Here’s How You Can Use Wearables to Track Your Eating Habits

Endless research proves the impact of diet on overall wellness, leading millions of people to track their eating habits at some point during their fitness journeys. Many have tried their hands at pen-and-paper food diaries but found them to be boring or time-consuming, and they give up before making the habit stick. Even nutrition apps can lose their luster, as the manual data entry is more of a commitment than some people are willing to make.

Fortunately, there is an easier way to track your eating habits: wearables. Wearable devices are primed to support diet-conscious consumers with their lifestyle changes without the time and effort required for earlier food monitoring methods. Thanks to advancements in technology, there are plenty of wearable options from wristbands to tooth-mounted sensors. And all offer invaluable biodata that you can use to improve your process and fine-tune your method to maximize results.

Smart Bands

HEALBE’s GoBe3 is touted as “The world’s first smart band to track calorie intake, body hydration, and stress levels automatically” and claims to be the only nutrition-control smart band on the market. The device uses a proprietary technology (called FLOW™) to track your biodata without any manual data entry. Like other fitness devices, the GoBe3 tracks heart rate, steps, sleep, and stress levels, but what makes it shine is its nutrition tracking features. It can accurately calculate your calorie intake and provide a complete overview of the nutrition information after eating—just by tracking through the skin.

How can a wearable device possibly be so advanced? The human body gives off signals of digestion, which starts when consumed food reaches the intestines, where enzymes break it down. Your body quickly absorbs carbohydrates, which spike your glucose levels, and more slowly absorbs proteins and fats. Glucose and water then get absorbed by the cells. The GoBe3 uses a bioimpedance sensor that sends low-frequency signals through the skin to track how this liquid moves and calculate your caloric intake and macronutrient breakdown.    

Tooth-Mounted Sensors

When your teeth are such an integral part of eating, it makes sense to consider them as the focal point of a wearable nutrition device. That’s the idea behind the wearables by Tufts University’s School of Engineering, which are tooth-mounted sensors that can wirelessly transmit food intake data to your mobile device. They can track glucose, alcohol, and salt and help users (such as diabetics) better balance their diets.

The sensor is designed to adapt to a tooth’s uneven surface and is composed of three layers. Its outer layers are gold rings, while a “bioresponsive” layer in the middle absorbs nutrients and other chemicals. Together, the layers act like an antenna transmitting data about the chemicals they were exposed to. The news release explains: “If the central layer takes on salt, or ethanol, its electrical properties will shift, causing the sensor to absorb and transmit a different spectrum of radio-frequency waves, with varying intensity. That is how nutrients and other analytes can be detected and measured.”

Anaphylaxis Prevention Systems

Though eating the right foods is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s just as critical to stay away from the foods that can negatively impact your health. Specifically, people with food allergies should take great care to monitor their intake so they can avoid anaphylactic shock. But how can young children take the appropriate precautionary measures when they don’t fully understand the effects of their allergies?

Solutions provider Aibi confronted this issue and designed a wearable band that continually monitors histamines using light‑sensitive photodiodes and can quickly detect signs of allergies. The wearable can connect to multiple devices and alert caregivers in the earliest stage of anaphylaxis before severe symptoms set in. Aibi’s system also includes a redesigned epinephrine auto-injector that’s more user-friendly and portable. For adults, the Allergy Amulet comes as a necklace, bracelet, watch, or keychain and has disposable test strips that can detect common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish.

Skin Patches

Similar to how the GoBe3 tracks biodata through the skin, smart patches can analyze biomarkers through the skin to provide information about your body at the molecular level. This breakthrough technology, created by Melbourne-based Nutronics, is useful both for detecting pre-diabetes and for helping Type 2 diabetics manage their condition. Because nutrition plays such a vital role in normalizing pre-diabetes and controlling existing diabetes, the smart patch analyzes food intake and offers diet modifications based on the data it collects.

What makes this device especially noteworthy is its personalized information. Two people could eat the exact same meal, but the effects on their bodies could be completely different. Therefore, generic nutrition advice wouldn’t be helpful, nor would rough estimates. The Nutronics smart patch is still in research phases, but it could prove to be a game-changer.

Connect Your Wearable Nutrition Trackers with ModoBio

What if all your biodata from your wearable nutrition trackers and all your apps was in one place, where you could connect with other health and wellness professionals to make the most of your biodata to improve personal wellbeing?

Modo Bio connects with personal fitness, nutrition, health and wellness devices that you love and use daily to help users leverage the benefits of the biodata provided by these devices to improve personal health and wellness. Learn more.