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Drag 'n Cook | a meal planning app from Joslin's AADI

Joslin Asian American Diabetes Initiative Releases Drag ’n Cook iPhone App

Monday, March 26, 2012

Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) at the Joslin Diabetes Center is releasing Drag ’n Cook, an exciting new iPhone app designed to provide easy access to nutritional information for cooks and consumers. The app will be available for purchase on iTunes.

Drag ’n Cook lets users digitally prepare Asian cuisine while monitoring the overall health of the ingredients. Users can select from extensive ingredient lists and drop those ingredients into interactive cookware (such as wok, fying pan and Urli) that builds nutrition information for the dish as it is being prepared.

“This is based on home cooking,” said Chihiro Hernandez. “It’s a good way to assess how you can make your food better or healthier.”

Each dish can be analyzed according to three different guidelines – AADI’s traditional Asian diet, the percent Daily Value scale, and USDA’s. For anyone unfamiliar with these guidelines, the app provides a handy refresher for a full understanding of how food is rated.

This first version of Drag ’n Cook comes with a Basic and a Chinese package—vegetables, meats and spices traditionally found in Chinese cuisines. From these 200+ ingredients, users can follow recipes or create their own dishes by dragging and dropping food icons into a frying pan.

The app provides trivia tidbits and full nutritional information about each food. If that doesn’t sate your curiosity you can tap on the Wikipedia icon to learn more.

“Cookbooks don’t always list the nutrition value of each ingredient,” according to Hernandez. “Drag ’n Cook is a good way to see if, when combined, the recommended foods have too many carbs, too much sodium, or too much fat. “

In learning about the food, the AADI team that created Drag ’n Cook hopes that users will figure out how to substitute healthier options into existing recipes, or come up with their own good-for-you concoctions. 

“‘Drag ‘n Cook is about empowering individuals to take control of what they eat,” said William Hsu, M.D., co-Director of the AADI. “It can help people reach their health goals by choosing what they like to eat, not by following someone else’s food list or recipes.”

And once users have made the recipe their own, they can save the ingredients, add instructions, and share their creation via email or on Facebook.

“There’s always a way to modify,” said Hernandez. “We want you to take control of it, and share your ideas and inspirations with other people.”

Future releases of Drag ’n Cook will contain nutrition information for other types of Asian-style cooking, such as Japanese and Indian, as well as non-Asian cuisines.
“We hope people will start to eat healthy, cook healthy, enjoy eating, and hopefully learn about something new,” said Hernandez.

See a video demo of the app on Joslin's YouTube channel.


About the AADI
The Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) was founded at Joslin Diabetes Center in 2000.  AADI’s mission is to effectively implement culturally relevant research, care, education, and outreach programs.  AADI is dedicated to its mission and remain inspired not only by those who live with diabetes, but those who have made diabetes their cause.
For more information about the AADI, visit