Tracking Carbohydrate Content of Meals Using a Handheld Computer


By: Brent Hanson

One would think that with all the technological advances in handheld computers, there would be a plethora of software products available for every need. In fact, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of software products on the market today. However, finding the specific type of software you need can be quite challenging.

I have been looking for a software product for my Palm Pilot that provides diet and carbohydrate information. There are several software companies that have tackled the specific task of helping people with diabetes track glucose levels, diet and carbohydrate intake.

Software for the popular Palm Pilot and Handspring Visor handheld computers, which run the Palm OS (operating system), is available from Healthetech, Inc. ( in Golden, Colorado.

The DietLog

Healthetech has a product called DietLog, which sells for $49 and seems to be the most advanced and easy-to-use software product available for the Palm OS.

DietLog allows the user to record and track daily food intake, including carbohydrates, protein and fat distribution. When setting up the program for the first time, you can enter information into a “User Profile” which allows you to set certain criteria based on your lifestyle and goals.

For instance, the program instructs you to indicate your activity level, height, weight, sex, and nutritional targets, which will be used in tracking your particular progress. In the “Set Nutrient Targets” section of the set-up process, you can set your targets in grams for calories from fat, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar and protein intake.

Every time you make an entry for what you have eaten, the program keeps track of the amount of each of the nutrients in grams and the nutrient totals for that day. The DietLog program has a database of foods, food types and their associated calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrate amounts. Having this database available instantaneously makes inputting and tracking your diet a snap.

If you are looking for a good, well-supported and efficient program to track glucose levels, diet and carbohydrate intake, the DietLog is a good bet. The software is well-supported and easy to use.

The DiabetesManager

For those of you with a PSION series 5/mx, Revo or Revo Plus handheld computer, a company Mobile Diabetes Management, located in Denmark, sells a product called DiabetesManager. However, trying to read the screens can be a real chore.

The product is more complicated than it may be worth, but if you have a PSION handheld computer, this product is really the only choice out there. If you have been thinking about moving to a Palm OS handheld computer, now may be a good time. DiabetesManager sells for $32.50 over the Internet at (

The CarbCheck

A freeware software product called CarbCheck (by UWE Trode; is available for Palm OS computers. The software is currently at version 1.1, which indicates that, most likely, the bugs have not all been worked out. If it’s a simple carbohydrate program you’re looking for, this may just fill your needs.



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