is a heavy emphasis on weight loss. As with NutritionData, FitDay is also an American website and you need to watch out for frequent advertisements that promote some questionable products.