How do users deal w/ so many search results having limited vitamin/mineral data?

The main reason I use cronometer instead of another app is to help me make sure I get my vitamins and minerals while restricting calories.

When I'm first searching for a food, there are often several search results that might work, but I have to look through most of them before I find one that has more than A/C/iron/calcium for vitamins and minerals. I find it intimidating to have to do so much work on the front end, so to speak, every time I eat a new food. This problem happens with many different types of food, and the suggestion I got when I contacted support (noting which sources are more likely to contain comprehensive data) hasn't made the process easier.

Though I've been using cronometer on and off for years, I've never found a satifying way to handle this, and this issue has sometimes put me off using it altogether for months. I try not to sweat the small stuff but this is a big issue for me. I posted a feature request a week ago and was surprised not to have gotten any comments so far, as I thought many people would feel the same way.

Users, how do you handle this?


  • hi @rayray

    We just made some improvements to our search on the web app, specifically we have broken up the results into tabs that help you find the types of high-quality foods you are looking for. If you haven't seen it already, please check it out and le us know what you think.



    Spencer D.
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited October 2017

    Unfortunately, the comprehensive lab analysis isn't required for packaged food products, and so if you eat a lot of packaged/branded products, using cronometer may not work as well as if you prepare your own food from whole food ingredients.

    If you limit searching to the 'Common foods' tab, or foods that are from the USDA or NCCDB source (source is shown on the search results), you will get the best nutrition data coverage. However, this often means you have to choose generic versions of foods to get the best data, rather than specific brand name products where we only have the details reported on the nutrition label.

  • Is there an explanation somewhere of what determines which foods go into "common foods"? I read the blog post about the new tabs and didn't see any explanation of what that really means.

  • Hi @rayray Common foods is populated by database sources like USDA, NCCDB, and CNF that have comprehensive nutrition. They have whole foods, generic foods, and limited selection of very popular brand name products.

  • Thanks for responding- would you please explain what actually determines whether something is included in "Common Foods"? Does it have to have comprehensive data? Or is it that have to be from a specific list of database sources that's smaller than the "all" tab but larger than the three examples you gave (USDA/NCCDB/CNF).

  • Currently, the common foods tab includes all items from those three data sources. All of the other data sources are from nutrition label data sources that don't tend to have the full analysis.

    We do show the # of listed nutrient values on the selected food as well so you can see if it's got a small or large number before using.

  • Ah, ok- since you said "sources like USDA, NCCDB, and NCF" I figured there were more. Ultimately the number of nutrients feature seems like a great solution, since we can see it while we're still in the dialog box. Thanks!

  • I was wondering something similar, but in the other direction - how much impact does it really have to not have complete and accurate nutrition data?

  • As a dietitian, having incomplete information can be misleading when I'm viewing someone's diet, which is why I always dive into the diary to see which foods are being added and identify if potential pitfalls are real or due to inaccurate data.

    From a client perspective, I sometimes find people are supplementing nutrients are are already being consistently met through their diet.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • The vitamin info in "nutrition" is highly inaccurate generally, so at best if everything was perfect you'd only have a ballpark figure. 1) Figure you're getting more of everything that's being reported (including calories) and 2) choose foods high in vitamins you want and don't worry about the exact number. How much vitamin D are you getting from sunshine? Who knows? Just get a bit and you'll be fine.

    The RDAs are basically complete nonsense, and you're not getting 100% absorption from what you eat either. Everything is averaged out; no 2 eggs have exactly the same nutrition. Just ballpark it and don't fret over the exact numbers.

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