There are literally hundreds of online calorie counters, but some of them are a bit complicated to use. To be really useful to you and your diet, an online calorie counter needs to be straightforward and to provide you with the information you want as quickly as possible. If you want to know how many calories are in your fillet steak, you don’t want to spend that long wading through pages of useless information that your tender fillet is cooked to the consistency of shoe leather.
The most useful calorie counters are those that give you the calories in an average portion of the foods you eat every day. If you never eat something, you’re not interested in the calorie count, so having to sift through pages of useless information to get to what you want is likely to send you rushing for comfort food.
Here are some of the easiest to use online calorie counters for everyday foods. I’ve kept it to online calorie counters that give you the information you want – the calorie count – in no more than 3 clicks. Some sites want to tell you what to pair up your food with, or direct you to articles about the food. While this is all interesting stuff and well meant, what we really need here is a calorie count. The rest can come later rather than sooner.
The Calorie Counter
This is a no frills site that provides you with a search box to input your food group and the exact food you want to calorie count. If you’re just wondering what to have for dinner, click on one of the food group links to browse. There are also links to the most popular foods.
For the purposes of this article, I input ‘dairy’ and ‘fried egg.’ The ‘search’ button took me to a ‘fried egg’ link, which then brought up a nutrition panel with the most important information – the calorie count – clearly displayed at the top (It’s 92, by the way, in case you’re wondering). Alongside was a list of variations such as duck and goose eggs, and eggs cooked by other means.
You have to scroll past some adverts to get to your information, but it’s still quick and easy to access the calorie count of any food item, so this site counts as one of the best.
If you want a bit more information rather than the basic calorie count, this site will give it to you. I input the same information, for ease of comparison, and as well as the calorie count (90 this time, but close enough), I was told good news and bad news about the fried egg. It’s a good soure of protein, B vitamins, phosphorous and selenium, but high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Nutrition Data also give a star rating on the product’s nutrient value, filling power and whether it will help or hinder weight gain. My fried egg was in the middle of the chart. With a calorie ratio pyramid, nutrient quality count, protein quality count, GI index and inflammatory properties, you have more information than you’ll ever need about the humble fried egg.
If you don’t know much about nutrition, or if you’re curious to learn more about food facts, Nutrition Data is a great option, but be warned – check your calories before you start to cook, as you may be there for some time!
This site also offers a quick click calorie count, but with the added option of selecting a single fried egg (92 calories) or egg with 2 oz of ham (183 calories). There’s also an ‘eat out’ calorie count, but as this is an American site, it’s only useful for US residents, or if you’re on holiday and you have your laptop with you. Denny’s breakfast of country fried steak and eggs will set you back a whopping 660 calories.
There are quick links to food groups on the home page, so Calorie King is a very straightforward site to use. If you want more diet help, support and guidance, you can join Calorie King’s programme for $12 per month or $85 per annum, but if you just want to access the calorie information, that’s fine.
I researched dozens of online calorie ounters, but these three sites stood out head and shoulders above the rest in their speed and ease of use. In my opinion, this qualifies them as the best online calorie counters for everyday foods.