User Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Diary
  3. Trends
  4. Foods and Recipes
  5. Profile
  6. Miscellaneous

Foods and Recipes

A food item contains all the nutritional details for a type of food product. A recipe is a type of food derived from a collection of other foods. For example, we have food items for bread, ham, cheddar cheese, mustard, and butter.

A recipe for a Ham & Cheese Sandwich would contain the list of ingredients (two slices of bread, a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, a tea spoon of mustard, and a pat of butter). The nutritional details of the recipe would be the sum of all the nutrients of its ingredients.

  • To view, and add foods, go to the "Foods" tab.

Data Sources

Here at Cronometer, we take pride in curating an accurate and complete database. Every user submitted food is reviewed by our curation team before being added to the database; branded products that are submitted by users contain only the nutrition information from the nutrition facts table on the packaging or on the brand's official website. If you do find a mistake we would love it if you could let us know by reporting an issue!

Data Source Types

We categorize our data sources into 3 broad categories with a unique icon to identify them easily:

Detailed Laboratory Analysis

The gold-standard for nutrition data, these foods come from comprehensive government and institutional laboratory analysis. These foods will have the best coverage of nutrition details for vitmains, minerals, sugar and fat breakdowns, and even amino acid profiles. The downside is that such detailed analysis only happens for a small set of foods common enough to get this full treatment. This typically means we have whole foods and ingredients, as well as generic foods (ie. the 'average spaghettie sauce') but rarely have specific name-brand products.

Nutrition Label Data

We have hundreds of thousands of name brand products and restaurant foods, but the caveat with these is they will only have the nutrient details these products have listed on the label, and this is normally only the macro-nutrients and a few micro-nutrients required by labelling laws.

Custom Foods and Recipes

If a food is created by you or someone sharing with you (a friend or professional), it will show this icon to indicate it is a custom food item, and not part of our public food database

If your priority is to get the most detailed information for a food, we recommend choosing entries with the Lab icon These entries have compiled results from lab analyses and research papers to provide us with a comprehensive nutrient profile.

The foods in our database come from several specific sources shown below:

Please report issues with foods directly to our support team, Do not contact these providers directly.
  • Nutrition Coordinating Center Food & Nutrient Database (NCCDB)

    Curated by the The University of Minnesota, this is the most comprehensive set of food data we use, and makes up the bulk of foods in our database. This data set contains over 17000 food entries with comprehensive data on 70 nutrients.
  • United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA SR28)

    Curated by the USDA, this is one of the most comprehensive sets of nutrition data available. This data set contains over 8000 food entries with data on over 70 nutrients.
  • ESHA Research, Inc. (ESHA)

    The ESHA database provides data for over 35000 brand name products and restaurant menu items. These items don't typically have as full of a nutrient profile as the USDA and NCCDB items, but contain all the published information from the product nutrition labels.
    ESHA Research Inc. Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database. ©2013 ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • Nutritionix

    Our Barcode scanning is powered by Nutritionix. Their product database contains data for over 400,000 food product nutrition labels. Nutritionix API
  • The Canadian Nutrient File (CNF 2010)

    This data has a lot of overlap with the USDA data (many entries are derived it), but adds a lot of additional foods, as well as reflecting differences found in Canadian foods. It has french and english names for all items, as well as standard measures in metric units.
  • Irish Food Composition Database (IFCDB)

    This data set contains nearly 1000 irish food and supplement products.
  • CRON-O-Meter Community Database (CRDB)

    This is our own set of user-submitted food entries. These are typically created by users from nutrition labels of products they use. Because nutrition labels are limited, they may not have as complete a nutrient-profile as the more generic entries from the USDA or NCCDB. If you have any custom foods for food products that would be useful to share with the community, you can submit your custom foods for publication by clicking the widget menu icon at the top of the food editor panel.
  • Custom

    These are your custom foods. These are private and can only be viewed and used by you, or any friends you have linked to for food-sharing.
  • 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities

    Most of our physical activities are derived from this compendium

Viewing food details

  1. Click on the "Foods" tab.
  2. Click on the "Search Foods" button on the left.
  3. Search for the food you want to view and select it.
  4. The nutritional values of your selected food item will appear on your screen.

