Foodtech startup trying to change our calorie focussed approach to food

In recent years, the trend toward self-quantification has shaped a market rich with tech to track everything from sleep and fitness to food and screen-time. Monitoring and logging personal data to help improve health and well-being has put control into the hands of the people like you and me, giving us the power to work towards our personal goals.

But there’s been a gap.  There are many apps and devices out there giving people insight into their calorie and macronutrient intake – but none are able to tell you if your vitamin and mineral intake is adequate, let alone tell how exactly to correct any deficiencies. Until now.

The Fuelbetter mobile app, which has just launched, does all of this and more. Fuelbetter monitors your intake of 164 micro-nutrients in real-time, then tells you exactly what to eat to achieve your diet-related goal.

Whether your ambition is strengthening your immune system, improving recovery from exercise, losing a few pounds, or going vegan without missing out on important nutrients, Fuelbetter will help you achieve it. It’s like having a blood test clinic and elite-level dietician rolled into one – accessible instantly at the touch of a button. The app even measures the climate impact of your diet, helping you make better choices for the planet.

Fuelbetter’s team of software engineers, data scientists, dieticians, and sports scientists spent three years developing the proprietary technology that makes the app possible. The end result is revolutionary: four world-first functionalities which help users take control of their health like never before.

First, Fuelbetter calculates your unique nutrient requirements using techniques normally reserved for elite athletes. The one-size-fits-all average daily requirements communicated by public health authorities are relevant to hardly any of us. Not only that, but requirements can shift suddenly during moments of life change, such as pregnancy, taking on a new physical challenge, starting a weight loss journey, or going vegan. Iron is a great example: A woman following a paleo diet who exercises infrequently may have a dietary iron need of 4mg/day, while another woman of the same height and weight but following a vegan diet and exercising consistently may need 100mg/day. That’s a big difference – equivalent to the amount of iron in 3.5kg of spinach.

Next, the app monitors your nutritional intake throughout the day, compares this to your nutritional requirements, and checks for the presence of any nutritional deficiencies or excesses. Historically, only blood tests could offer this level of insight, at an average cost of £10 or more per nutrient. Fuelbetter tests for 164 nutrients in real time, at a fraction of the cost.

Once you’ve identified any problem areas in your diet, Fuelbetter’s powerful digital dietician function suggests exactly what to eat to hit your nutrient requirements. Rather than complicated new recipes and obscure ingredients, you’ll see meal suggestions based on foods you’re already eating. If you don’t like the first suggestion, just swipe left and to get another suggestion instantly.

For those who take exercise and sport seriously, Fuelbetter's proprietary algorithms precisely quantify the fat, glycogen, water, sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, Vitamin B3 and other nutrients you lose during each of your workouts, based on its specific type, duration, and intensity. This gives you the power to replace what you need to aid recovery.

And finally, just in case you need any further motivation, the app measures the real time impact of your food choices on your immune health, the health of the planet, and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other diet-related non-communicable diseases.

Fuelbetter’s Founder & CEO, Dr. Douglas McCabe, says: “The majority of our users, even those who are health conscious, have discovered multiple and sometimes surprising nutrient deficiencies and excesses in their diets after using the app. And many discovered they were wasting money on supplements they didn’t need.

“Our users are diverse. They might be endurance athletes, expectant mothers, people wanting to improve their immune health, or those wanting to lose weight the right, scientific way, without starving themselves. What unites them is a desire to use the best insights and available equipment to achieve the best possible version of themselves. That’s Fuelbetter.”