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Food database measurements is a big problem. No standard. goguvarra — May 16, 2018 02:53AM PDT


I was very happy with your website and app until I wanted to search for some foods in the database.
We do not use Imperial measurements in my country so cups, tablespoons and so on meant nothing to me.

But this is not the main problem. I can get used to knowing what 1 cup means in grams.

The problem is that 1 cup for different foods sometimes means 30g and sometimes it means 100g +

Your support people said in 2 different posts that 1 cup = 8 liquid oz = 226g approximately. Which is correct from a mathematics point of view.


But in practice it seems everyone in the database has their own idea of what 1 cup means.

Search 'spinach raw' for example and entry 1 and 3 has different cup measurements:
1st entry - 1cup = 30g roughly
2nd entry - 1cup = 150g+ roughly

1cup = 226g as your support team suggested is actually very rare.

It is very difficult to use a calorie counter app when the there is no standardized way of counting calories.
Of course I could manually add my own foods but the database is there for a reason.

This is really annoying and makes the app a pain to use.
MY net diary app has gram measurements conversions for all the foods in their database. But their app is not as well designed as yours.

4 Community Answers

Up -1 rated Down

Bruce MyFitnessPal Agent May 16, 2018 08:46AM PDT

Hi there,

We are sorry if you have found an item in our database that has discrepancies. If you do have a label with different information, please go by the label and not what results on our end.

Our database is compiled two different ways. We research and add many of the items, and some items are submitted by other members. For the most part, our members are just as precise as we are. However, there may be some entries that are inaccurate or incomplete.

On the website at, when you view the nutritional details of a food, there is a link you can click to confirm that the nutritional information is correct.

For each item, how many times it has been confirmed by other members to help you to determine the item’s accuracy. If you find an item that is inaccurate, you can edit it yourself to provide the correct information. By allowing user additions and edits to the database, the database grows quickly, and its accuracy steadily improves.

To correct an inaccurate entry, log into the website at Mobile app users should log in using the same username and password they use in the app.
Once you’ve logged in, click the “Food” tab, then “Database.”

Search for the food item and click on it in the search results, then click the item’s “Edit” button. (Please note that foods entered by the MyFitnessPal Staff cannot be edited by users).

On the next screen you can update the incorrect information. Make sure you click the green “Save Changes” button when you have finished.

When you edit an item in the database, you are effectively creating a new food item. If you have logged the original item in the past, the “version” visible in your Most Used or Frequent list is likely the original version. Adding the item from those shortcut lists will add the original values to your diary. For best results, add the item from your “My Foods” list to ensure you are logging the edited version.

Currently in our mobile apps, many of these features are not yet available – you can’t view how many times an item has been confirmed, or edit items to provide the correct information. We hope to add these features in the future, along with additional methods to ensure that our nutritional information is both accurate and complete.

All the best,

Up 1 rated Down

goguvarra May 17, 2018 01:42AM PDT

I wasn't saying your database is innacurate.
I'm just saying that A CUP is not standardised.
IT IS NOT 8 ounces as you have stated in 2 other posts.
And if it always varies, how can I know how much to eat ?
As you can also see here in these post from the USDA database (which I assume is a pretty accurate source) 1 cup varies between 2 products


One time it is 30g and the other 56g.

Editing the database is not the solution, as the database is probably pretty accurate. The problem is to have a standardised measuring system so users like me can easily determine and weigh their portions.
A converter to grams or ounces would be great.
You have stated to implement this from 2016 but it seems that idea has been abandoned ?

and here:

Up 1 rated Down

Bruce MyFitnessPal Agent May 17, 2018 08:37AM PDT

Thanks for the feedback. We will definitely consider other options for the future.

All the best,

Up 0 rated Down

bunnyolesen Jun 07, 2018 01:54AM PDT

Hej goguvarra, I understand what you mean. Don't you hate answers that give advice that is totally irrelevant to what you asked? When measuring. a cup of something like broccoli, cauliflower or spinach is bound to be all over the map. Is it hard packed into the cup or loosely added leaving space between each piece?? That would make a huge difference in actual weight of the item and nutritional values. It could literally be twice as much if it's jammed in there or thrown loosely, cut into small pieces or large chunks that can't pack.

Even though I really hate the metric system, I think the best option is to weight you food using grams. 100 grams is such an awesome size of weight and usually about a perfect portion. 50 grams of white button mushrooms is a perfect amount for me to add to a single meal. You can find pretty much everything in the database listed in grams. When you search a food, just be sure to enter grams after it to filter out 100 entries with ounces or cups. Also, eventually you will begin to understand how much something weighs without weighing it. Weighing the food is really important for things like onions, that are high carb - but 20 grams is good enough to season a single portion meal and well within my macros.

I have been able to keep to my macros and KNOW without a doubt that the nutritional information shown is correct. AS LONG AS YOU CHOOSE ITEM WITH WORDS NET CARBS listed (and I verify the net carbs typed in are correct, and always choose that particular entry thereafter) Myfitnesspal lists TOTAL carbs, so your food diary won't be correct on the vegetables, say, with carbs -fiber.

Also, before I ever use an entry I go through the list of identical items and compare amounts listed, if there's a lot of variance I find out from another source what is correct and choose an entry that is right, using that database entry thereafter.

I wish there was a way I could keep all the database entries I have personally chosen and verified on a sheet I could pick from. The recent, frequent item lists aren't big enough.

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