Get Smart with your Nutrition

November 29th, 2012

According to a recent Nielson survey, half of mobile phone subscribers own a smartphone. I’m starting to see this trend in my practice as many clients no longer request appointment cards, but instead take out their smartphones to enter their next appointment into an app. With smartphones becoming more mainstream nowadays, I find myself suggesting to more and more clients that they also try an app to log food, nutrition, and physical activity information. Often times, clients are much more willing to use an app, which can be more convenient and interactive, versus a hand-written food log. Recently, I read an article, “Smartphone Apps for Heart-Healthy Living: Clients Can Track Diet and Exercise Habits at Their Fingertips” in the August 2012 issue of Today’s Dietitian, that provided the publication’s top picks for health-supporting apps. Below, I highlighted the features of the nutrition-based apps mentioned in the article that can help anyone improve their health:

#1. MyFitnessPal by for iOS and Android (Free):

  • User-friendly food diary and exercise log
  • Has largest food database of all apps
  • Bulit-in bar code scanner (using smartphone camera) to look up Nutrition Facts labels
  • Users are given customized caloric allotments based on physical activity and goals
  • Downloadable reports feature makes tracking progress easier

#2. SparkPeople Diet & Food Tracker by for iOS and Android (Free):

  • Food intake and physical activity tracker
  • A mobile extension of, which is the largest online diet and healthy living community
  • Provides target ranges, instead of specific nutrition goals, which can feel more doable for people new to logging foods

#3: Fooducate by Fooducate, Ltd. For iOS and Android (Free):

  • 2011 Best iPhone Health and Fitness App
  • Takes guesswork out of grocery shopping
  • Bar-code scanner feature gives users detailed nutrition information about the food item
  • Feature which allows you to compare items by health benefit, taste, and cost

#4. Figwee Portion Explorer by Density Limit LLC for iOS ($1.99):

  • 28,000 photos of numerous foods in various portion sizes
  • Users are able to adjust photos to increase or decrease food quantity and see changes in nutritional value

#5. Substitutions by Gormaya for iOS ($0.99):

  • Offers recipe modification for certain dietary restrictions
  • Close to 60 suggestions on how to reduce sodium and fat in the diet
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