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Need to Know

Which iPhone Apps Can Help You Eat Better?

By: Karen Cicero

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Last week my 10-year-old daughter and her friends were playing with each other’s iPods. When I asked them what they were doing, they said they were trying one another’s new apps so they could download only the ones they liked. That got me thinking: With more than 500,000 apps in the iPhone store (at least according to Apple’s tally), how cool would it be to say to someone in the know, “Hey, can I please see what’s on your phone?”

So I tried that line. And Sarah Krieger, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was cool enough to let me peek at her iPhone apps so I can finally get a few healthy eating apps on mine. The two I downloaded on the spot:

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by My Fitness Pal
A virtual food diary and motivator. You plug in what you eat (there's more than 1.5 million foods in the database), and it tells you how many calories you’ve consumed so far and how many you have left to meet your goals. You’ll get motivational charts at the end of the week, and other users can encourage you through the newsfeed section.
Cost: free

Calorie Counter by About.com
Not only does this app let you track the calories you consume, it tells you whether you’re getting too much or too little protein, carbs and fat, as well as various vitamins and minerals. I look at it before dinner -- see where I’m falling short or going too high -- and plan accordingly.
Cost: free         

Krieger told me that her fellow spokesperson, Marisa Moore, has tried out a lot of nutrition apps too. One of her favorites is great for someone with diabetes:

Blood Sugar Tracker: You simply enter your blood sugar levels and set target ranges. The app tells you when you are out of bounds and makes cool graphs using your blood sugar history that will be super-useful at your next doctor’s visit.
Cost: free

Then for a few more suggestions, I turned to my Facebook friends who came through with these cool ideas:

Healthy in a Hurry: Eating Well is one of my favorite magazines, yet I’ve completely ignored its app. It features 200 nutrition-minded recipes with pics as well as a recipe of the day. Plus, you can search by ingredient or food category. It’s great for those times you’re thinking, “What should I make for dinner tonight?”
Cost: free

Grocery IQ by Coupons.com: Where has this app been my whole life? You can type in or use voice search to create your list and sync it with other devices. So hubby doesn’t have to call me to find out what we need at the store -- it’s on his phone too! Plus, it’s easy to find related coupons.
Cost: free     

If you have an Android phone, next week, I’ll highlight apps for you!

For more great health and lifestyle content, check out the rest of Completely You
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Read more about: Health, Food

Karen Cicero

is Completely You’s Need to Know blogger. A health journalist and magazine editor with more than 15 years of experience, she has contributed to such publications as Prevention, SELF and Health, and she has edited the dental column for Heart & Soul magazine.

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