Top Food, Weight Loss and Nutrition ‘Apps’...

Whether you have an Apple or an Android phone … it’s hard to do without ‘apps.’ A mobile application, (mobile app) is a software application designed to run on mobile or portable devices such as smart phones, tablet computers, etc. They are usually operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as Apple, Google, Windows (think Apple App store, Google Play and Windows Phone store). There are free apps and those that must be purchased. After downloading the software, you can use the ‘app.’ Initially designed to increase general productivity and enhance information retrieval, apps now cover games, music, banking, etc.

There are dozens of food, nutrition, weight loss and fitness/exercise apps designed to help you live a healthier life. Before downloading anything that looks interesting consider that doing so means info overload. Interested in knowing which are the best according to registered dietitians (RDs)? Check these picks out for October and look for regular bi-monthly updates for new options:

SparkRecipes: Easy-to-use, offers thousands of healthy recipes that you can categorize and organize according to various criteria, such as cuisine, occasion, dietary needs…you can save favorite recipes and convert common cooking measures. Cons: nutrition facts for recipes are user-generated and may not be correct/reliable. Platform: Apple, Android & Blackberry

iCookbook Diabetic: Summary: from the editors of Diabetic Cooking (and the original iCookbook app), contains over 500 recipes sorted by category (30-minute meals, vegetarian, slow-cooker, low-carb, etc). Offers a tool to scale ingredients to change recipe yield (portions), also offers  nutrition analysis and dietary exchanges for each recipe. Platform: Apple

Fooducate Nutrition Scanner: Summary: Perhaps not a stand-alone app for overall better nutrition but a nifty tool nonetheless and a great companion to a nutrition plan. Fooducate allows you to scan a food’s UPC and it will tell you the nutrition facts (and more…such as if the sodium level is dangerous, for instance). It ‘grades’ the food relative to its alternatives and even helps you to pick a healthier selection (say, for a protein bar). Overall, you can improve your food choices. Platform: Apple, Android

Calorie Counter MyNetDiary: Summary: Weight loss/management involves tracking what you take in calorie-wise. Apps are useful tools for taking some of the work out of calorie-counting. This app is a useful nutrition aid as it tracks your calorie intake, AND your exercise to help take the guesswork out of your calorie balance for better weight management. Charts and graphs provide feedback on your progress. Like Fooducate, you can scan the bar code of packaged food OR type the first few letters of the name of a specific dish to search from over 420,000 foods contained in the database. Platform: Apple, Android

Food Tripping: Summary: A great food finder for your vicinity….locates everything from small business food artisans to national food and market chains. Customizable search results based on categories such as  farmers markets, coffee/tea, juice joints, microbreweries and vegan/vegetarian options. Businesses are searchable by name, location and category. Platform: Apple, Android