By: Patrick Totty
When you have diabetes, you make the acquaintance of a lot of high-tech tools to help you manage it: monitors, meters and pumps. One very handy tool that sometimes gets overlooked is a digital scale for weighing and analyzing the nutritional content of food.
Ideally, a food scale should have a handsome, unobtrusive design, a large database and the ability to quickly impart a load of useful information.
One scale that meets that ideal is the EatSmart Nutrition Scale from Bill Geronimo, a New Jersey pharmacist who had people with diabetes in mind when he designed it.
“When you have diabetes, you are concerned about a lot of things when you eat,” says Geronimo. “How many carbs does a food have? How many calories? How much fat? What kinds of vitamins or calcium or minerals? Knowing the answers to these questions helps immensely with a diabetic’s sense of control.”
How It Works
The scale has 999 foods stored in its database, ranging from fruits and vegetables to grains, pasta, meat and dairy. Many of the foods for which it gives information don’t come with detailed nutritional information when you buy them.
Using the scale is simple. Let’s say you want to measure the calories in a piece of salmon. First you enter the three-digit number for salmon that comes with the user’s manual, and then you place the fish on the scale. The readout immediately indicates the weight and the calories, and it provides information on 11 other nutrients and measurements, such as carbohydrates and fat, that are important to cardiovascular health.
A second mode has a nutrition facts calculator that allows you to input the serving size and calories from the label of a box of food or cereal. It then calculates the amounts of various nutrients as you pour the contents into a bowl on the scale. (The scale automatically adjusts for the weight of the bowl.)
Easy to Learn
The scale’s design is well thought out. The unit doesn’t take up a lot of space, so I had no trouble finding a convenient spot for it in the kitchen. Readouts are large and clearly marked.
Operating the scale is intuitive, and it doesn’t take more than a few uses to feel at home with it. Within two days I found myself routinely plunking my food down on the scale, inputting its number, getting a fast readout and quickly toting up its calories, carbs and nutrients on my mental checklist.
Like any useful habit, such as brushing your teeth or paying bills on a certain day every month, using the EatSmart scale takes a bit of conscious effort at the start. But your effort is soon rewarded by the ability to confidently replace “guesstimates” with solid, accurate information.
Geronimo says nutrition scales are still fairly new to the market, which means that people often don’t know about their usefulness. “But once they do,” he says, “they find that these scales are great educational tools that really bring home the connection between food types, portion sizes, and blood sugar control.
“But even better,” asserts Geronimo, “in the short time it takes people to incorporate a scale into their daily routines, they find that their behavior changes. They pay much more attention to what and how much they eat because they have a reliable, convenient way to keep track.”
For More Information:
To learn more about the EatSmart scale, visit www.eatsmartproducts.com