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Nutrition Knock-Out — The Hidden Google Food Hack You Didn’t Know Existed

Want to know the answer to the most complex of questions? Just Google it. We know the phrase all too well.

But here’s a secret Google food hack that you likely haven’t used. And it’s so easy, even a caveman with internet could do it. Type in “compare to” or “vs” with two different foods in between, and Google will spit out a set of full-blown, side-by-side nutrition facts so that you can directly compare and contrast calories, protein, carbs, and other nutritional info.

Want to know if there is more vitamin C in spinach than romaine lettuce? What about iron? Of course you do. Just type “spinach vs romaine lettuce” and Google will promptly show you that spinach crushes romaine with 7.5x the vitamin C and 3x the iron of its lighter-green competitor.

The Google shortcut also doubles as a mind-reader depending on what foods you compare. If you happen to search the same salad greens that we just did, it would bring you suggestions for websites that can help you pick the healthiest salad ingredients or that further investigate the nutritional differences.

But where does Google get such a vast amount of nutritional information? According to an article by NPR, the Google tool mostly utilizes data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“We noticed that people were doing a lot of food and nutrition searches — multi-step searches on one food and another food. These things are often compared to one another, so we thought, why don’t we make it easy?” — Krisztina Radosavljevic-Szilagyi, Google spokeswoman 

The downfall of this super-useful tool, however, is that it isn’t always perfect or specific; you can see that in the snapshot comparison of hamburger and kale.

While you can change it from a single-patty hamburger to a double-patty burger, you have no idea if this hamburger is being made with or without cheese, what oils it is being cooked in, and all of the other variations that can go into making a burger. The same goes for the company making it, which can make a massive difference (e.g. McDonald’s vs. In-N-Out Burger).


Bottom Line

While this hidden tool (which has actually been around since May 2013) might not be 100% accurate about every type of food you want to compare, it can be a great resource to quickly pull up nutritional info. Even better, it’s extremely useful in the kitchen, if you’re counting calories/macros, or if you simply want a way to find more detailed resources, recipes, and nutrition info on the web.

Want more? Check out this Google tool to see menus at about 75% of America’s restaurants.

Julie Fine

Content Specialist at Lean It Up
Julie Fine is an AFAA-CGF, Beachbody INSANITY Coach, former chunky gal, 110% pure fitness junkie and an SEC-lovin' sorority girl at the University of Missouri.

When she isn't spending her extra time as a campus tour guide (Go Tigers!), she's probably scrounging around the aisles of Barnes & Noble or doing some impulse online shopping.
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