Expert Health Articles

App Your Way to Nutrition

Martha Gonzalez, RD, LD, CLCMartha Gonzalez, RD, LD, CLC

Clinical Nutrition Manager, Blanchard Valley Health System

Many people have nutrition goals they would like to meet. These can be anything from weight loss to following a specific diet due to disease. Eating a nutritious diet every day can be a challenge, and these goals can often be hard to meet. However, with today’s technology meeting our nutrition goals is made a lot easier. The following apps are all available to download and can be useful tools when trying to meet goals.

MyFitnessPal is a free app for Android, iOS, and Windows phones that allows users to count calories and track nutrients and exercise. This app makes it easy to look up foods by scanning barcodes or by putting recipes in by hand. It also allows users to set goals and see their progress.

Fooducate and Shopwell are two different apps that help with grocery shopping. Both are free and are able to be used with Android and iOS phones. Fooducate allows users to scan barcodes and quickly find nutritional information about that product. It also helps to make food labels easy to understand and grades the product based on its nutritive content. The app also makes alternate suggestions to help make healthier choices and allows users to track calories and exercise.

Shopwell also uses barcodes to find items and rates products based on the user’s nutritional needs. The user is able to set nutritional goals including following specific diets such as a celiac diet, cardiac diet, or weight loss diet. The app also provides easy to understand information and healthy suggestions.

DietHero is an app available for iOS phones and costs $1.99. This app allows users to set weight loss goals, identify favorite foods, and identify foods already in the user’s pantry. It then creates meal plans using the items already on hand and makes a grocery list for items still needed. The app also has a weight log that allows users to see their progress over time.

If weight loss is a primary goal, My Diet Coach may be helpful. It is available for both Android and iOS and is also free. This app allows users to set weight goals and then sends inspirational messages and challenges to aid users in reaching their goals.

Another useful weight loss app is Calorie Counter by FatSecret. This app is also free and is available for Android, iOS, and Windows phones. It also uses barcodes to scan food items to find nutrition information and keep track of the calories consumed. Exercise can also be entered, and the app provides weight charts as well as meal and recipe ideas.

These are only some of the apps available to help with reaching nutrition goals. There are also many other apps that can be downloaded and used to meet a variety of needs. Finding and trying different apps to discover the one that fits best with individual lifestyles is one way to have success meeting those goals and forming healthy habits.