(NaturalSociety) It turns out you can compare apples to oranges, that is if you’re using Google and know the trick for their little-known nutritional comparison tool. Reddit users recently uncovered the trick and brought it to our attention—giving the people yet another tool in learning about what foods are best for their health.
To uncover a nice side-by-side chart comparing two foods, you simply type “compare ____ and _____” in the Google search box. The result is a comparison, including photos, of your typical nutrition chart. The chart displays calories, fats, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sugars, and other basic nutrients.
For my own test-drive of the tool, I compared kale to spinach. Drop-down menu options allow me to pick whether the veggies are raw or cooked, and just how large of a serving I want to compare. In looking at how one cup of raw spinach compares to the same amount of raw kale, I learned the kale was slightly higher in energy content (calories) and carbohydrates. It was also higher in protein (2.9 grams compared with 0.9 grams) and calcium (101 mg compared to 30 mg).
Apparently, though new to us, the tool isn’t new. Krisztina Radosavljevic-Szilagyi, Google spokeswoman, says they launched it nearly a year ago in May 2013, to little fanfare.
“We noticed that people were doing a lot of food and nutrition searches — multi-step searches on one food and another food,” Radosavljevic-Szilagyi said. “These things are often compared to one another, so we thought, why don’t we make it easy?”
Oh Google, you’re always making things so easy.
But as with the food labels on a side of a box, users are cautioned to note that the nutritional information displayed by Google doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Further, analyzing foods by their parts rather than by their whole can provide a misleading picture.
If I were to compare 100 grams of almonds to 100 grams of spinach, I might deduce that spinach is healthier simply because of the calories found in almonds, but this is oversimplification. First, no one should sit down and eat 100 grams of almonds, a few ounces is more reasonable. Secondly, both foods offer incredible benefits that can’t be boiled down to their calories, or even their calcium, protein, or carbohydrate content.
Still the Google tool is fun. Even better are some of the recipes that pop up when you compare your ingredients.
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