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Let’s be honest: Trying to balance good nutrition with your incredibly busy daily life isn’t always easy or smooth-going. Choosing or cooking healthy meals, tracking food, exercise and carbs, even drinking enough water can fall by the wayside from day to day. But your smartphone just might be able to help you out in the form of free apps focused on healthy eating.
Whether you’re looking for nutrition know-how, meal logging and tracking, or help making healthy choices at grocery stores and restaurants, there’s an app that can offer exactly that. And it’s probably free.
We’ve rounded up some of the best healthy eating apps, all of which are designed to help make nutrition and good-for-you choices an easy part of your daily routine without charging you a cent. Best of all? Every app on this list is free.
If there’s one single smartphone app that can cover almost all of your nutritional needs, it’s MyFitnessPal. This powerhouse offers an enormous database that includes nutritional information for more than 11 million different foods – meaning you can get instant insight on calories, serving size, and all of the nutrition basics.
Designed for logging and tracking your habits, MyFitnessPal allows you to scan the barcodes on packaged foods, find popular restaurant meals and enter foods on your own to get a complete look at the nutrients you’re eating daily. You can also track your exercise, water intake and connect with the huge MyFitnessPal community. This comprehensive app also connects with more than 50 other apps so you can sync items like smart scales, smart watches, wearable trackers, exercise apps and more.
Whether you’re tracking calories or monitoring your nutrient intake, Fooducate will give you the exact insight you need. This app isn’t just about losing weight and counting calories. When you scan packaged foods’ barcodes or input foods manually, Fooducate will give you both total calories and an assessment of the nutritional quality of those calories.
Plus, this app can help you identify just how clean your meals and snacks are. Fooducate analyzes every item you log so you can see a breakdown of components like added sugars, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, GMOs and more. Then, the app gives your food a grade based on how healthy it is – A is the best, D is the worst. It’s especially handy when you’re unsure if a packaged product is really as clean as it claims. Want even more insight? Fooducate also offers the ability to get nutritional breakdowns for recipes, track your exercise and sleep, and monitor your hunger levels.
Simplify both your grocery shopping and your healthy eating efforts with ShopWell, a free app that can break down nutrition labels so making good choices is super simple. Just scan the barcode of any food item, and the app will give you a personalized nutrition score. It’ll match that score to your needs, goals and diet. Eating gluten-free or low-FODMAP? ShopWell will tell you whether or not the foods you’re considering are a healthy choice. Worried about health conditions like type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol? The app can identify what’s healthy and what isn’t.
With these personalized data breakdowns available for more than 400,000 foods, you’ll be able to explore foods new and familiar. Plus, you can also set alerts for food allergies so you’re notified if you choose foods that feature nuts, soy, eggs, corn and more. And you can even turn on your location while using the app to get recommendations for foods that are sold at your local grocery store.
Cronometer is a food logging app – but it’s one that’ll break your meals down into nitty-gritty details about everything from calories to protein to carbs to cholesterol and beyond. This free app packs an impressively large database of different foods, and it’s designed to track the nutrients you need on any and all diets. Whether you’re doing keto, paleo, vegan or another customized diet, you can set your own parameters and track the nutrients most critical to your health.
Cronometer can track up to 82 different micronutrients in foods and meals. But it also tracks your exercise and water intake (if you want to use those features) and, as an extra benefit, allows you to log your supplements for a complete nutritional picture. Plus, the app integrates with popular activity trackers, ketone meters and monitors, and glucose meters. Want even more insight? Cronometer saves all of your data so you can see nutrition trends and reports over time, and you can download the info to share with doctors and other healthcare pros.
5. Happy Cow
Trying to find vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan food options at your favorite restaurants can feel impossible at time. But with HappyCow, you can find local restaurants, cafes and grocery stores that’ll offer food you can actually eat – and you can even order it to be delivered right to your door. This free food finder app connects you with more than 140,000 restaurants and stores and allows you to filter by dietary restrictions or preferences. Then, you’ll instantly see what’s available to shop, dine, take out, or have delivered in your area.
HappyCow makes it easy to search your current location or by address so you can plan ahead. Wondering if the food you see in the app is worth trying? Users can upload their own photos, and you can browse (or search by diet, cuisine, and other keywords) to see what’s out there. You’ll also get to check out restaurant reviews, hours, emoji ratings and directions all without leaving the app.
6. Carb Manager
If you’re following a low-carb diet, Carb Manager is a must-try app. With this healthy eating app on your phone, you’ll be able to track not only calories, but also net carbs, glycemic load, ketones, blood sugar and more. It’ll help you keep an eye on the basics of the keto diet, helping you choose foods that fit your health goals. With the ability to track and log details like water intake, exercise and your weight, you can also see the impact of your diet over time.
In the free version of Carb Manager, you’ll have access to extensive data collection. Plus, as you track the food you eat, the app will also provide you with analysis on your daily and weekly nutritional information, along with reports on how your diet is benefiting you. And if you’re also using smart trackers or other health apps, Carb Manager can connect with hundreds of outside devices and apps for a more complete picture.
Looking for more ways to turn your smartphone into a health-helping device? Check out these top apps for intermittent fasting.