We first had a conversation with Nick on Twitter, @the_nutrivore, when his customization of Cronometer caught our eye; he changed the Diary Header to only focus on calories and protein and eliminated everything else. A quick message to ask what he was up to lead to an interesting conversation about nutrition with a Cronometer power user!
How did you learn about Cronometer?
I first learned of Cronometer through Chris Masterjohn, a nutrition science PhD whom I follow on Twitter. He mentioned it as a useful tool to help people hit their micronutrient targets. Ever since then I’ve been tracking my intake.
What is your favourite Cronometer feature?
My favourite feature on Cronometer is its potential for customization. I can edit anything from the displayed target, to the targets themselves, create entirely new foods, recipes, etc. There are a number of features I’d like to see in the future, but its current functionality is absolutely unmatched.
Tell us about your diet!
My diet is eclectic and very non-specific. I try to eat the majority of my calories from whole foods, but regularly indulge with junk foods and treats. I try not to be so rigid with my diet that I sacrifice the fun. I’ll eat virtually anything, and the foods in my diet can vary dramatically. For protein, I’ll typically eat fish, shellfish, or poultry, but my diet has also included proteins like squirrel, octopus, and even insects. For carbohydrates, I typically consume fruit and tubers. For fats, I eat nuts and seeds. For junk, I’m a sucker for dill pickle potato chips, haha.
My current project is the Nutrient Density Cheat Sheet, which is a novel nutrition ranking tool that ranks over 500 foods according to relative nutrient density using minimally biased methods. Typically, nutrition ranking scales put “good nutrients” like vitamins and minerals in the numerator and “bad” nutrients like saturated fat, sodium, or sugar in the denominator. To me this introduces unacceptable bias. For my scale, nutrient density is determined by quantifying the essential nutrient yield per serving of food relative to each nutrients respective DRI, and adjusting for bioavailability, absorption capacity, and metabolic conversion inefficiencies whenever possible. It is completely agnostic to “good” or “bad” nutrients. The tool also aggregates multiple databases together, which includes databases for oxalate, phytate, price, FODMAPs, glycemic index, glycemic load, satiety, and protein digestibility.