If an author wants to publish a book of food counts, are they required by law to take a special course to learn how to express counts in the least useful way? I have a shelf of food count books and they all go out of their way to give their numbers in measurements and quantities that make it as difficult as possible for the user to achieve anything like accuracy.
A completely representative example, chosen pretty much at random:
I like red bell peppers. So, how much should I eat to get 6 grams of carb? Well, let's see. Here's one of the popular food count books (I won't say which). It says that one half cup, chopped (coarse? fine? in between? who knows?), contains 4.8 grams. On the very next line, it says that one full cup sliced (long? short? wide? narrow? who knows?) contains 5.9. So, a full cup is only 23% more than a half cup. Uhhh . . . how's that again? Obviously the difference in the method of slicing (which we are not told) completely changes the result. Gee, that really helps me plan, now doesn't it??
Good kitchen scales are not expensive. I have a very nice one that cost a whole $45. In order to plan meals with accuracy -- or at least something in the general vicinity -- all I need now is a set of food counts expressed in units of weight, e.g., 1 ounce equals 3 grams of carb, etc. But do the books give you that? [That sound you hear in the distance is the authors and publishers, laughing.]
I don't know. Perhaps they're afraid that if they printed a book like that you'd only buy one, wouldn't need to keep searching, and they'd get no more sales.
Reading these books is like dealing with a government bureau. Instead of trying to help the user, they make a science of making it AS HARD AS POSSIBLE.
(end of rant)
I totally agree! That's why I end up using www.calorieking.com most of the time.
In addition to the frustrating options (i.e., one small, one cup chopped, etc.) it usually gives per gram and per ounce as well. It then allows you to put in the number of grams or ounces and does the math for you. Yes!
Per-ounce measurements are what I am looking for. I'll check this out - thanx!
Get an EatSmart scale. Best investment I made. It calculates carbs, protein, fat, sodium, etc. in ounces & grams for 999 preprogrammed foods. Beautifully designed. It also will keep items in memory if you're weighing numerous foods for a dish. Much more efficient & accurate than weighing & then looking up data to add. You can get a discount as a Tu member http://www.tudiabetes.org/notes/Discounts#food.
Unfortunately the link for purchasing the scale appears to be broken ("page not found"). I did watch the video, however.
The concept behind this is good. However, I have some questions, and since you own one, you're the perfect person to ask.
(1) Since the link doesn't work, I'll ask you. What's the price?
(2) Is the built-in data base fixed, or can you add your own entries to it? How does it get updated with fresh information as time goes by?
I'll let Manny know that the discount link isn't working. I'd still try using the discount promo on the page to see if it's still valid. The price ordering through the EatSmart site is $69.99 http://shop.eatsmartproducts.com/EatSmart-Digital-Nutrition-Scale-P..., but you could check around for a better price. I bought mine around 4 years ago & I think I paid around $70. I don't remember exactly what I paid. Definitely worth $70 for a well made, well designed precision scale that has this many features.
The data base is fixed. 999 pre-loaded foods is quite a lot. Rarely have I needed something that wasn't in the data base. That it includes info for raw & cooked is a big plus, in addition to fiber & other nutrients. I didn't know there was a difference between cooked & raw until I got an EatSmart. Makes sense, of course, but not something I considered when I started carb counting.
Thanx for the update. $70 isn't much for something I'll be using for the rest of my life, but if I can find a discount I certainly won't turn it down. I think I'm going to follow up Shawnmarie's lead as well. Having both will allow each to be used as a cross-check against the other. More information is better than less.
Followup -- Amazon is offering it for $62 right now. That's good enough for me.
Good deal. Hope you like it.
A couple of reasons.
(1) Due to recent experience with the legal system, I am gunshy. I admit it. I don't know whether or not mentioning the book by name on the internet could be construed as libel, and I do not intend to find out.
(2) As I implied in the original post, it doesn't make any %#!$% difference which book it is -- they all have the same problem. At least, I have yet to find one that doesn't. I picked one off the shelf pretty much at random.
I bought an EatSmart, but I haven't found the time to practice with it. I kept on misplacing the code book for the pre-loaded data. It seemed like every time I went to input something, it wasn't in the pre-loaded selection. I don't have Calorie King, but I think I went to look at the book before Border's closed its doors and put it back down because they focus on fast food, prepared food, etc - Things I don't eat, at all. I need a book/website that focuses on whole food. I am sure that the carb count differs for the same vegetable within varieties. I can taste it. I find certain brands of peanut butter have a variable degree of sweetness even though the posted carb counts are the same.
Yours is the same reason I didn't buy a book. I've found the EatSmart easy to use. Going to be hard to locate anything that included varieties of the same vegetable. I've wondered how fruit can be calculated because carbs depend on the degree of ripeness. I only eat small amount of berries & I haven't been off dosing according to EatSmart values. Vegetables can also be different according to where they're grown, stored, etc., but no source could possibly take all that into account. Slight variations may be insignificant & balance out. It's never going to be totally exact & that's life. We can only do so much.