7 best (and FREE!) healthy eating apps for your smartphone

There’s an app for everything — and sometimes hundreds for a topic as popular as healthy eating and nutrition. To save you the work and the money, we’ve found the seven best smartphone apps for grocery shopping, cooking and eating out with your health in mind. The best part: All of them are 100% free!

 

Source: iTunes

Fooducate
This app takes the work out of reading between the lines with nutrition labels. It’s badass in that it’s basically flipping the bird to the food manufacturers trying to slip unhealthy ingredients into their products without your knowledge. Not only that, but the information is presented to you in the kind of language a friend would use to save you from walking in front of a bus: “Look out! Not 100% whole grain!” Phew! That was a close one! I owe you one, Fooducate!

You can scan product bar codes or type the product name to get the food’s calories per servings, warnings like “Tiny amount of real food in here” and “Contains controversial artificial colors,” and grades, which the app bases on the nutrition of the product. If you’re devastated by your favorite cereal’s high sugar content, have no fear! Fooducate has you covered with healthier options and allows you to compare the product with other products.

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android

 


Source: iTunes

ShopWell
Like Fooducate, Shopwell provides you with food scores, but they take it even further: One product’s score might look different to two different users because the score is customized and based on your own diet and food preferences, allowing you to adjust the results according to weight management, gluten intolerance, diabetes, athletic training and heart health. The app shows you the Nutrition Label and uses color-coding to highlight the details that affect your diet and interests, such as high fiber, low sodium or lots of yummy chocolate. (That last one isn’t an option, but it should be.) You can build a grocery list and view healthier alternatives to the products you search for.

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

 


Source: iTunes

Epicurious Recipe & Shopping List
Foodie apps don’t get much cooler than this. Epicurious combines recipe and shopping list features so you can search for professionally created and tested recipes and then make an interactive shopping list from that recipe’s ingredient list and check off the items as you shop. Never forget your shopping list at home again!

It gets cooler: Once you get home, you can prop up your phone next to the stove and have step-by-step stove-side instructions right at your fingertips — which will probably be covered in flour or oil or something gross, so maybe keep some paper towels next to the phone? You can browse Epicurious’ more than 30,000 food and drink recipes by recipe collections, like Weeknight Dinners and Cool Cocktails, skill level and theme, and you can save and share your faves. Additionally, you can check out what’s in season and what’s healthy.

Available on: iPhone, iPad, Android, B&N Nook Color and Windows Phone (Is that really what they call their phones — Windows Phones? Oh, Windows. You lost the creativity points you never had.)

 


Source: iTunes

The Carrot
If you’ve ever wanted to track anything — and I mean ANYTHING — this is the app for you. Among its trackers: blood pressure, food journal, exercise routine, medication, menstrual cycle, mood, pregnancy, diabetes, sleep, symptoms and sexual activity. (Yes, you can even track your sex life — even though that sounds a little sad. That one’s for the people who also feel the need to add “Have sex” to their Google calendars.)

The Carrot supplies you with in-depth nutrition and calorie info, and allows you to choose and save items like things you do, eat or medication you regularly take. This info is then saved in the trackers so they’re easy to find and use again. The app syncs up with TheCarrot.com so you can track online as well.

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

 


Source: iTunes

Locavore
If you’re a farmers market freak and the kind of awesome person who supports locally grown food, you need to download this app immediately. It’s a great way to learn about your food and who is producing it. Based on your phone’s GPS location, Locavore searches for in-season, local food. You can find farms and farmers markets nearest you and read about them on their profile page.

Say you want to know where to get Jerusalem artichokes. You can search and find it locally. Locavore also shows you what’s in season right now, though that’s currently useless to you because I’m sure you’ve already read HellaWella’s list of fall foods, which you can re-read here. If you’re fantastic at spending money but a clueless cook, Locavore also provides you with recipe suggestions for your local food.

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

 


Source: iTunes

Restaurant Nutrition
It’s a little trickier to track your nutritional intake when you eat out. This is where Restaurant Nutrition comes in. With more than 250 restaurants and 60,000 food items, you can get nutrition info to track calories, carbs, protein, fat and more. This app is completely customizable, allowing you to indicate your diet goals and filter nutritional displays by interests and food allergies.

Restaurant Nutrition provides you with full menus, calls out gluten-free menus and lets you know when your food contains things like milk, eggs, soy or wheat. You can search for foods by calorie, carb, fat and more and keep a list of favorites to return to in the future. There’s also a Share To Facebook feature so you can brag to everyone about that amazing meal you just ate.

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android

 


Source: iTunes

Seafood Watch
Does blue fin tuna sushi sound good to you? Well, it shouldn’t! Step away from the chopsticks!! Blue fin tuna are being caught faster than they can reproduce. And you would know that if you had the Seafood Watch app, created by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Seafood Watch provides you with up-to-date recommendations with detailed seafood info about how each item should be fished or farmed. Using your phone’s GPS, the app loads a regional guide that corresponds with your location. You can search for a food by common market name and sort seafood by Best Choice, Good Alternative or Avoid.

If your fave sushi place’s menu is in all Japanese and your knowledge of the language doesn’t extend past “Pokemon,” Seafood Watch makes sure you’re not a fish out of water and lets you search by Japanese names as well. Additionally, its Project FishMap feature lets you contribute to the app by adding the names of restaurants and stores where you’ve found ocean-friendly seafood, as well as locate businesses where other have found sustainable seafood. You fcan access the Monterey Bay Aquarium list of Super Green seafood that’s both good for you and the environment.

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android

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