What Do I Need to Know before Buying a Nutrition Software Program?

Before you actually buy a nutrition software program, there are a few things you should consider. A good nutrition program software program should monitor any area of interest and whatever health concerns you may have. You will want to purchase the best all-inclusive software you can find. A truly exceptional program will offer:

  • Evaluation—The best program will examine your intake of food to ensure that you get good nutritional content, and match your diet with the goals you have stated. The program should feature food lists and menus from popular restaurants.
  • Recipe Organization—Look for existing recipes, plus a way to enter your own favorites into a database. The software should even create shopping lists for you.
  • Compatibility—Is it compatible with popular weight loss programs as the American Heart Association Diet, Zone Diet, and Weight Watchers?
  • Tracking Your Progress—The software should monitor your diet, weight body fat percentages and exercise; it should also track glucose and cholesterol levels and your blood pressure if these are issues that concern you.
  • Help—Most people want a plain and simple help section, along with instructions for contacting support by phone, email. or chat.
  • Reminders and Warnings—an all-inclusive nutrition software program, while monitoring your food intake, will warn you if you forgot to take your medication, if you’re not drinking enough water, or consuming enough calories.

The program should be easy to use, easy for you to enter your own information and examine progress reports and evaluations. You’ll be using it every day, so it should be non-complicated and feature prompt support should you need it.

Top Ten Reviews recommends the Dietmaster 2100, and rates it highest among nutrition software programs.

In its review of this software, Nutrition Software Review points out that the DietMaster 2100 makes finding recipes that you use regularly, specially notated foods, and the right recipe user-friendly. The meal plans used in the DietMaster are created by a registered dietitian (RD).

According to the DietMaster website, the “DietMaster 2100 v10 is like having your own private nutrition counselor! Quickly analyze & design your eating program or use ready-to-print recommended eating plans & grocery lists.”

The website warns that their software is not intended for professional use: some information, like birth date and gender, cannot be changed once entered. Nor is the software meant to replace the advice of your doctor, or to treat any type of disease.

This software comes in two editions, the Standard and the Plus. The Standard Edition Package should be enough for most people. It allows you to keep your own food diary, plan out all your meals along with your exercise and weight goals. In addition, it offers a sample eating plan for a low-carb diet plus the ability to import other optional RD meal plan templates. You can download this edition on its own, or add a CD. You can also add a body fat caliper to the order.

The Plus Editions includes the same features described above, plus a personalized meal plan system. Whether your specific special needs revolve around performance, bone health, detoxification, body building, or something else, this software can help. DietMaster 2100 estimates your caloric needs based on your profile and goals, and generates the perfect grocery list and meal plan—designed by a team of Registered Dietitians or Clinical Nutritionists—just for you. The included Fitness Assessment Module offers some simple tests to rank your fitness level. This software comes in 8 editions: Low Glycemic, Performance , Bone Health, Lean Body Builder, Stable Blood Sugar, Detox Veggie, and Detox Lean Meat.

If you’re in the market for nutrition software with extensive functionality as described above, you might also want to check out this list of nutrition software, which offers some alternatives for you to consider.  For a web-based service, check out ediets.com to see if one of their several online diet plans meets your needs.

However, if you’re just looking for a simple and cheap way to track your food intake and exercise goals, without the added meal plans, recipe files and support, there are other options available with fewer bells and whistles.  One such option includes My Fitness Pal, which offers a free online calorie and exercise tracking service, as well as an iPhone app with the same functionality.  Calorie King, offers free online look-up of nutrition facts for thousands of foods, and software you can download to your computer or PDA to help you keep track of your intake and goals.

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