Being healthy involves getting the right amounts of exercise and sleep, as well as eating a balanced diet. But what does a balanced diet look like? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy, balanced diet should generally include:
- lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- low-fat or nonfat dairy
- lean meat, poultry, fish, soy, nuts, beans, and eggs
- limited trans fats, saturated fat, salt, cholesterol, and added sugars
- healthy fat options such as olives, olive oil, and seeds
When eating healthfully, it can be hard to keep up with everything, especially if you’re trying to stick to a specific nutrition plan. To help you start or maintain a healthy diet, we have found some of the best apps for motivating, grocery shopping, calorie counting, food tracking, and more.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker
Track your exercise and diet all in one convenient place with MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker. Their food database includes over 5 million foods, so you can find the nutritional content of whatever you eat. You can also scan barcodes to get information on what you’re buying and to easily log the food, and upload your favorite recipes so nutritional information is easy to access. In addition to tracking your diet, it also tracks your exercise. It has a built-in steps counter and syncs with most popular fitness apps.
Calorie Counter & Food Diary
MyNetDiary’s Calorie Counter and Food Diary is like a mobile diet and fitness coach. You enter your calories and exercise each day, and the app will do the rest, such as compare your calorie intake versus output. You’ll also receive tips and information based on goals you set. You can sync it with a number of other fitness and diet devices and keep all your data in one place. This app keeps track of diet, exercise, calories, water intake, your measurements, and the vitamins and minerals you are getting. Everything you need to get healthy and stay healthy, in one easy to use app.
If you have diabetes or are on a low-carb diet like Adkins or the Zone, this app is great at helping you identify low-carb options. It has an extensive database of foods, food brands, and restaurants. The simple menu design makes it easy to look up each food item and log the number of carbs in the tracking feature. If you want to eat out, just look up the menu for that restaurant and choose items that fit in your plan.
Counting macronutrients, rather than calories, helps you figure out how much of your diet is made up of the three main macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fat. This app helps you track how much of each type you are eating. The easy to read display makes it a breeze to set goals and track your progress. If you aren’t sure how many macronutrients you need each day, it can help you calculate that as well.
Food sensitivities can make eating healthfully a challenge. This app breaks down hundreds of common foods and rates their level of sensitivity on common allergy triggers, with categories like histamine, gluten, lactose, and sorbitol. Select which sensitivities you have and get in-depth information on how sensitive you may be to the foods you pick. Color-coding will also give you a quick visual on the sensitivity level. Red means you should eliminate that food from your diet, and green means it will only rarely cause issues.
Eating out can be challenging when you are trying to stick to a healthy diet plan. But HealthyOut makes it easier. Choose one of the apps’ many diet and nutrition filters — like “low-carb” or “not a salad” — and you’ll find restaurants and dishes that fit your filters and diet plan. Once you choose your dish, you can then view detailed nutrition information to help you stay on track even when eating out.
MyPlate Calorie Tracker
MyPlate tracks your macronutrients, calories, water intake, and exercise, giving you daily feedback on your diet and showing you how many calories you have left until you’ve hit your daily limit. You can add your own recipes to its already extensive food database, to keep the log as accurate as possible. It also features a number of built-in workouts for you to follow anywhere you go. You can connect to the supportive community of other MyPlate users for ideas, suggestions, and encouragement as well.
With Nutrients, formerly called Foodle, you’ll find detailed nutrient content information for an immense database of foods and ingredients, broken down by the specific amount you’re consuming. It comes with a great tracking feature, and you can also log what you eat in a journal so that you know exactly how much of each nutrient you’re getting.
ShopWell makes grocery shopping for healthy foods easy. Start off by entering your health goals along with any allergies or health concerns you may have, like gluten intolerance. Then, the next time you are in the store just scan the bar code of each item you select. ShopWell will let you know if this item works with your goals or not. It can also give you options that will work better for you, as well as recipes, hints, and tips from their dietitian.
We all know we need to drink more water, but actually doing it can sometimes feel like a chore. This app can help. It tracks the exact amount of water you drink each day. To make it easier, you can take a photo of your favorite drinking receptacles (bottles, cups, etc.) and Waterlogged will track your intake exactly. And it tracks more than just water — energy drinks, coffee, tea, and soda can all be measured, too. For a small initial fee, you can also get reminders to drink more throughout the day so you don’t forget.