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Get ready to feel bad about what you eat in real time.

Mike Pomranz
February 06, 2018

Fitbits have become a popular way to track your physical activity, but let’s be honest: How much walking around you do is only one component of your overall health picture. Of equal importance is what you eat, and now, Fitbit is looking at a way to help track that too.

A startup in San Francisco called Sano is one of a number of companies developing more casual takes on a “continue glucose monitor” or “CGM.” CGMs already exist, typically used by people with diabetes who absolutely need to track their blood sugar; however, most of the current devices require blood to be drawn, a painful process. The next generation of CGMs hope to be pain-free enough that anyone would be willing to wear them to track their glucose levels – and what sets Sano apart is that the company recently got a $6 million payout to help with the device they are designing, an investment from the kind of name that could bring such a device to the mainstream. Though according to Business Insider, other even bigger names like Apple and Google are also working on similar technology.

Ashwin Pushpala, Sano’s founder, explained that once perfected, its CGM can help shed light on users’ dietary choices by tracking glucose spikes in real time and sending that info to a connected device.

“Of course we know that eating less sugar is good, but how do you know you're actually doing that?” he told BI. Part of his argument for using these types of devices is that it can be hard to know exactly how much sugar is in different foods, which he believes a CGM can shed more light on. “So one day you have a slice of cake that you assume is really unhealthy. Perhaps you look at your readings and find out actually it wasn't that bad. Great, you can eat that again,” he continued. But what if you grab a salad for lunch and later realize that, say, the dressing is packed with sugar. “OK, now I know that meal isn't as healthy as I thought it was.”

Just when Sano’s device – or any of these more mainstream CGMs – will come to market isn’t clear. However, Sano already has a prototype it’s working on. Yes, get ready to feel bad about what you eat in real time!