How Accurate Are Online Calorie and Carbohydrate Counters?

While the accuracy of online calorie and carbohydrate counters may vary, ABC News finds many such sites reliable. The exact accuracy depends on where the site gets its information about caloric content and how honest users are about what they have consumed. ABC News cites the My Pyramid Tracker site as being generally reliable because it was made using data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Those who use websites to help monitor how many calories they consume may lose up to twice as much weight as those who do not, according to ABC News. To be effective, users must find a calorie-tracking website that caters to the specific things they like to eat. This is because some trackers may not have the exact selection of foods consumed by the user, which forces him to make substitutions based on the selections available. This may throw off the accuracy of the recorded calorie data.

The University of California in San Francisco recommends the accuracy of certain carbohydrate counting resources, including the Exchange List for Meal Planning provided by the American Diabetes Association. This resource helps users calculate how many grams of carbohydrates are in their normal meals. In addition, the university recommends the accuracy and use of other carbohydrate counting sites as needed.