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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Nutrition Numbers

My 50th birthday and the corresponding physical examination has me more closely monitoring my health. As I’ve done at various times in my life, I’m logging my daily nutrition and exercise, this time in an app on my iPhone, the highly rated MyFitnessPal. I know many people who wear daily fitness trackers, like Fitbit; I think I will buy one soon.

I grew up in a calorie-counting household. My mother was a dieter; there always was some sort of calorie index in the kitchen. In my own kitchen, propped in a corner cabinet, is a cutting board calorie counter from an antique store (that my husband can certainly name, but I cannot). It lists calories and cholesterol content – High, Medium, Low, O-none) for all the food you’d need to count in the middle of 20th century: chicken a la king, fruit cocktail, bass and mackerel, caramels, cranberry sauce, Parkerhouse, liverwurst, turnips, lady fingers, Tom Collins, and martini are among the daily food choices. Yogurt is listed with 115 calories for a cup and low in cholesterol.

There are dozens of nutrition and exercise tracking apps, in addition to the devices, that are worn, like the Fitbit, that of course count steps and physical activity. I did a bit of research and downloaded the free version of MyFitnessPal. The easy-to-use app tracks your complete daily nutrition and shows it in a number of formats, like a pie chart. On this day, I had a balanced diet. To log a food, like the Oikos Bananas Foster Greek Yogurt with Caramel on Top I ate earlier in the week, just scan the bar code on the container, which confirms this yogurt packs 31 grams of sugar and 210 calories. The times, they are a’changin.

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