Large companies also use different recipes in different regions. That's especially true for any type of baked product and for dairy, because those are the things that don't travel well.
The first time you use a new product, take the package with you to the computer. Look it up, check the nutrition in the database against the package (making sure the serving size is the same), and if it doesn't match, enter your own. Most of the time, though, you'll find one listing that matches your label.
If a packaged food recipe changes that can also be reflected in the nutritional facts, something else to think about is that the nutritional information on the package in an average of the samples that were tested so even though a serving size is x grams (cups, etc.) the actual amount in a one serving size package is approximate.
One of the things going into the varied data is that manufacturers change their data and packaging also. For instance, there is a yogurt that I can buy in small "single serving" sizes, or I can buy a large tub. The single serving size is 7 oz and sold as such; it has 150 calories. The large tub lists 8 oz as a serving size, so the "serving size" for that product has 180 calories.
I agree with others that the best way is to make your own entries, and make them as accurate as possible by using ounces or grams as opposed to "serving size". I also recommend checking your frequently eaten packaged food every so often, to make sure the manufacturer hasn't changed their data by shrinking the serving size or changing their recipes.
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I don't use the shared nutrition info because people do make mistakes, they use servings and sometimes what the hell is a serving, we don't use and old fashion imperial measurements in denmark got modern with metric years back and many people eat far too much of the item too not knowing their serving is too large- going to weight watchers and another concept opened my eyes for manufactures oversized portions of items...
I punch in information for 100grams for the product and over time have gathered most of the items I use regularly.. Once I have most of the stuff logged in it gets faster logging food.. I use a food scales and have no complaints about sparkspeople..
I agree it is somewhat confusing. I am still very new so I am still figuring it all out but I like the previous posters suggestion to enter your own info and then put your entry into your favorites. In the beginning that might be a little time consuming but will save a lot of time and guessing later.
Most of the stuff is added by other members. I don't usually use something that is already out there. I add it from my own and then add my entry to my favorites. I am not sure what brand they are using or what hidden things that are not being put on the list.
I am wondering why there are so many different nutrition facts for the same products when I look them up to add to my tracker?? It can be listed as the exact same food, but all info is different or varied, which makes it more time consuming and difficult to keep track accurately.
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