Friday, March 28, 2014

Google's Nutrition Tool

I thought I'd switch it up and feature a service rather than a product today. Leave it to the folks on Reddit to stumble upon this tool. Now this is not a new tool, Google quietly launched it back in 2013, but I hadn't heard of it until now.

By typing "compare ____ and ____" or "____ vs ____"in Google will give you a nutrition comparison tool. Using the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database and Google's own algorithms, you will be hit with nutritional information as well as a bunch of tempting-looking recipes. As always, Google tries to give you "what might be useful to you when you ask it a question. Thanks, Google!

So for example: you were wondering how much more nutritious sweet potatoes are than  mashed potatoes. Just type in "compare mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes" into Google and bam! You'll be shown a few pictures with an elegant chart that tells you that 100g of sweet potatoes have about 4.2g of sugar while mashed only have 0.5 g.

The tool is even able to compare completely different foods. For example, does kale and bacon have anything in common?

The data isn't perfect just yet. Depending on how the food is prepared can drastically change the nutritional information.

The next time someone says you can't compare apples to oranges, prove them wrong and bring out the Google Nutrition Comparison Tool. In case you were wondering, apples are slightly sweeter and have more calories.