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Nutrition apps can help people live a healthier lifestyle by enabling them to track which products they are buying, or suggesting particular restaurants for their dietary needs.

Eating healthily is not always easy, especially when eating out, trying to cook new recipes, or managing the demands of a busy life.

This article will explain what nutrition apps are and how they differ. It will also discuss what people should look for in an app, depending on what they want to achieve — be it understanding which foods to eat while pregnant or tracking foods that may cause adverse reactions.

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Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.

Nutrition apps can help make life easier for individuals who need to track their food intake for health reasons. These apps can also help people find restaurants that are suitable for their dietary needs.

Some apps offer graphs to show correlations between specific foods and how a person feels after eating them, should they want to track potential intolerances.

Other apps provide feedback on strategies for reaching a moderate weight, changing one’s relationship with food, or getting into better shape.

No nutrition app works for everyone, and some may trigger certain issues. For example, a weight loss app may not be appropriate for someone recovering from an eating disorder.

Recent research suggests that nutrition apps that set a clear goal, allow personalization, and have a wide food database may encourage more people to use the app.

However, according to other research, some diet-tracking apps may not be transparent about extra costs and may not provide satisfactory customer support.

Therefore, before installing any app, a person should identify their specific goals and asses whether or not an app will help them reach those goals.

For more science-backed resources on nutrition, visit our dedicated hub.

Switching to a vegetarian diet may be difficult at times, especially if a person is used to eating meat. Menu options at restaurants may also prove troublesome, particularly if restaurants do not list ingredients clearly.

Below are two apps that may help a person who is following a vegetarian or vegan diet:

Forks over Knives

Best for meal planning

This app compiles recipes, suggests ingredients, and assembles favorite meals in one location, so a person has a greater variety of meals using healthy ingredients at their disposal.

The app is not free to download. At the time of publication, Forks over Knives costs $4.99 to download and use.

HappyCow

Best for finding a diet-friendly restaurant

HappyCow helps people find restaurants consistent with their dietary needs, no matter where they are. Other features include a community forum as well as tips for designing a healthy vegetarian or vegan meal plan.

This app is free to download and use. At the time of publication, the developers do not ask for a subscription payment or in-app purchases.

Choosing what to eat while pregnant can be difficult, especially if a person is trying to avoid certain foods or eat more nutrient-dense options.

Two apps that could help a person create meals and monitor their health are the following:

Allrecipes

Best for creating custom grocery lists

Allrecipes is not specific to pregnancy, but it is still a good option for getting recipe ideas. People can choose from a variety of recipes, read reviews, and make a custom grocery list to create specific meals for cooking at home.

This app is free to download and use. However, individuals can choose to invest in in-app purchases to expand the number of recipes they can access.

At the time of publication, a person can buy simple dinner recipes and paleo recipes for $0.99 each.

Ovia Pregnancy

Best for pregnant people’s health

While many apps focus on fetal development, Ovia takes a comprehensive approach to health of the person carrying the pregnancy. Individuals can use the app to check whether certain foods and medications are safe and to track their pregnancy symptoms.

This app is free to download and use. At the time of publication, the developers do not require a subscription or offer in-app purchases.

If a person’s family have different dietary needs or food intolerances, the person may find creating a grocery list time consuming — especially when buying ingredients for cooking healthy meals from scratch.

Two apps that may help an individual create and cook healthy meals are the following:

ShopWell

Best for meeting healthy eating goals

ShopWell helps people create custom food profiles, compile recipe lists, and shop for the foods that match their dietary needs. People can also scan nutritional labels to see whether or not a product meets their healthy eating goals.

This app is free to download and use. At the time of publication, the developers do not require a subscription or offer in-app purchases.

Food Intolerances

Best for those with food intolerances

Food Intolerances identifies common sources of sensitivity, which may help a person track their food-related symptoms over time. Once a person knows their intolerances, the app flags potentially problematic foods, which the person can choose to avoid.

Learn more about the differences between food intolerances and allergies here.

At the time of publication, this app costs $8.99 to download on iOS and $6.99 to download on Android.

Additionally, the developers offer in-app purchases that give people access to nutritional values and additional allergens. These in-app purchases cost $1.99 and $0.99, respectively.

If someone needs to lose weight for health reasons, they may initially struggle to manage their calorie intake and portion sizes. However, over time, these changes will form part of the person’s routine.

Two apps that could help an individual be mindful of healthy food choices are the following:

MyPlate Calorie Counter

Best for counting calories

People can use MyPlate Calorie Counter to log fitness goals and daily exercise routines. Additionally, the app has tips for cooking healthy meals and printout recipes. A person can also create a custom 8-week meal plan tailored to their nutritional goals.

This app is free to download and use. However, individuals can choose to upgrade to a Gold Membership, which starts at $9.99 per year. This membership option gives people access to workouts, a clean-eating guide, and advanced statistics.

Noom

Best for forming healthy eating habits

Noom prioritizes the psychology of eating. The app helps people reenvision their eating habits, understand why they eat the way they do, and make healthy choices while still eating the foods they enjoy.

Learn more about the Noom app here.

This app is free to download. However, to access Noom programs, a person needs to incur the cost of an in-app purchase.

At the time of publication, in-app purchases start from $4.99 and give people access to all of Noom features.

People recovering from eating disorders may find using apps beneficial for staying healthy.

Two apps that may help people who are recovering from eating disorders are the following:

Rise Up + Recover

Best for promoting a healthy body image

Rise Up + Recover teaches people healthy eating strategies and cultivates mindfulness. It also steadily promotes a healthy body image while encouraging balanced food choices.

The app rewards individuals for logging the food they eat with an inspirational message. Additionally, the app offers more information and advice about the recovery process.

This app is free to download and use. At the time of publication, the developers do not require a subscription or offer in-app purchases.

Am I Hungry?

Best for intuitive eating

People with binge eating or restrictive eating disorders may struggle with food-related mindfulness. For example, they may not know when they are hungry or may use food to manage emotional problems. This app helps a person listen to their body and advises on intuitive eating and good health.

At the time of publication, this app costs $2.99 to download. However, the developers do not require any subscriptions and do not offer any in-app purchases.

The right app can make healthy eating feel less daunting. Before making major changes to diet or lifestyle, a person should consider consulting a doctor or dietitian, who may have suggestions on choosing both the right app and the right eating plan.