When you're eating away from home, calculating how many carbs are in a meal is a real challenge. There are many fine books about carb counting and eating out, but they are not exactly small anymore. As the books become more comprehensive -- which they are -- they also become rather large. What are the alternatives?
If you have a PDA, there are several food databases that you can purchase, and many diabetes management tools have Palm interfaces and include food databases. These work quite well. But what if you don't have a PDA? That's where the Robi Nutrition Assistant comes in. The Robi Nutrition Assistant is a small (4.5" x 3" x 3/16", or 116mm x 78mm x 12mm), lightweight (3 ounces) electronic food database. It comes with 800 food items pre-programmed, each of which includes information about calories, carbs, fat, saturated fat, and protein. You can also add 100 of your own food items. You search for foods, add them to your meal, and track total nutrients for all the foods. And best of all, the Robi Nutrition Assistant costs just $29.95, much less than the price of a PDA.
Searching for foods is easy, but some foods are listed in ways that don't always make sense. For example, to find "cola", you need to search for "soda cola". It's pretty easy to figure out alternative ways to search for foods, and you'll get the hang of searching very quickly. The regular QWERTY keyboard is small but quite usable, even for adults. The Robi Nutrition Assistant stores your food selections for 31 days, making it a nice food diary.
As a stand-alone device, it can't interface with other diabetes management tools, but that's not its intent. If you're looking for a small, light-weight alternative to the carb value books, and don't have or don't plan to get a PDA, then the Robi Nutrition Assistant is worth a look.
For more information, including detailed product features, see the Nutrition Assistant web site.
The Robi Nutrition Assistant side-by-side with a Palm Zire 71 to show size. Click for a larger image.
Viewing the nutritional information from an ear of corn. Click for a larger image.
P.O. Box 16112
Minneapolis, MN 55416
August 2, 2003
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