Here's a list of our most frequently asked questions.
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In the supermarket, if we want to see how many calories or carbs are in a particular food or meal, we can look at the label on the packaging. When we cook at home we don’t get a label with the nutritional information on it for the whole dish. Cook & Count does the working out for you and gives you the key nutritional information for any dish you prepare. It gives you the amounts per serving too. No need for any fiddly maths.
People often underestimate, or have no idea in the first place, how many calories, carbs or fat etc. is in the food they prepare. At Cook & Count we believe in a balanced, everything in moderation diet, combined with a fair amount of physical activity (read more on this here). Seeing the nutritional content can really help with calorie awareness - people can consider having a smaller portion, or less of something else to reduce their calorific intake.
With Cook & Count you create and store your recipes in your own digital recipe book, so you’ve got the information you need readily to hand and you can easily continue to make great food choices and feel healthier.
Cooking from scratch is much healthier and tastier than eating ready meals, processed foods and takeaways. Other benefits of home cooking include that there are no hidden ingredients or chemicals; you have control of the nutritional content; shopping, preparing, cooking and clearing up will make you fitter; and it’s relaxing, rewarding and sociable.
For people with diabetes, accurate carbohydrate counting can result in a dramatic improvement in diabetes control, which in turn reduces the risk of developing secondary diseases such as heart disease, kidney failure, and loss of sight or limbs. Before Cook & Count there were apps that helped people count the carbohydrate in restaurant or processed food, but nothing that supported carbohydrate counting for people who want to cook their own recipes from scratch.
As well as diabetes, Cook & Count can be used by people with a range of medical conditions who want to eat proper home cooked food. It is great for people with cystic fibrosis who need to monitor fat content, and also for those who have had bariatric surgery who need to make sure they get enough protein.
Select the ‘My recipes’ tab, then press the plus sign in the top right hand corner. First type your recipe name, then follow through the steps to specify number of servings, preparation time and cooking time, and to add a photo, ingredients and method.
To add an ingredient, either search our database, or select the bar at the bottom of the screen that says ‘Add a custom ingredient’ to create your own. For each ingredient, enter the weight and click the green box to choose the measure. Press add to save that ingredient to the recipe list, then continue in the same way. Once you have finished adding ingredients, press ‘Next’ in the top right hand corner.
To add method steps, type the first instruction in the box, then click the plus sign to add another. Continue to do this until all steps have been added, then click the tick to save the recipe.
You can skip the steps to add a method or photograph and come back to edit these later.
Yes. To edit a recipe, select the ‘My recipes’ tab and click on the recipe you would like to edit. Select the menu button in the top right hand corner and click ‘Edit’. You can then follow through each step again to make any changes. To save your changes, press the tick at the bottom of the method steps.
The quickest way to find an ingredient is to type the first few letters of the ingredient name in the search ingredients window. For example, typing in ‘flour’ will bring you back all items with the word ‘flour’ in them, e.g. carob flour, chapati flour, gluten free flour, wheat flour, and so on.
We have added some simple ingredients to make it easier to find key common ingredients. These are eggs, plain flour, salted butter, white sugar, rice, pasta, and potatoes, and should appear first in the ingredients list.
The database is very comprehensive, but if you find that the ingredient you are looking for is not there, you can enter your own custom ingredient.
Select the bar at the bottom of the screen that says ‘Add a custom ingredient’. Enter the name of the ingredient and the full nutritional information per 100g. Select if the ingredient contains dairy or gluten, then enter the weight of the ingredient that you will be using in your recipe. Click the tick to save your custom ingredient and add it to your recipe.
To find this information you will need to look on the ingredient’s packaging (if it is packaged) or look for it on the internet. The custom ingredient will be saved to the database so it can be used again in future.
Handy tip: You can add the nutritional information for a whole recipe such as a sauce that you regularly use in other recipes. For example, if you make a white sauce that you use in different types of pies and pasta bakes, add this in as a custom ingredient, call it ‘my white sauce’ and then you can easily add it to other recipes.
Unfortunately for the time being it isn’t possible to edit or delete a custom ingredient. However you can simply create a new one with the correct or adjusted nutritional values. The ability to edit and delete custom ingredients is coming very soon!
To delete a recipe, select the ‘My recipes’ tab, then click on the recipe you want to delete. Select the menu button in the top right hand corner, then click ‘Delete’.
Yes! Cook & Count works on the iPad and iPad mini as well as on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Just switch the App Store search filter to show iPhone apps to find and download Cook & Count for your iPad.
In Cook & Count the total amount of a particular nutrient per serving or per weight is only an estimate (albeit a very close one) and does not represent the exact energy content. This is because there are varying factors such as differences in the quality of ingredients, and cooking method and time.
Weighing or measuring ingredients carefully is important for accuracy in nutritional information estimates. Also, because of rounding, the nutritional information estimates listed for a recipe may differ slightly from the sum of the contributions listed for the individual ingredients.
There could be some inaccuracy in calculating the nutrient content of multi-ingredient food due to variance in soil, climate, season, wastage (e.g. trimmed vegetables, scrapings left in bowls and saucepans) and sometimes the reduction or increase in food weight during cooking.
When ingredients are combined and cooked, there is often a reduction in weight of the whole dish. For example when meat with a significant fat content is heated, weight is lost because fat melts. And in nearly all methods of cookery water is lost by evaporation. This loss in weight will affect the calculation of nutrient content.
To be really accurate, you would need to compare the total weight of all the ingredients before cooking and then weigh the whole dish again after cooking. To go one step further, the fully accurate method of determining nutrient content would be chemical analysis. In reality, neither of these options is practical.
We aim to provide nutritional information that is as accurate as possible to help you to be as healthy as possible. But please bear in mind the potential inaccuracies, which can have an error range of around 10 to 15%. Many of the ingredients have nutrient information for the ingredient in both raw and cooked form. Just make sure you choose the appropriate one if specified, e.g. raw, boiled, cooked, roasted. Pasta is an important one to choose correctly here because the dry weight is very different to the cooked weight.
The nutritional information in the extensive ingredients lists is from gold standard, trustworthy and reliable UK and US government databases. Unlike other health and fitness apps, custom data in Cook & Count is not shared with other users. This protects you from inaccuracies and means there is no need to waste time wading through millions of food in the database.
The US database contains over 3,000 of the most commonly used ingredients in the US. It is adapted from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27, The National Agricultural Library, available here, which is the major source of food composition data in the US. It provides a foundation for most food composition databases in the public and private sectors.
The UK database is adapted from the Food Standards Agency database (which contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0) that is used by dietitians, medical professionals and the food production industry across the UK. It contains nearly 2,000 of the most commonly used ingredients in the UK.
The Cook & Count databases have removed most processed and restaurant foods so that mainly core ingredients are left. This means that, unlike other applications that boast tens of thousands of items, it is quick and simple to find the ingredients for your recipes. You can be confident that your recipes are real, fresh and healthy food, made from scratch.
Also, unlike other diet and fitness applications, we do not share user contributions to the ingredients list because we cannot be sure that they contain accurate information. In Cook & Count, users can add their own custom ingredients, but these are not shared with other users.
We're working on the Android version of the app at the moment - it's due to be released onto Google Play in early 2017.
Cook&Count is now free to download! You can access many of our own recipes, including Cook&Count classics, and save three of your own. If you'd like to save more of your own recipes and access more of our recipes, you can subscribe for just 79p per month.
If you unsubscribe at a later date, you will still be able to access any recipes saved during your subscription period.
Passwords must be at least 8 characters long - just add a few more letters or numbers to your password and the sign up button will become clickable!