NUT Nutrition Software

Thanks to the good graces of the LA Free-Net, I now have my very own web page. Isn't it hip.

I have written open-source free nutrition software, NUT, which records what you eat and analyzes your meals for nutrient levels in terms of the "Daily Value" or DV which is the standard for food labeling in the US. The program uses the free food composition database from the USDA. This free nutritional analysis software was written for desktop systems and uses Tcl/Tk/SQLite. If your system does not have Tcl and you don't know how to get it, check out the free (community) version of Tcl called ActiveTcl from By experimenting with NUT, you can find the optimal level of the various nutrients and how to implement this with foods available to you. NUT can help reconstruct the lost instruction manual to your care and feeding because, when the authorities and crackpots disagree on the proper human diet, you can design an experiment using the food composition tables to discover the truth!

Features of NUT include:

If you just want to "track" nutrients, there are a zillion applications and web sites to do it. NUT is for the person who wants to actively experiment and change diet toward the optimal, not just "track" it. When you make a dietary change, say lowering carbohydrate, you will experience benefits but you will also experience problems, and you will have to make other changes in order to solve those problems. It is like computer performance tuning: after you fix the biggest bottleneck you then see the second biggest bottleneck that was behind it, and sometimes you have to read about the hardware and software to guess what the problem is. There are a lot of nutrients you will have to look at and a lot of tough food choices you will have to make. NUT is the best tool for the job because I designed it to optimize my own diet, and I have used it and maintained it for years, adding necessary features and discarding useless features as I saw what works and what doesn't. NUT is both an experimentation tool that can help you determine your optimal diet and a meal-planning tool that lets you experience the optimum as often as you wish. NUT can be used for tracking but NUT is mostly about planning what you are going to do and then actually doing it to see if it works.

Just about any eating plan will feel optimal when you are losing weight; it is when you are trying to maintain an ideal weight that the sub-optimal plans always fail and start pushing you toward obesity or frailty, or else destroy your mood. You need to know what an optimal plate of food looks like and what really matters on it. Just eating what is supposed to be "healthy" is no match for actually determining what makes a detectable difference to your well-being. No MD or diet guru is going to do this for you, although they can offer clues where to look.

Give your body a tune-up with NUT. Like everything else worthwhile, nutrition is a learn-by-doing skill, and book learning doesn't get you very far in developing problem-solving ability. There are always little things going wrong, and if you can find the nutrient adjustment that fixes them and prevents them, you are learning the secrets of human nutrition.

To begin: Nonjudgmentally record everything you eat for a couple of weeks to establish a baseline. Make a change to see how you feel. If there is no improvement, revert. The best changes are those that actually teach you something, such as consistently eating too much protein within your calorie level and then consistently eating too little protein within your calorie level in quantities measured so that you know where the optimum is because you know how it feels above and below. For instance, too much protein gives me "morning breath," too little makes me weak. As you go through the nutrients, it's analogous to learning how to arrange the logs in the fireplace to get the biggest, longest-lasting fire (with the least damage to the fireplace. Don't we want to feel good in this life?)

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