The CRON-O-Meter

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The CRON-O-Meter

Postby JeffN » Wed May 07, 2008 7:49 pm

For those interested....

One of the best and easiest to use programs to evaluate your diet is called the CRON-O-Meter. There are versions for Windows, MAC and Linux and it is based on the current and most up-to-date USDA Database SR 20, which is the standard in the industry and in research. It is free, and regularly updated.

You can download it here

http://spaz.ca/cronometer/

Once downloaded and installed, you can simply start entering foods.

You are also able to customize your nutrient goals to either the current RDA/DRI for your age, gender, or to your specific goals.

My recommendations (if you like to tweak programs):

B12 - uncheck the levels for B12 (as there is none in a vegan diet). This is resolved by a supplement.

Sodium - change the sodium to 500 mgs minimum and 2300 maximum, or 1500 if you are more sensitive

Omega 3 - change the minimum to either 1.1 for Women or 1.6 for Men (the NAS AI recommendations).

Omega 6- change the lower level to equal your Omega 3 level and the upper level to be no more than 4x what every you set the Omega 3 at. This will keep your target levels at less than a 4:1 ratio.

Saturated fat - change the lower level to 0, as there is no outside need, and set the upper level to either 5% or 7% of your caloric goals. So if your goal is 2000 calories, 5% is 100 calories or 11 grams. 7% is 140 calories or 16 grams. Or just set the maximum at 16 grams

Cholesterol - set the lower limit to 0 as there is no outside need and set the upper level to 25 mgs, to allow for some minor exceptions.

If you do not like to tweak the program, just keep these in mind when looking at your totals.

Also, you may see the following nutrients come up low, Zinc, Vit E, Selenium, and Calcium. I have addressed the Vit E and the Selenium issues in threads here and will address the Zinc and Calcium soon. Depending on your total lifestyle/diet, your needs may be lower than the RDA/DRI for each of these.

In Health
Jeff
Last edited by JeffN on Sat May 17, 2008 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dlb » Wed May 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Thanks Jeff. I will be tweaking in the am. It's a great tool and has helped me to improve my diet.

Still can't believe you got me to eat sweet potatoes :D

You're the best!

Donna
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two questions

Postby AnnaS » Thu May 08, 2008 9:56 am

Thanks for your tweaking tips. I am just getting familiar with this nifty tool.
What fun!

I don't understand about the calorie setting--it seems to have picked min & max for me. I am 5'7 and 124 pounds--it says 1,874 min and 2,343 max calories. Should I just leave it there or tweak it?? I'm not familiar with calorie-watching and am not trying to restrict calories or lose weight.

Also, it wants me to "Set Target Macro-Nutrient Ratios" at the bottom of the Set Nutritional Targets screen. What do you advise we put there? I seem to remember Dr. McDougall saying 80 for carbs and 8 for fat (?), leaving 12 for protein...or??

Thanks!
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Postby Donna R » Thu May 08, 2008 10:58 am

JeffN wrote:thank for doing this.

Also, under the Top Menu Bar "Food" you can add in a new food, or add in a new recipe, in case you are consuming something not in the database.

It is very simple to do.

Thanks

In Health
Jeff

PS you can reply to stickies and I can move this under my sticky if you like.


okay, here's my post from the Lounge!

in case anyone, like me, gets a little flustered learning how to use the program, here's what I've learned so far.

when you set it up you'll be asked for your info.

the current date will be at the top. the arrows let you move backward or forward.

click add a serving and type in the food you want. example: beans. there will be several choices. choose what your want such as navy, mature seeds, raw. if you know the amount in grams, highlight where it has 1.0 and type it in. if you don't want grams, click the down arrow to the left of the g and click cup. if you want 1/4 cup of raw beans (which will make more when cooked) highlight the 1.0 and type in .25. that shows it's 175 calories and you can compare this with the info on your package of beans and make adjustments if necessary. then click add.

to delete an item, highlight it and click delete serving.

when you don't find a food you want, such as homemade vegetable soup, estimate how many calories in a cup and find foods that are in the soup that will add up to that amount. or I used Campbell's vegetarian vegetable in the list and adjusted the amount to make the number of calories I wanted. that gave added fat so I'll have to adjust the fat total but I don't worry about that since I'm not using added fat.

when looking at the foods for the day it will give a summary at the bottom and you can click the tabs to see the other info. from the tab"file" you can print the list of foods. or from "edit" you can highlight the list and copy and paste into email or Word. from "report" you can see or print the nutritional value. from "foods" you can import but I haven't done that yet.

from "file" you can manage users, and change the nutritional targets. when you close the program it will save the info and you can find it by clicking the back button to get the day you want.

from the tab "biomarkers" you can put in your info and make a chart.
~ Donna
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Postby JeffN » Thu May 08, 2008 1:58 pm

Also, under the Top Menu Bar "Food" you can add in a new food, or add in a new recipe, in case you are consuming something not in the database.

It is very simple to do.

Thanks

In Health
Jeff
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Postby JeffN » Thu May 08, 2008 2:28 pm

alias wrote:Thank you !

The fat # that came up for me are
65-195g

Thiis sounds high, if one is trying to follow Ornish or McD. In the Ornish book for my hight/wt he recommends 20 grams max.

So if I want to change this what number should I put in?

I was thinking for the low/high 10 -20


5"2 120 lbs female


You can un check the total fat as it is irrelevant if you are following the program as you will be on a low fat diet. In regard to numbers, nly sat fat, omega 3 & 6 really matter.

