Nutritiondata.com registration is free, but make sure to check NO on all the email notification options.
The site is a little busy looking, but it offers in depth nutritional analysis of each food, including all vitamins and minerals, glycemic load, and also gives a score on whether or not a food promotes inflammation.
Searching for your food is more difficult than it should be. Results come up alphabetically instead of by relevance. I searched for apple, and couldn’t find raw apple in the list. Just variations of apple juice, baked apples, fried apples, etc. But when I typed in raw apple, it came up. When entering scrambled egg in the food diary I had to scroll through a lengthy list to find it. When you click on it they assume perhaps you cook your eggs in margarine because it claims it has trans-fats. Um, no it doesn’t. So I settled for the raw egg option instead. You have to be persistent and think smarter than their search engine.
One of the features that attracted me to trying this website is the Analyze Recipe function. Here, you have the option of inputting the ingredients to your recipe and it will analyze the nutrition for you. This seems like a great idea, however, once again the search engine was so problematic I couldn’t even find the ingredients. Bell peppers seem not to exist, a search for honey took me three tries, and forget anything even slightly exotic like cacao nibs. I had to abandon this feature out of frustration before I even discovered if it was useful or accurate.
They do offer a custom entry tool, which is invaluable. You can also compare foods side by side to see the differences in nutrition, this could be especially handy for diets with specific goals. Something I’ve struggled with over and over in food entry is measurement conversions. Nutritiondata.com offers a measurement conversion widget on the sidebar which is really helpful.
I almost abandoned the site when I hit the Holy Grail jackpot. You can customize the search terms! I unchecked all the fast food options, and similar options for foods I never eat and this greatly improved the chances of finding the item I was looking for, although bell peppers are still mysteriously absent. While an improvement, it still wasn’t easy. I think this site could be really great if it were more user friendly. Maybe people who are more patient that I am have reaped the benefits this site can offer.
Pros: Useful features such as detailed nutrient analysis, conversion widget, glycemic load score and recipe analysis.
Cons: Painfully difficult search engine. Visually busy and confusing to navigate.
Sidenote: I tried to get some screenshots in here for you guys but they come out so blurry you can’t really read them. Anyone have some tricks for this?