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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the food serving sizes different than what I see on the Nutrition Facts food label?

For people with diabetes, carbohydrate affects blood glucose levels more than any other nutrient. The food serving sizes in MyFoodAdvisor (with the exception of restaurant foods and frozen dinners) are based on the Exchange Lists for Meal Planning developed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association.

For carbohydrate-containing foods, the serving size is based on how much of the food contains 15 grams of carbohydrate instead of the weight of the food. On most food products, the Nutrition Facts label uses a serving size that is much larger than wat you see in this tool. For example, a pasta or rice Nutrition Facts label often displays a serving with 40-45 grams of carbohydrate.

By having consistent carbohydrate, protein, and fat content for all of the serving sizes, it is easier to plan meals. You can swap one carbohydrate containing food for another without having to recalculate serving sizes on your own. MyFoodAdvisor has done it for you!

Can I save my created dish?

Yes, you can save your dish. To save your dish, you will need to create a login. It is free. Once you log in, you can save your dishes and they will remain in your "recipe box" until you delete them.

Why did the American Diabetes Association create My Food Advisor?

The American Diabetes Association knows that understanding information about calories, carbohydrates, fat, sodium and other nutrients can be overwhelming — especially for people with diabetes. Realizing that there is a gap in free, consumer-friendly online tools to help people really understand more about nutrition and food choices, our experts worked to develop a comprehensive and user-friendly tool. MyFoodAdvisor provides people with an easy way to look up a food and say, "Wow, this has 30 grams of carb and 5 grams of fat." But how does it all work together? How can I make healthier choices? This is what is missing from other online tools and makes MyFoodAdvisor unique.

What is a healthier alternative?

A healthier alternative is a food within the same food group that is lower in saturated fat and sodium and higher in fiber.

How will MyFoodAdvisor help those who have diabetes?

One of the biggest challenges in managing diabetes is eating healthy. Healthful food is key to managing diabetes. MyFoodAdvisor has several features that allow you to decide what to eat and identify what is right for you in managing your diabetes.

Managing carbohydrate is the cornerstone of glycemic control. All foods listed in the MyFoodAdvisor database have consistent amounts of carbohydrate and protein. This allows you to easily compare and choose healthy foods.

Because MyFoodAdvisor allows you to view equivalent amounts of carbohydrate and protein in foods, you can focus your time on picking foods with the healthiest type of fat and that are lower in sodium.

What does browse for a food mean?

All of the food in the MyFoodAdvisor database are divided into "food categories." When you select a food category such as "fruit," all the foods in that grouping will appear.

How can MyFoodAdvisor help me?

MyFoodAdvisor is a tool that has many features that make it unique compared to other tools you'll find online. It is a database from which you can look up food information. But the greatest feature of this tool is in how you can access the information and what you can do with that information. Here is a brief overview:

  1. You can search for a food by setting criteria. For example: if your doctor says, "Eat more fiber!" You can search the database of foods by setting criteria for all foods with more than 3 grams of fiber. You can also search the database by setting criteria for sodium, carbohydrate, saturated fat, and calories.
  2. In the MyFoodAdvisor database, all of the serving sizes for carbohydrate-containing foods are based on about 15 grams of carbohydrate. So the information provided to you through MyFoodAdvisor is different than what you will find on a Nutrition Facts panel on a food label. This is a good thing because if you have diabetes, it is easier to compare foods and plan meals if the carbohydrate is consistent for all food choices.
  3. The food display includes 22 nutrients including potassium and phosphorus. These nutrients are hard to find on traditional labels or other online tools available, yet information about these nutrients are critical for people with kidney disease.
  4. Comparing foods is a breeze because MyFoodAdvisor allows you to compare foods by viewing the foods on the same screen. If the carbohydrate is similar for two foods, you can quickly turn your focus to compare other important information about fat, fiber and sodium or any of the other nutrients.
  5. Looking for other food ideas? MyFoodAdvisor allows you to get suggestions from our "Healthier Alternatives" option so making new, healthy food choices is easier.

Are yellow peppers really better for me than red peppers?

All vegetables, and fruits for that matter, are great sources of vitamins and minerals. Choosing a mix of differet colored fruits and vegetables is a way to make sure you are getting a variety of the nutrients these two food groups offer.

So enjoy all of your favorites and don't worry about the ranking for the fruit and vegetable food groups. The only things to stay away from are the fruits and vegetables with added sugar, sodium or fat

Can I use Create a Dish to analyze a recipe?

Yes, you can. All the food serving sizes are based on 15 grams of carbohydrates. This applies to flour and sugar as well. The create a dish tool asks for the number of servings which will be different than the ingredient measurement in the recipe. Use the following tips to help you make the conversion to servings.

1 cup of flour is 5.3 servings
3/4 cup of flour 4 servings
1/2 cup of flour is 2.6 servings
1/4 cup of flour is 1.3 servings
1 tablespoon of flour is 0.3 servings

1 cup of sugar is 16 servings
3/4 cup of sugar is 12 servings
1/2 cup of sugar is 8 servings
1/4 cup of sugar is 4 servings
1 tsp of sugar is 0.3 servings

Meat or cheese
1 pound (16 ounces) is 16 servings

Can I search for foods that are low in carbohydrate or calories?

Yes. On the Explore Food page of the MyFoodAdvisor tool, you can enter a specific number of grams of carbohydrate or a specific number of calories to find all the food that matches your criteria. You can also do this for sodium, saturated fat and fiber.

What is in the MyFoodAdvisor database?

MyFoodAdvisor is based on a database of about 5,000 foods ranging from basic recipe ingredients like flour to fresh and frozen food to restaurant food. In addition, the tool has hundreds of recipes for you to explore.

How do I search for a food?

There are 3 main ways to search for a food using the MyFoodAdvisor database. From the Explore Foods page:

  1. Type the name of a food in the Enter Food box. Click search.
    For example: If you enter "chicken" as your search, your results will give you all the foods in the database with chicken in the name.
  2. Type a number in the small boxes below the Enter Food box. Click search.
    For example: If you enter 100 in the calories box, the search will pull up every food in the database with less than 100 calories per serving.
  3. Select a food category under Browse for a food. Your result will reflect all the foods that are classified in that food group.
    For example: If you select Starch and Grains, your search will take you to the breads, cereals, crackers, and starchy vegetables food groups.