Whether it’s simple calorie counting you’re after, or more in-depth nutritional analysis, there’s a broad range of apps out there for the health-conscious. Here are some we’ve been hearing great things about – all are free and available for both iOS and Android:
My Fitness Pal
This app seems to be at the top of everyone’s list, scoring high marks for its enormous food data base, vibrant social network, and ability to interface with web-based fitness sites. Whether you’re eating in or buying meals out, My Fitness Pal gives you a complete nutritional breakdown of your diet – not just caloric intake – including vitamin percentages, sodium amounts, and cholesterol levels. Its active online community is another key feature, sharing recipes, food tips, and success stories.
LoseIt is a combination food and activity tracker designed to give a clear comprehensive picture of portion size, nutritional value, and daily caloric intake. Its data base is substantial, and it features a barcode scanner that allows you to quickly and easily add and analyze servings of packaged food, or ingredients in recipes you’re making at home. LoseIt’s online community is active and encouraging, and it’s “challenges” feature allows you to track and exceed nutritional goals.
If you’re not into all the bells and whistles and are looking for a more streamlined approach that anyone can use, Cron-O-Meter might be the perfect choice. It offers a clear and easy-to-follow picture of daily food intake and nutritional analysis, minus an online community or the ability to synch with other sites. It’s simplicity doesn’t mean rigidity: Cron-O-Meter allows you to add personal recipes and food choices, and features custom charts that allow you to track progress against personal goals.
This app shifts the focus to the grocery store, offering shoppers an in-the-trenches ally when trying to find the healthiest food choices. Fooducate’s bar code scanner provides a split-second read on a food’s nutritional value, grading from A to D, and can offer a healthier option on the spot. It can also do side-by-side food comparisons with clear graphics that are easy to read, even on a small smartphone.
Edamam Recipes and Nutrition
For those health-conscious foodies wanting a direct line to nutritious, high-quality recipes, Edamam’s app could be your solution. Drawing from all the major recipe sites (like Epicurious and Food and Wine), Edamam Recipes and Nutrition allows you to search ingredients while using filters like “gluten-free” or “dairy-free” and answers with a broad range of recipe choices that are as simple or elaborate as you like. They’ve also issued both Vegan and Vegetarian versions of the app for those wanting to cook with those guidelines.