With the explosion of recipe and diet apps on smartphones, how you eat is literally in your hands. Whether you’re doing the 5:2, hunting down a superfood breakfast or needing to whack together a deceivingly impressive salad for a dinner party, there’s a bound to be an app that’s right for you. Here are some great tools to, ahem, cater to your needs…
You’ve got your Fitbit, you’ve got your workout app, why not add diet to the mix and put them all in one place? MyFitnessPal began as a free calorie-counting app before adding exercise tracking and meal suggestions for hardcore fitness fans. Recently acquired by workout gear giant UnderArmour, the premium service now includes custom reports, digging into the nutrition density of your meals with customisable measurements in planning meals. It now uses a crowd-sourced model where its 70 million active users can access meal and workout entries saved by other users.
From vegan to Paleo
Beyond providing support or inspiration, the communities that develop around various diets also provide real-world knowledge – like recipes, suggestions, and tools to help you shop smarter. Packing this knowledge into an app just increases its appeal.
Paleo, for example, is an approach to eating that avoids processed foods as well as sugar, dairy, and complex carbohydrates. Gaining fame as a Paleo food blogger, Michelle Tam wrote her Paleo-centric cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo, which was later turned into a Webby-award-winning iPad app of the same name. It showcases the blog’s best recipes with step-by-step imagery, as well as seasonal produce recommendations.
Vegan diets can be difficult to maintain due to the amount of indecipherable ingredients lurking in our foods. Is It Vegan? identifies products via a barcode scanner, analysing ingredients and giving you a quick and easy answer as to whether the item is vegan-friendly or not. The app allows you to search products by category (e.g. Pasta Sauce), and share recommendations and ideas for friends who might be following the same diet.
Jacqueline Whitehart scored global fame with her best-selling diet book The 5:2 Diet, promoting a smaller calorie count for two days of the week. Now published in an app, The Complete 5:2 App allows you to customise a full 4-week diet and exercise plan whilst tracking your daily calorie intake and workouts. There are over 140 recipes including fasting-focused meal plans, with interactive calorie and BMI calculators.
Healthy home meals
Cooking healthily at home doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch. With the right online information and inspiration, you can amend your favourite meals for a more wholesome diet. Bupa’s Foodswitch app does just that: input your recipe ingredients, and it will substitute ingredients for healthier alternatives, with added options for those on low-fat, gluten-free or salt-reduced diets. You can even barcode-scan items while doing your shop and have nutritious alternatives recommended based on the Australia-wide Health Star Rating system.
Having launched an app to mirror the wildly popular recipe site, Taste.com.au offers 40,000+ recipes in an easy to search, read and follow format. You can search by food group, theme and even holiday, with a vast range of healthy options to try. If you’re after something a little fancier, the Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Gourmet Fast app provides quick, delicious recipe that can be made in 30 mins or less.
Those after vegetarian and vegan-friendly eateries can try Vegman for a location-based guide to your dietary needs. And for those ordering in, Australian sensation Menulog lets you search location-based takeaway options, with not only full menus available to look over, but also search-functions by cuisine.
You’ll never go hungry again!
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