As swimsuit season approaches, many of us start keeping a closer eye on the scale. But those newly diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity often find it difficult to focus on eating a balanced diet when they’re still learning to navigate a gluten-free one.
Worse yet, processed gluten-free foods often compensate for their lack of gluten with an excess of salt and sugar, meaning many on the gluten-free diet struggle with weight gain.
But there’s a scale that might be more helpful than the one in your bathroom when it comes to watching your figure: the Prep Pad, a “smart food scale” from The Orange Chef.
The Prep Pad is a slim, aluminum scale that connects to a free companion app, Countertop, via Bluetooth. “Prep Pad is the brawn and Countertop is the brain,” the Orange Chef website says.
As you weigh each ingredient on the Prep Pad, you’ll see the corresponding nutritional information appear on Countertop, allowing you to determine exactly what that spoonful of sour cream or handful of almonds adds to your meal.
Because the Prep Pad calculates nutritional information based on weight, it’s more accurate than using generic databases to calculate your meal’s nutritional value. To identify an ingredient, you simply select it from Countertop’s searchable database of more than 300,000 foods or scan a barcode with your iPhone or iPad camera.
Once your meal is complete, the app scores it on a hundred-point system based on your personal nutritional guidelines, which the app calculates using your height, weight and activity level. The app also allows you to customize your desired nutritional breakdown based on your personal needs.
If you opt to save information about your meals for future use, you can weigh out portions of leftovers and get accurate nutritional information based on those stored details. You can also see how using different ingredients—for example brown rice instead of white in a stir-fry—will affect your meal.
The Countertop app is currently only available for the iPad or iPhone. The Prep Pad is available for around $90 on Amazon.com.