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!
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
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
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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.)
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