However, if you want, set the low end of total fat at about 8% of your total calories and the high end at 15-20% as an upper upper limit (and not a goal).

In Health
Jeff
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Re: two questions

Postby JeffN » Thu May 08, 2008 2:32 pm

AnnaS wrote:Thanks for your tweaking tips. I am just getting familiar with this nifty tool.
What fun!

I don't understand about the calorie setting--it seems to have picked min & max for me. I am 5'7 and 124 pounds--it says 1,874 min and 2,343 max calories. Should I just leave it there or tweak it?? I'm not familiar with calorie-watching and am not trying to restrict calories or lose weight.

Also, it wants me to "Set Target Macro-Nutrient Ratios" at the bottom of the Set Nutritional Targets screen. What do you advise we put there? I seem to remember Dr. McDougall saying 80 for carbs and 8 for fat (?), leaving 12 for protein...or??

Thanks!


The calorie level and the nutrient ratios do not really matter.

So, you can set your own calorie level. It is not that important. At your weight, you can set it at 1250 at the low end and 2000 or 2300 at the high end if you want.

If you want to set the ratios, you can, but they wont matter in the analysis.

At the end of the day, it will tell you both, calorie total and nutrient ratios for you to see, but dont worry if they vary slightly day to day.

What we are looking for with this is the nutrient analysis.

Let this be a simple guide and tool to help you, not a tool to overly micromanage your life.

In Health
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Postby Karen in FL » Sat May 24, 2008 1:11 pm

Is there any easy way to figure out a dish with multiple ingredients? I usually eat fairly simply, but for example, a friend brought over a casserole last night and I had no idea how to enter it in the CRON-o-Meter.

I would imagine there are programs out there (especially helpful for those who write recipes and cookbooks, I would think) where you can put in all the ingredients and then the number of servings and figure out all the nutritional data for it.

Karen
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Postby mollyfisher » Sat May 24, 2008 5:24 pm

Karen in FL,

It sounds like you want to add a new recipe to your Cron-o-meter database.

The "Help" menu brings up an excellent manual for the software.

Under "Creating a recipe" it says this:
On the Menu Bar, click on "Food - Create New Recipe". A dialog box enables you to name the recipe and specify ingredients and amounts. Click on the "Add Serving" icon . This causes the "Select a Food" panel to display. You can now type the name of the first food ingredient for your recipe. Select the ingredient by clicking on it, enter a weight, and click the "ADD" button. Repeat the procedure for each ingredient. In the recipe, you can adjust the amount of each ingredient by double clicking the amount field and typing a new value. Similarly, by double clicking the calories, you can type a new number and the weight will be adjusted accordingly. Foods may be removed from the recipe by clicking on them and then clicking on the trash can icon. Click the "Save" button to save the recipe.
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Postby Karen in FL » Sat May 24, 2008 5:46 pm

Thank you! I guess I didn't go looking far enough....... :oops:


Karen
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Re: The CRON-O-Meter

Postby Sher » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:02 pm

Hi Jeff,

I am trying to set up/tweak the Cron-O-Meter program (after it kicking my butt before, and I gave up!), and I have one (for now!) question:

JeffN wrote:My recommendations (if you like to tweak programs):

Omega 3 - change the minimum to either 1.1 for Women or 1.6 for Men (the NAS AI recommendations) with the upper level of 2.2 (the NIH recommendations).

Omega 6- change the lower level to equal your Omega 3 level and the upper level to be no more than 4x what every you set the Omega 3 at. This will keep your target levels at less than a 4:1 ratio.


When setting the upper level of the Omega-6, is it 4x the Omega-3 low (1.1) or the high (2.2)? I set it at 4.4, but wasn't sure if that was right.

Sher
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Postby Sher » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:09 pm

One more questions on "Setting Nutritional Targets" in the Cron-O-Meter:

At the bottom, it says "Set Target Macro-Nutrient Ratios" and lists Protein, Carbs, and Fat.

What should I put in those boxes?

Sher
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Need help on Cron-O-Meter settings

Postby Sher » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:11 am

Sher wrote:At the bottom, it says "Set Target Macro-Nutrient Ratios" and lists Protein, Carbs, and Fat.

What should I put in those boxes?


Just bumping this up off the second page...hoping to get some help on this, and the Omega 3/6 setting question in my post above. (I hope I stated my questions clearly, and not making it difficult to answer!).

Sher

P.S. Your Hot Topics list is FANTASTIC! You (and your helpers) have been busy beavers this week! :-D
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Postby JeffN » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:12 am

In regard to the ratios of protein/fat/carb, you do not have to set anything. When you are done entering your foods, you will see where your intake is at, but there is no target goal you have to set. If you follow the guidelines, the macronutrients will be within an acceptable range. One day they may be a little higher in one regard and lower in another, and the next day vice versa. There is no definitive daily target you should aim for.

In regard to essential fats, again, you dont have to set anything, because the goals is to see where you are at, not to hit the preset target. However, based on what I have been saying, if you would like to set targets, set the Omega 3 and either 1.1 to 1.6 (Female vs Male), or if you want, set it at 2.2. Remember this are "adequate" intakes and not minimum daily amounts. Then set the omega 6 at nor more than 4x whatever you set the Omega 3 to.

This is an educational tool, and the best use is to see where you are at, mostly in regard to micronutrients.

Good luck!

In Health
Jeff
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McDougall cookbook and cronometer

Postby bestfood » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:22 pm

Is there a place where we can download cronometer recipe databases for each of the McDougall cookbooks? That would certainly simplify using both.
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