In my quest to healthy up our lives (first through our diets), I turned to technology and my smartphone for some help. Here are some apps that I regularly use and find useful. I have a Droid, so I am not sure if there might be better apps available for the iPhone. If there is, let me know!
LOVE this one. You scan a barcode (or search) for a product, and this app will give you a letter grade based on the healthiness of the ingredients. It will throw up red flags for things like sodium content, hidden sugars, artificial ingredients, etc. It will also give you alternatives that are healthier. I like to use this in the grocery story, for example when choosing between bagels and english muffins I did a little scanning and comparing (and it turns out the whole wheat bagels JD likes are MUCH better for us than the cinnamon-raisin english muffins I dig).
I can never remember which fruits and veggies need to be bough organic and for which I needn’t bother. This keeps the list at my fingertips.
This is a similar list-based app, which tells you which brands are likely to contain GMOs. Helpful Hint: none of Trader Joe’s store brand products use GMOs!
Put in a zip code or have it auto-detect your location and this app will provide you nearby restaurants/fast food joints/stores that have healthy food options. Lists the lowest-calorie option at each. Somewhat dubious, since it includes lots of fast food places and focuses mostly on calories and fat, not other health concerns. But still helpful to have in a pinch, or in an unfamiliar city.
This one has a large focus on ethics along with health. Look up a brand and it will give the product/company a grade for Health, Environment, and Social concerns. Doesn’t go as in-depth as I would like, but if you’re worried a brand may have shady business practices, look them up on here.
Last but not least, the app I use the most! I use this guy to record all my food, (almost) every day. I like it because it tracks nutrients as well as calories, and you can save meals that you eat regularly (like my weekly Wednesday Tuvar Ringun meal from the Indian place in the food court). The database is HUGE and seems pretty reliable, and the UI is easy to figure out. You can set a weight goal if you’re counting calories.
Those are the tools in my smartphone arsenal right now. Got any recommendations for more?