EatSmart is a well-known brand for scales. People often recommend their Digital Nutrition Scale on various websites with tips and guidelines to lose weight. But this is only one part of the story. Such a scale can do much more and aid you for a healthy lifestyle in general. Sometimes it is not easy to decide what is the best nutrition scale to suit your needs and you may need a little help to support your decision. That´s the reason I start a short review series about selected dietary scales from different brands. The EatSmart Digital Nutrition Scale is the first in this series.
Which nutrients can this nutrition scale calculate for you?
It can calculate Calories, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, Calcium, Protein and Vitamin K.
For a better understanding let´s first have a look what all these nutrients stand for.
Please note the following information about the nutrients is not a medical, nutritional or dietary advice. If you have any question about your medical condition or looking for a nutritional or dietary advice, please contact a qualified doctor or other medical specialists.
A calory is a unit of energy. Your body needs energy. However, if you eat too many calories and your body does not burn all, your weight will probably go up. If you burn more calories than you eat, your weight will probably go down.
You don´t have to burn all calories you eat by doing some extra work like sport. Your body needs also energy only for the work of your body (heartbeat, respiration, …)
Foods contain different amounts of calories. So it’s important to know how much calories the respective foods contain. If you multiply the calories for each food with the measured weight, you get the total amount of calories you eat. A nutrition scale can do this automatically for you.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are a source of energy for your body. Your body changes carbohydrates into glucose, mostly known as blood sugar. Glucose is the energy for your cells.
Carbohydrates exist in a simple or complex form. A simple form are natural sugars in fruits or vegetables. Also refined sugar, mainly used in cakes, chocolate, soft drinks and other not natural foods. Complex forms are starches in foods like potatoes, bananas, wholegrain cereals, beans and many more.
If you eat too much glucose it´s converted into glycogen and stored in your body. When your cells need more energy it’s converted back to glucose and transported by your blood to the cells.
Specialists identified complex natural carbohydrates as the healthier source of energy for your body and better for the long-term health.
However, eating too much carbohydrates can increase your weight too but in general carbohydrates contain less calories than protein and fat. That´s a good reason to eat more carbohydrates than protein or fat if you want to lose weight.
Fiber are foods your body cannot digest and exist mainly as soluble and insoluble fiber. The difference between both types is that soluble fiber can dissolve in water and insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water.
Insoluble fiber supports your bowel by the digestion and soluble fiber can help your body lowering cholesterol and control the blood sugar. Insoluble fiber exist in beans, maize, wholegrain cereals, brown rice, …. and soluble fiber in apples, strawberries, citrus, oats, …
Fiber can help to reduce the risk of a diverticular disease, constipation and diabetes as stated on the website of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Sodium is a main part of table salt (sodium chloride). The human body needs small amounts of sodium for a good function of nerves, muscles and the fluid balance in and around the cells of our body.
Too much sodium can lead to a high blood pressure which can cause other health problems in our body.
The recommended maximum daily intake by experts is 2.300 milligrams (2.3 g) for adults. Usually the daily intake is higher.
Potassium is a mineral and plays a significant role for a proper work of muscles and nerves as well as the function of cells, organs and tissues. The cells of your body store the main part. With sodium it regulates the water balance in our body.
Hyperkalemia is the medical term for too much potassium in the blood and hypokalemia the term for too little. Often medical diseases like inefficient working kidneys are the reasons for a higher value of potassium. High fluid loss often causes a low-level of potassium in the body. The reasons can be vomiting, diarrhea or intensive sweating and can lead to weakness, cramps of muscles, stomach problems and an abnormal heartbeat.
With the right foods it´s possible to control the potassium intake. Fruits and vegetables like bananas, oranges, strawberries, prunes, avocados, tomatoes, spinach and meats like chicken, beef and salmon contain a good amount of potassium. The recommended daily intake of potassium is 4.7 grams for adults.
Magnesium is a mineral and responsible for several biochemical function in the human body. Bones contain more than half of the magnesium in our body, muscles contain around 25% and tissues, cells and organs the rest.
A lack of magnesium can lead to symptoms like abnormal heart rhythms, muscle spasm, low blood pressure, insomnia, agitation, restless leg syndrome and many more.
Magnesium rich foods are rice-, wheat- and oat bran, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and cashews, soybeans, brown rice, low fat yoghurt, spinach and others.
Total fat is an energy source for the body and stands for all fats in the food. The saturated fats, transfats, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.
Pure fats provide more than the double amount of calories compared to proteins and carbohydrates. Fats are necessary for several body functions like dissolving vitamins for example.
