You have your diet plan, your exercise schedule, and your new fitness goals. Now all you need is a few handy smartphone apps to help you eat well. Instead of browsing the thousands of apps in iTunes or Google Play, try these five proven winners.
1. Caveman Feast 200
If you are hitting a wall with healthy recipe ideas, this app is now available on Android and includes more than 200 Paleo diet recipes, which means that they are grain and sugar-free and consist mostly of meats and vegetables. The recipes were created by George Bryant of the Fat-Burning Man show for a cookbook, but you can use the app for just $2.99.
Available on any device ranging from iPhones to the latest LG smartphones, this free app helps you find local produce for your lean and green meals. You can search by location in general, or you can search by type of food. For example, search “watermelon” to see if there are any local farms or farm stands that sell local watermelon. The app also includes seasonal recipes so you can make the best of your farm stand and grocery finds.
Need help picking out the best produce once you've found local produce? The Harvest app offers tips on how to identify more than 100 ripe fruits and vegetables. It even includes storage tips so that the food you buy stays fresh longer.
3. Seafood Watch App by Monterey Bay Aquarium
Forbes points out the benefit of this app: “Fish are good for us. This app is good for the fish.” Seafood is chock-full of healthy nutrients and vitamins like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B2. And that's not even mentioning how lean fish is, considering it's an excellent source of protein.
But not all fish are equal — fish raised on fish farms kill everything around them and fill the ocean with toxins. Other species are so over-caught that their populations have reached dangerously low levels. Not sure what you should buy and what you should avoid? The Seafood Watch App does all the work for you, allowing to you search all types of fish by name or ranking.
Take a look at the “Super Green” list for which fish are good for you and for the oceans, or look at the “Avoid” list to see what seafood alternative you could eat instead. The app will also use your location to give you a regional guide to seafood, including a list of restaurants and markets that are also looking out for the oceans.
4. Allergy Guard
Have a food allergy? Or maybe a friend with a food allergy? It's hard to know what is safe to eat with new allergen limitations. After all, “gluten free” can also mean barley- and oat-free and a person who is allergic to corn need to check powdered sugar and baking powder for cornstarch (something plenty of people forgets to do).
That's where this iPhone app comes in. Click on the allergen you need to learn about, and then browse the list of ingredients that may contain it. For corn, everything from cream of mushroom that is also looking out for the oceans. soup and the additive dextrose will show up. For the new user, it's an eye-opening guide to keep your food allergen free.
5. Weight Watchers
Once you've got the recipes you like and know where to get the food that's best for you, you can still use this handy app for counting calories. Made for Apple and Android, this app makes searching for foods and tallying daily points a breeze. You can even scan the barcode on some items to see its points value automatically entered into the system.
Even if you aren't on the weight watchers plan, this handy app is a good way to track your progress. It's lengthy catalog of food makes it easy for you to tell which foods are healthier than others, and you can keep track of exercise, too.
Did we miss your favorite healthy eating app?