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Following a keto diet can be challenging, but several apps are available to help people track their macronutrients, or macros. Some of these apps also provide suitable recipes and nutritional information for a range of foods.
The features of keto apps vary, and a person’s preference will likely depend on their level of experience with the diet and their specific goals.
In this article, we examine some of the best keto diet apps. We also discuss what a keto diet is and what the research around it says.
A ketogenic, or keto, diet is a low carbohydrate diet that some people use for weight loss or to reduce body fat percentage. The diet is high in fats, moderate in proteins, and very low in carbohydrates. People track these macros with the aim of consuming them in the following
- 55–60% fat
- 30–35% protein
- 5–10% carbohydrate
For a 2,000 calorie per day intake, this would mean consuming 20–50 grams (g) of carbohydrates.
The science behind the approach is to put the body into a state of ketosis.
Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy, and the body will choose this over any other source when it is available. People obtain glucose from carbohydrates in the diet.
When someone eats less than 50 g of carbohydrates per day, the body changes how it sources energy, producing ketone bodies to use as fuel instead. Health experts call this metabolic state ketosis.
In ketosis, the body produces less insulin. As a result, it stores less glucose as fat. In this way, the keto diet can help someone looking to lose weight and body fat.
Experts generally consider it to be safe, because the amount of ketone bodies that the body produces does not alter the blood’s pH levels. This distinguishes ketosis from ketoacidosis — a life threatening condition in which much larger numbers of ketone bodies alter the blood’s pH to make it acidic.
Read on to find out about some of the best apps for someone following a keto diet.
Below, we look at some of the best keto diet apps for a person to consider.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these applications. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Best comprehensive option
This app has a wide range of features, and a person can access some of them for free.
Some of the key features include:
- allowing people to track their macros and true net carbohydrates — the number of carbohydrates that the body absorbs — subtracting sugar alcohols and fiber. The app alerts the user if they go over their limits on specific macros.
- the ability to join a keto community and connect with friends to share progress
- an option to track weight, exercise, calories, and water. The app also supports intermittent fasting.
- additional features, such as diet articles, forums, and weekly challenges
The Carb Manager app is available to download for free. However, there is a premium version that a person can pay for that includes many extra features. The premium access costs around $40 per year.
Best for beginners
Some of the main features of this keto and fasting app from Senza include:
- being suitable for keto diet beginners, as well as those familiar with it
- a “5 days to keto” guide for beginners that helps them transition from a regular diet. Those who already have experience with a keto diet can track their glucose, ketones, and insulin load.
- bar code scanning, with 200,000 food records, restaurant menus, and more than 800 keto recipes. People can monitor their electrolyte intake and get personalized keto recommendations every day.
- live connection to a nutritionist or online coach
It is of note that some reviewers mention difficulty logging foods, and having issues with the functionality of the app.
The Senza app is free to download and use. The company also has an online shop that a person can browse for all their keto needs.
Best for shopping list creation
With theTotal Keto Diet app, an individual can find hundreds of keto recipes and track their macros.
They can also:
- find out the total and net carbohydrates of foods and meals
- add favorites
- create a shopping list
There is a beginner’s keto diet guide available to help people understand the concept and get started right away.
Some reviewers note that they had difficulty logging foods and that the app is sometimes unstable or freezes.
The app is free to download and is available via the company website or a person’s mobile device app store.
Best for custom meal creation
Some of the app’s features include:
- meal-by-meal macros tracking
- a searchable database containing specific foods, drinks, and restaurant items
- a bar code scanner
- custom meal creation to save for later
- water tracking
As the free version of the app only allows people to add five food items, an individual may prefer to invest in the paid version, if possible. However, the cost is a potential downside.
This app is available for a person to download for free. However, they can also choose a monthly subscription, or they can make a one-time payment of around $30.
Best with an extensive food database
MyFitnessPal is a popular app that helps individuals track their nutrition and fitness.
Some features include:
- a database with more than 6 million foods, making the app a great source of nutritional information
- the ability to log meals and exercise. Although the app is not specifically for keto diets, people can tailor their meals to meet their requirements.
- the ability to add photos to weight entries to track visual changes
The app does not calculate net carbohydrates. However, the app creators point out that people can calculate this by subtracting the grams of fiber in their diet from the grams of carbohydrates.
MyFitnessPal is free to use, with a paid premium version available for around $80 per year.
Best with offline access
The app features include:
- low carb recipes for all meals and snacks, including vegetarian options
- the number of grams of each macro a meal contains
- a shopping list maker that a person can download directly from the recipes
- a list of favorites
- offline access to more than 1,000 recipes
The recipes do not detail the macros for separate ingredients, so individuals will not have all of the necessary information if they swap out ingredients that they do not use.
This app is free to download, but it includes pop-up commercials.
At the time of publication of this article, the app is only available for Android devices.
Researchers are still studying keto diets to determine their possible benefits and safety issues.
Various keto diet apps are available to cater to people’s differing needs and experiences.
Some apps focus on tracking macros and providing recipes, whereas others allow individuals to track their fitness and get advice from professionals and the keto community.
Some people may find apps that detail net rather than total carbohydrates more useful. They should also read reviews and look at the interface of an app to see whether it can work for them.
A person can also find information about keto diets on other apps and websites, such as YouTube and Reddit. However, not all of this advice will be from professionals who are qualified to educate an individual about nutrition.
If someone has a health condition or uses medication, they should consult a doctor before starting a new diet.
Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.