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HeartyScan App Nutrition Research Study with Registered Dietitians

Rebecca Bitzer & Associates is partnering with Kennesaw State University to Study HeartyScan

The NEW HeartyScan App is being tested in our nutrition offices and you can also try it out virtually with us!  As you know, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our clients engaged in their journey to better health and nutrition.  As you probably know, there has been an explosion of apps for everything from buying coffee at Starbucks to Pokemon GO. In addition to the convenience of having a Starbucks app and the fun of Pokemon GO, there are tons of new nutrition apps available! However, because there are so many new apps, it can be very confusing and overwhelming to know where to start. We love quite a few apps for a variety of reasons, but we decided to partner with HeartyScan because we were intrigued by the ability to see what our clients put into their grocery carts.  As you can imagine, we can learn a lot about what you might eat during the month if you scan all the foods going into your cart while you are food shopping.

In addition to helping you make better food choices, it gives you medication reminders and more; see below.

HeartyScan is HeartySmart

HeartyScan is HeartySmart

HeartyScan For Heart Health

HeartyScan has designed a scoring system to help you easily determine foods that are the most heart healthy. It is fun and interesting to see a low number pop up for a food that you are not certain about. For instance, I scanned Justin’s nut butter and saw that the number was a “one” so that told me that, based on this algorithm, Justin’s nut butter is a healthy choice. Here is what the app looks like when a heart healthy food is scanned.

Justin's Nut Butter

Justin’s Nut Butter

Who would this app be useful for?

Although this app is designed for heart health, we encourage anyone who is at risk for heart disease to give it a try. This would include anyone who has a strong family history of heart disease, who has diabetes, anyone who is on cholesterol-lowering medication or has high blood pressure.  This app would not be appropriate for anyone with an eating disorder or at risk for an eating disorder.  If you are not sure which category you fit into, please talk to one of our team members before downloading this app.  Basically this app would be helpful for most people who want to be more aware of the food that they put in their grocery cart and want to make wiser food choices.

What do the numbers mean?

The numbers assigned to each food are a compilation of several components of nutrition including: food additives, food ingredients, fats, carbohydrates and sugars.  The scores range from 1-10 based in the nutrition label, with higher numbers indicating less heart healthy items.

  • Food additives: This is determined by the amount of additives in that food item. The more additives in the food, the less heart healthy it is ranked.
  • Food ingredients: The score for food ingredients is based on whether those ingredients are considered organic or non-organic, and whether or not they contain GMO ingredients.
  • Fats: The type of fat is important to consider. While an item may seem high in fat, it may be a good source of heart healthy fats, so it will receive a lower score. Alternatively, foods high in saturated and trans fats may have a negative effect on heart health and therefore receive a higher score.
  • Carbohydrates: Certain carbohydrates, like whole grains, are a great way to add fiber into your diet, which has been shown to improve cholesterol. However, it is important to maintain the right balance of nutrients, so an item very high in carbohydrate will be scored higher.
  • Sugar: The amount of sugar in a food item can be an indicator of its nutritional value. Food items that are high in sugar will receive a higher score. 

Remember, one food will not make or break your healthy eating. It is the big picture that is important to keep in mind as you are improving your food intake. As we always say, slow and steady wins the race (since most of our Registered Dietitian team are former UMD Terrapins).

When can you start?

You can start as soon as you connect with us!  We would like you to scan your grocery cart at least three times over the next three months.  Additionally, we are formally running the study starting in September and you do as much or as little as you want.  You do not even have to be a client of ours to participate. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to us here and we can give you more details.

Where does the study happen?

Fortunately, because of technology, you can use your app anywhere and communicate with us and the research team no matter where you work or live.  We would love to work with you alongside the study to provide nutrition counseling either face-to-face or virtually, but you can still participate even if you are not a current client of ours.  All information collected on the app will be kept with the strictest of confidentiality in mind. We are simply looking at changes and trends in food buying behavior when additional facts are provided in the grocery store.  All participation is completely voluntary and you may stop at any time.

We are hoping this app and research project will inspire you to learn more about the foods that you are putting into your grocery cart and possibly into your stomach.  Here’s to good health and wellness.


If you are interested in meeting with a Registered Dietitian and trying out the new HeartyScan App, please call us at (301) 474-2499 or click here to make an appointment today! 

Note: RBA has been financially compensated for their work with the HeartyScan App. All opinions are completely our own, based on our experiences. 

 

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