In case you have been living under a rock, people have become obsessed with counting their macros. And the apps that count them for us have become gospel.
With every meal, out comes our phone, and in goes our food consumption into our handy apps.
“Let me see if this glass of wine fits my macros,” we say as our apps crunch the numbers.
Can you relate?
Have you ever wondered, though, how accurate the apps we rely so heavily on actually are? Are their databases extensive enough to truly tell us the exact number of grams of carbs, protein and fat we are eating each day?
This is what a group of researchers from the UK decided to look into recently.
In doing so, they selected five popular apps that count calories, macronutrients and micronutrients. Here’s a link to the study (https://mhealth.jmir.org/2019/2/e9838/#ref7) that was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) in February 2019.
The apps chosen included: MyFitnessPal, FatSecret, Noom Coach, Samsung Health and Lose It!. The researchers then compared their individual nutritional databases with professional standards dieticians in the UK use.
In general, all 5 apps were decent at estimating calories and saturated fats, but were less accurate at estimating protein, as well as minerals like sodium and calcium and vitamins, such as Vitamin C.Soooo….maybe you’re not meeting your daily protein requirements, after all…
This app was found to underestimate protein, carbs, fat and fibre, the researchers found.
While Noom was found to be the most accurate for calorie-counting, as it has the most up-to-date nutritional database, said the researchers, it doesn’t show people their levels of macronutrients at all, so kind of useless for the macro-counting we’re so obsessed with.
This app underestimated both sodium and protein levels, but was otherwise fairly accurate.
This one is often recommended by dieticians and is good for macro-counting, but it was found to underestimate micronutrients like calcium, iron and vitamin C.
Samsung Health (S Health):
This app also does a good job of tracking both carbs and fat, but like MyFitnessPal, was less useful when it came to micronutrients.
We’d love to hear from you: What have your experiences been like using an app to track your macros? Which is your favorite app and why?