Not only the quantity of fat we consume is important, also the fat type. The unsaturated fats are often from plants and known as the healthier fats. They have less negative influence on the cholesterol in our blood and stand for less risk of heart diseases. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Most people know the omega-3 fatty acids which is a polyunsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature but convert into a solid form at low temperatures.
Transfats are also naturally in some foods from animals but mainly produced during an industrial food processing. We know that these synthetic fats are more unhealthy. They can increase the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Transfats are mainly available in a solid form at room temperature.
Saturated fats come mainly from animal foods. This fat has a negative effect on cholesterol in the blood and is therefore often responsible for heart diseases. It can also be a supporter to get type-2 diabetes. It´s recommended to eat less saturated fats.
Our liver produces the main part of cholesterol. Roughly 20% comes from meat, fish and dairy foods while foods from plants do not contain cholesterol. Abnormal levels increase the risk of a heart disease and the cardiovascular system.
An unhealthy cholesterol is the LDL type and a high-level in the blood can be the reason of cholesterol plaque in the arteries which can lead to atherosclerosis.
The healthier cholesterol is the HDL type as this cholesterol decreases the cholesterol plaque in the arteries. However, a low-level increases the risk of arteriosclerosis as well.
Therefore a lower LDL and a higher HDL is a good precondition for a lower risk of arteriosclerosis.
Calcium is a mineral and necessary for many function in our body. These are muscle contraction, signal transmission in nerves, blood vessel contraction and vasodilatation, generation of hormone secrets and many more.
Our bones and teeth store around 99% of Calcium. Calcium supports the strength of these parts of the body. Not enough calcium can result in diseases like osteoporosis (weak bones).
Calcium rich foods are therefore helpful for our health condition. Foods with a respective amount of calcium are dairy foods and green leafy vegetables.
The daily intake of calcium depends on the human age. The recommended amount for adults is between 1.000 and 1.300 mg.
Proteins are long chains of amino acids in various forms which are responsible for many body functions like building, maintaining and replacing the structure of tissues and organs.
In an average adults get nearly 15% of their daily calories from protein in the United States (Harvard School of Public Health).
However, in general you have to be careful which proteins from which foods you eat. Between proteins from meat and vegetables is no difference from the health view but it´s a great difference in the fat consumption. Also fish (no fat fish) and poultry gives you much less fat with nearly the same amount of protein. Many vegetables provide a good amount of protein with nearly no fat. Examples are beans, nuts, lentils, grains, potatoes and many more.
Vitamin K is important for to regulate blood clotting and can help to stabilize the bones. Further it can have a positive effect on preventing blood vessel calcification.
Vitamin K rich foods are green leafy vegetables like spinach as well as green beans, peas, broccoli, carrots and others.
Basic food scale weighing functions
You can use the EatSmart nutrition scale like a normal digital kitchen scale for the daily use in the kitchen without nutrition counting. It can weigh foods up to 11 pounds or 5 kg with a graduation of 0.1 oz or 1 g. The „g/oz“ key let the scale work in the normal mode and let you change the measurement unit as well. Only press the same button again and you can switch the weighing unit from pounds to grams and vise versa. With this you can adapt the scale to the weight data in recipe books.
If you want to place a plate or bowl on the scale press the tare button and the display will show zero weight. Then place the food and read the weight in the display. Nothing special. Easy to use.
Some general information about this nutritional food scale
I personally like the look of this nutritional kitchen scale. It comes in a modern technical design and it can be an eye-catching item in the kitchen.
The scale works with 4 AAA batteries. These are standard batteries and available in every shop around the corner at reasonable prices. If you do not use the scale for a long time it´s recommended by the manufacturer to remove the batteries.
Also included is a timer with an automatic power off after 3 minutes. This is a helpful feature for a long battery lifetime.
You can remove the glass platform for an easy cleaning.
The display is at the front side in a light angle and a white backlight light up the whole display. Therefore it´s easy to read the displayed weight and nutrition information. It´s possible to switch the backlight on and off to prevent too much battery use. The first scales had no backlight but the manufacturer improved the scale at the beginning of 2010 with this upgrade. For the new helpful feature I award this nutrition scale with an extra brownie point.
How to use the food scale for nutrition calculation?
Nutrition calculation is the main reason buying this food scale and therefore important for all users.
With this nutrition scale you get a complete nutrition management system to calcylate your daily intake of nutriants.
This scale has two main modes:
1. The normal mode
In this mode you can calculate 12 nutrients from the prestored foods in the memory of the nutrition scale. In the database are 999 selected nutritional values stored representing the fresh whole foods American people eat. You can find the food codes in the manual.
