Nutrition apps can help people live a healthier lifestyle, either by enabling them to track which products they are buying or suggesting particular restaurants for their dietary needs.
Eating healthfully 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.
Nutrition apps can help make life easier for people 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.
Others provide feedback on strategies for losing weight, changing one’s relationship with food, or getting into better shape.
No nutrition app works for everyone, and some may even trigger certain issues. For example, a weight loss app may not appropriate for someone recovering from an eating disorder.
So, before installing any app, it is best to identify specific goals and assess whether or not this app will help with reaching them.
Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
Making a change 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, especially if they do not list ingredients clearly.
Two apps that may help a person following a vegetarian or vegan diet are:
Forks over Knives
This app compiles recipes, suggests ingredients, and assembles favorite meals in one single location, so a person has a greater variety of meals using healthful ingredients.
HappyCow helps people find restaurants consistent with their dietary needs, no matter where they are. Other features include tips for designing a healthful vegetarian or vegan meal plan and a community forum.
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:
Allrecipes is not specific to pregnancy, but it is still a good option for getting recipe ideas. Choose from a variety of recipes, read reviews, and make a custom grocery list to create specific meals for cooking at home.
Although many apps focus on fetal development, Ovia takes a comprehensive approach to maternal health. A person can use the app to check if certain foods and medications are safe and track their pregnancy symptoms.
If a person’s family has different dietary needs or food intolerances, they may find creating a grocery list time consuming — especially when buying ingredients for cooking healthful meals from scratch.
Two apps that may help a person create and cook healthful meals are:
ShopWell helps people create custom food profiles, devise 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 healthful eating goals.
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, it flags potentially problematic foods, which they can choose to avoid.
If someone needs to lose weight for health reasons, they may initially struggle to control their calorie intake and portion sizes. However, over time, these changes will form part of the person’s routine.
Two apps that could help a person be mindful of healthful food choices are:
MyPlate Calorie Counter
People can use MyPlate Calorie Counter to log fitness goals and daily exercise routines. The app also has tips for cooking healthful meals and print-out recipes. A person can also create a custom 8-week meal plan tailored to their nutritional goals.
Noom prioritizes the psychology of eating. The app helps people reenvision their eating habits, understand why they eat the way they do, and make healthful choices while still eating the foods they enjoy.
People recovering from eating disorders may find using apps beneficial to staying healthy.
Two apps that may help people recovering from eating disorders are:
Rise Up + Recover
Rise Up + Recover teaches people healthful eating strategies and cultivates mindfulness. It also steadily promotes a healthy body image while encouraging balanced food choices.
Am I Hungry?
People with binge eating and 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 issues. This app helps a person listen to their body and advises on intuitive eating and good health.
The right app can make healthful eating feel less daunting. Before making major changes to diet or lifestyle, a person should consider talking to a doctor or dietitian, who may have suggestions for choosing both the right app and the right eating plan.