BIG Nutrition: How much protein is in that…..breakfast, smoothie, salad?


BIG Nutrition: How much protein is in that…..breakfast, smoothie, salad?

Ever make or look at a recipe and wonder about the calories, protein, or fat content? There are a couple of free online recipe analyzers that are worth checking out. They can be used for quick analysis of a favorite sandwich, family recipe, smoothie, or trail mix.

Very Well Recipe Analyzer

  • Outcome: A nutrition facts label, just like on packaged food. If you like numbers of grams and percentages, this is a good choice.
  • Pro tip 1: Harder to find ingredients are in this tool—acai powder, peanut butter powder, ground flax seed.
  • Pro tip 2: Some store brand (Wegmans, Stop and Shop, and Trader Joes) items in in the analyzer, but not all of them (ie, Roche Brothers). Name brand (Dunkin Donuts, Bob’s Red Mill, and Wonder) items are present but, again, not all brands which could limit this tool’s applicability.
  • Database used: This analyzer uses the USDA National Nutrient Database.
  • App available: No

Happy Forks Recipe Analyzer

  • Outcome: Visual charts showing the macronutrient composition and distribution in a pie chart are created. There is also an extensive listing of every micronutrient (eg, vitamins, minerals, and the amino acid and lipid breakdown). Visually, this outcome is nice and could be applied to a whole meal, for example. All of the micronutrient information, is nice, but the utility is questionable.
  • Pro tip 1: The same hard to find ingredients noted above are NOT in this tool. Clearly they are in the databases, so these could be added by Happy Forks.
  • Pro tip 2: This tool takes a different approach than Verywell and only provides a generic list for food items—whole wheat bread, commercially prepared. Store and brand named items are not in this tool.
  • Database used: This analyzer uses the USDA and Canadian nutrient databases.
  • App available: No

Any questions (eg, ingredient not found) or error messages (eg, wrong measurement) that come up are easily resolved in either tool by clicking on the pencil icon that pops up to the right of the item.

If you use the MYFITNESSPAL to track your intake, it can be used to analyze recipes, but it’s a bit awkward if you are looking for information and not consuming the food. These 2 recipe analyzers can be helpful tools to understand what is in your recipes.

Next week’s blog → Tools that analyze your photos of foods to determine the energy and nutrient composition!  

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

Need help deciding which recipe analyzer to use? Contact me at [email protected].

Private Nutrition Services are available for BIG Members (@ 30% discount) and the Community. They are listed here.