Although it was created for consumers, registered dietitian nutritionists used SuperTracker for quick recipe or menu analysis and as a platform for clients to log daily food intake and physical activity. Educators also used SuperTracker’s website and lesson plans to bring MyPlate into the classroom. However, citing the availability of similar tools in the private sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture discontinued SuperTracker in June.
Here are some potential alternatives to explore. When selecting a nutrient analysis or tracking software, consider your needs and goals. Free programs may be useful for keeping clients engaged and delivering general nutrition information. If you are analyzing recipes for a restaurant or creating food labels for retail, professional software may be worth the investment.
Created by Dietitians of Canada, eaTracker is a recipe analyzer and food and activity tracker. Like SuperTracker, eaTracker is a consumer-focused app with options to log food and exercise, plan meals, analyze recipes and track progress. Its content is based on the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Canadian Nutrient File, the standard reference food composition database centered on foods commonly eaten in Canada (much like the USDA’s Food Composition Database). One of this app’s useful features is easy conversion between U.S. customary and metric units.
The Verywell Fit recipe nutrition calculator is easy to use: Type ingredients individually or copy and paste into the calculator to generate a Nutrition Facts panel that can be saved or embedded into another website. Verywell Fit has two registered dietitian nutritionists on staff and uses a combination of nutrient data sources with the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference heavily weighted toward the top of search results.
This calculator may be ideal for quick recipe analysis, but it lacks other tracking features present in SuperTracker. Because this tool uses several data sources, double-check results to ensure correct ingredients are included in the analysis. For a similar experience, HappyForks recipe analyzer pulls data from the USDA and Canadian nutrient databases and includes recipes from food blogs.
Users can track food and physical activity, analyze recipes and create food labels using SparkPeople. Analyzing recipes can take a while, since each ingredient must be entered individually. Although SparkPeople pulls data from the USDA nutrient database first, it also includes member-generated ingredients and recipes, which may not be accurate.
Other popular options such as MyFitnessPal and SELF Nutrition Data offer similar tools and are designed for consumers. Most use a combination of crowdsourced and third-party nutrient data. When choosing a free tracker, look for one that prioritizes reliable sources, such as the USDA nutrient database, or allows the addition of custom ingredients.
For more comprehensive ingredient databases that are geared toward professionals, are regularly updated, contain complete nutrient profiles and provide customer support, consider purchasing a premium program, such as these paid options:
Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR)
NDSR software is the researcher’s choice for dietary analysis. It is one of the most robust programs available for collecting and analyzing 24-hour diet recalls, food records, menus and recipes, as well as estimating food group intake. The NDSR database includes approximately 18,000 foods, with 8,000 brand names, foods from global cuisines and menu items from 23 restaurants. It boasts the most complete set of nutrient values, allowing researchers to go beyond the standard nutrients on a Nutrition Facts panel. NDSR also includes 169 nutrients and components such as caffeine, individual fatty acids, carotenoids, isoflavones and more, making it a valued resource for accuracy in the professional dietary data and research community.
ESHA Food Processor Nutrition Analysis
ESHA’s Food Processor program offers solutions for diet and fitness tracking, recipe analysis and menu planning. It contains a database of more than 72,000 foods and recipes, analyses for more than 170 nutrients and nutrient components, and more than 900 individual exercise activities. Food Processor also includes an online companion tool, FoodProdigy, which allows clients to document food intake and physical activity and lets RDNs review inputs for diet assessments.
Like ESHA’s Food Processor, Nutritionist Pro targets professionals and includes a database of more than 82,000 foods and recipes, as well as 120 nutrients. This tool can deliver a thorough nutrient analysis for diets, menus and recipes for people working in health care, retail or foodservice.
Other paid options include NutriBase and cloud-based options such as Nutrihand PRO. Most of them offer a free trial or demo to find the right fit for your computing platform, lifestyle and support needs.