How to create a new food

If you have a product with a nutrition label that is not yet in our database, you can add it by following these instructions.
  1. On the 'Foods' tab, click the "Create New Food" button.
  2. A food editor will appear. Enter a name for your food, and choose a category for the food type. If your food has a UPC code you can also enter that in the Barcode section which will let you scan the item with the mobile app's barcode scanner.
  3. Before you enter the nutrition facts you should set the serving size, so it's clear what serving size you're entering the nutrition facts for. Find the serving size editor and edit the name of the serving size (Bar, Slice, Cup, Tablespoon etc...).
  4. If you know the gram weight of the serving size, you can also enter the grams. If you don't know the weight, then leave it as n/a
  5. If you want multiple serving sizes, you can use the green plus button to add more, but only if all of the serving sizes have a known gram weight.
  6. Now you can enter the nutrition facts from the label. Make sure you have the right serving size selected before you start entering in the nutrition facts. You can edit a nutrient value by clicking on the amount to make it editable
  7. You can also edit the %DV (Daily Value) when applicable, by clicking on the value
  8. For convenience you can also click and edit values directly on the nutrition label at the top.
  9. When you are finished adding all of the nutrition information for your new food item, scroll to the top of the page and click the "Save Changes" button.
  10. You should now be able to search for your food by name and add it to your diary just like any other food.

How to create a new recipe

Recipes are a great way to speed up the entering of your most common meals. For example, if you often eat a breakfast consisting of quick oats, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and milk, it can be time consuming to always enter all five of these ingredients every day. Instead, you can create a 'My Breakfast Porridge' recipe which contains these ingredients. Once created, you can just search and add your recipe instead of the individual ingredients.

  1. Have your recipe handy, including the amounts of each ingredient.
  2. Go to the 'Foods' tab:
  3. Click the Create New Recipe button. Cron-O-Meter displays the New Recipe pane on the right part of the page, partially shown below.
  4. Enter a name for your recipe, and choose the category to which it belongs. You can also add any recipe notes here.
  5. To add your ingredients, click on the green "+" icon next to the "Ingredients" section.
  6. By default, the recipe will contain a 'Full Recipe' serving for the complete ingredients. If the recipe makes multiple servings, you can add additional individual serving sizes (for example: a Brownie, or a Bowl). Click the green "+" next to the Serving list to add custom serving sizes. For example, your full soup recipe may make 4 bowls of soup, so you can add a 'Bowl' serving that will be 1/4th of the full recipe:
  7. When you are finished adding all of the ingredients for your new recipe, scroll to the top of the page and click the "Save Changes" button.
  8. You should now be able to search for your recipe by name and add it to your diary just like any other food.

Ask the Oracle

The nutrient oracle can help you explore the food database to find good sources for particular nutrients.

The results can be ranked in three different ways: Highest amount Per Calorie, highest amount per Gram, and by The Oracle. The last option ranks foods according to a wide variety of factors. Ranking by nutrient density per calorie isn't always a great way to find good foods to add to your diet to shore up a nutrient deficiency. For example, certain spices are very nutrient dense per calorie, but you would never consume that item in enough volume to get a significant amount of the nutrient. You're going to have a hard time eating 200 grams of cinnamon, let me tell you! Also, many foods that are rich in certain nutrients are not very practical or popular. Alaskan Ring Seal Livers may be great, but you'll have a hard time finding them at your grocery store.

The Oracle considers nutrient density, food popularity, and how much of a nutrient is in a typical serving size. It actively learns from all of you what foods people really eat, and how much at a time. This helps finding practical choices much easier. You can also filter by food category (pretty important to you vegans out there), to find the best choices in that category alone.