7 Nutrition Apps to Keep You on Track

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In recent years, the phrase “there’s an app for that” has taken on a literal meaning. Technology can help you locate workout spots, monitor your posture, and even ease anxiety. And now more than ever, tech-savvy, health-conscious consumers are turning to their mobile devices for help tracking their eating habits.

According to a Nielsen report, 46 million people used fitness and health apps in January 2014. And according to data compiled between 2013 and 2014, health and fitness app usage has grown nearly twice as fast as app usage overall.

But is all of this self-quantification actually beneficial? According to One Medical nutritionist Samantha Treyve, MS, RD, it depends. “I don’t typically recommend nutrition apps or calorie-counting technology,” Treyve says. “Logging calories and intake into an app may be convenient and advantageous in terms of accountability, but I encourage patients to be their own calorie counters and to work with a trained professional to meet their individual nutrition goals.”

If you’re seeking to shed pounds or establish healthier eating habits, talk to your health care provider or make an appointment with an experienced dietician. In the meantime, or to support you in achieving your goals, these seven apps might just help you stay the course:

1. Fooducate

Price: Free (Pro subscription removes ads and unlocks additional features.)

Available on: Android, iOS

What’s unique: Allows you to pull up nutritional info from barcodes and decode labels. Displays a letter grade from A to D and healthy alternative suggestions. Also includes an intake, calorie, and exercise tracker.

2. Food Score

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS

What’s unique: This Environmental Working Group (EWG) app houses information on tens of thousands of foods in a searchable format. Combines ratings on nutrition, processing, and ingredient concerns into an overall product score to guide consumers to healthy choices.

3. Shopwell

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS

What’s unique: Scans barcodes to assess whether food is good for managing weight and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and celiac disease or maintaining a vegan/vegetarian diet. Users can earn rewards for providing feedback.

4. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Mobile

What’s unique: Contains the largest food databank (over five million foods). Creates a personalized diet and exercise program for the user based on info he or she enters. Tracks meals and exercise, scans barcodes, and allows users to import recipes and track their steps.

5. HealthyOut Healthy Meal Finder

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS

What’s unique: Allows users to find healthy meals from local restaurants in their area, listing dishes with half the calories and fat compared to average restaurant meals. Users can filter results by calorie count, low-carb options, fat content, high-protein options, and heart-healthy options. Caters to vegetarian/vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets, plus Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and more.

6. Lose It!

Price: Free (Premium version is $39.99/year and unlocks additional features.)

Available on: Android, iOS

What’s unique: Members track daily food intake and fitness activity, create goals, start/join community activities and competitive challenges, access coaches, and more. Integrates with popular fit-tracking tech like Apple Health, Jawbone, FitBit, and RunKeeper.

7. Nutrition Tips

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS

What’s unique: Includes hundreds of interesting and useful nutrition and weight-loss tips and facts referenced from nutrition.gov, USDA.gov, and the Food and Nutrition Information Center. Fun tip preview: Did you know that the leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts?

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.

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