How many calories in an apple? Nutritional information: It's online, totally easy, and completely free

I'm not big into processed food. So much so, that we've been slowly weaning ourselves away from them (while we likely won't miss the taste, heaven knows we'll miss the convenience). But even though processed foods are not the best food for your body, they do have one big advantage over non-processed food. Namely, the label.

Now, if you've read me before, you know I am big on reading labels. But you just won't find a label on an apple. Or a tomato. Or anything else that is not in a nice, tidy package. So what do you do? Well, certainly, thank lovely and talented reader, Susan B who so kindly sends blog suggestions then go to the great site she found for us.

CalorieConnect.com
This is how easy this is. You simply go to calorieconnect.com and type the name of the item you wish to eat into the available box. It, in turn, automatically gives you all sorts of juicy nutritional information, ranging from calories and total fat (handily broken into saturated and trans fat) to cholesterol, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and so on.

It's totally idiot-proof (for which I am incredibly grateful). And it's free (ditto on the grateful).

Personal profile: Available, but not required
Now, you can go ahead and create a personal profile (you don't even have to use your real name or email address, so no worries about invasion of privacy here) and you can track your food intake and exercise activity, if you like. But if you just want to access the nutritional information I spoke about, above, you don't have to bother creating a profile.

The good, the bad, and the ugly
So what's the downside? It is limited in the number of processed foods it offers. In fact, of the three test items (admittedly, a very small group) I entered (two from a major grocery chain, one from Trader Joe's), none were recognized. But it does have some packaged foods, such as Kashi cereal; bulk items, such as trail mix; and even beverages, including beer.

So tell us what you really think
But where caloreconnect.com does shine, at least for me, is in fruit and veg. After all, if I want nutritional info on a packaged food, all I have to do is turn it over and read the label. Something you just can't do with a banana. Which is the only nutritional advantage of processed food over non-processed.