Diabetes Forecast

MyFoodAdvisor: Search and Enjoy

A new online tool for making the most of your meals


People with diabetes—and many other folks, too—have special dietary needs, whether it's counting carbs for blood glucose control, reducing dietary salt to battle high blood pressure, or monitoring potassium intake for people who have kidney disease.

The American Diabetes Association's new online nutrition tool, MyFoodAdvisor, offers something for all of them, with nutrition information for thousands of foods and recipes.

But this isn't just your average calorie counter. MyFoodAdvisor is an interactive Web site, searchable by amount of calories, sodium, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber, with information on 17 other nutrients. Need to find a chicken dish that has fewer than 300 calories? Set your calorie limit and search the chicken and poultry recipe category. With "Create a Dish," you can tally up what you've eaten for the day to see if you are reaching your dietary goals for carbohydrates or saturated fat. Or you can take recipes you've had in the family for years, and determine the nutrition information for each dish.

"It takes the guesswork out of carb counting," says Stephanie Dunbar, director of nutrition and clinical affairs at ADA. The tool also enables users to compare foods. Ask the tool to compare your selected food to similar foods that are lower in sodium and saturated fat, and higher in fiber. Play with different options to find what best suits your individual dietary needs.

MyFoodAdvisor offers information that can sometimes be tough to find, like potassium and phosphorus content, which are valuable to people with kidney problems. It's unique in its consistency of portion sizes (which correspond to exchanges for diabetes meal planning), and servings are all based on a standard amount of carbohydrates.

"It's a tool for people to really explore foods," says Dunbar, "and see what it is that they're eating."



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