Place a food on the platform of the scale and enter the respective 3-digit food code using the numeric keypad on the right hand front side of the scale. The display shows the nutritional values at the bottom of the display in following order:
Numeric keypad 1: Calories, Carbohydrates, Fiber
Numeric keypad 2: Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium
Numeric keypad 3: Total Fats, Saturated Fats, Cholesterol
Numeric keypad 4: Calcium, Protein, Vitamin K
You can save nutritional values of up to 99 foods for your own specific database. This is a helpful feature when you want to track the total amount of nutrients for your meal or for a whole daily or weekly tracking.
In this mode you can calculate nutrients from foods you buy in a package, can or container with a USDA nutrition facts label on the outside. USDA stands for “United States Department of Agriculture”. For more information and how to understand and use the Nutrition Facts Label on the FDA (U. S. Food and Drug Administration) website click here.
Simply type the serving size and the data of the nutrient you want to calculate for your food portion from the label into the scale and weigh the food. The Eat Smart Digital Nutrition Scale will then calculate the respective value for your food portion.
It´s an easy procedure. All keys for the calculation are in a blue color so you cannot fail. First you have to press the “MODE” key to change from the normal mode to the calculation mode. Then press the “SERV” key and enter the serving size from the nutrition facts label on the food package into the scale using the numeric keypad. After that press the “NUTR” key and enter the nutrition data. In the example on the right the carbohydrates. Press “=” key and you will get the carbohydrates of your food portion. You can repeat this with the other nutrients on the label depending what you want to know.
If you want to use this feature then you should looking for foods with the USDA nutrition facts label on the package.
A 44-page guidebook on keeping a healthy lifestyle
comes with this nutrition scale and provides helpful
information to make your life a little bit healthier.
This is a helpful free add on to the scale.
What to consider?
- Pick the nutrition scale up at the base and not at the glass platform
- Don´t clean in water. It´s not waterproof (use a damp cloth)
- Don´t use abrasive cleaners
- Overweight food above 11 pounds will cause an error (remove quick)
- Placement on a flat surface for a proper use
- Handle with care (don´t shake for example)
- Storage in low humidity and flat position
These are general recommendations by EatSmart and speaking for themselves. However, sometimes people forget a proper handling in the daily use. Users should consider this if they would like to take much pleasure in using this nutrition scale for a long time when buying this scale.
- EatSmart Digital Nutrition Scale
- Instruction manual inclusive food codes
- 44-page guidebook on keeping a healthy lifestyle
- 4 AAA batteries
Does it include a guarantee?
Yes, the EatSmart Digital Nutrition Scale includes a 2-year guarantee
The rating is 4.6 out of five stars from reviewers on Amazon.
See the following comments:
- “…it does cost a pretty penny but it is worth it”
- “Very easy to use, attractive, well-made and very informative”
- “The customer service is fantastic”
- “Easy to use, and it is easy cleanable”
- “Glass top makes it perfect for us to be able to sanitize afterwards”
- “Very highly recommended”
- “Attractive enough to be out on the counter”
- “This nutrition scale meets all my needs”
- “I love the backlight option”
- “I love the nutrition scale”
- “It´s a must have for anyone with diabetes”
- “It is an awesome, reliable scale”
You like to read more what people are saying?
Visit the Amazon Website. There you can find several reviews and opinions from people using this scale. Click here to read more.
Any complaints about the scale?
Some people complained the scale provide only ounces and grams and not pounds and kilograms as well. I think it´s not a big issue as most data on packages and in cookbooks are in ounces and grams.
Others need a little experience to use. It´s like with every technical item with some more functions. After a short time of use and with a little bit more experience it´s easy to use.
Another user complained that it takes a little maneuvering to pick up the nutrition scale at the bottom as it is not recommended to pick it up at the glass plate. However, he said by himself that´s the only negative, if there is one.
Eatsmart has done a great job with this cool looking kitchen- and nutrition scale. You can use it like a normal kitchen scale for weighing food for the daily cooking and for the main purpose, calculating the nutrients in your food portions.
It has a 999 food codes database which makes it simple to calculate the nutrients of the most used foods American people eat. A memory let you save personal nutrition data sets of 99 foods so you can track your daily intake.
The nutrition facts calculator makes it a no brainer to calculate respective nutrients you need to know from packed foods with the USDA Nutrition Facts Label on the package. This extends the usability of this nutrition scale far beyond the 999 stored foods.
This digital nutrition scale received a favorable rating on the Internet and most users loved this scale and the functions and felt receiving a good value for the money.
The EatSmart digital nutrition scale is one I would recommend.
Where can you buy this nutrition scale?
In my personal experience Amazon has always the best deal. With the super saver shipping option and their excellent customer service you cannot make a mistake. Click here to check at Amazon.
However, because they have the best deals, good products often sell out quickly, so don´t think about it for too long if they are available.