The 4 Best Nutritional Info Apps to Help You Stay on Track This Halloween
Even if you don't keep candy in the house, it's almost impossible to avoid it in these weeks leading up to Halloween. Just about every business has a bowl filled with fun-size treats, even the dentist's office. Instead of missing out on all the fun, plan for a little indulgence with one of these four nutritional apps:
Like many nutritional apps, Fooducate details calories per portion and tracks food intake—but it also allows for personalization to help you avoid excessive sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and certain allergens, all of which are common in candy. It will even show you healthier alternatives. Scientists, dieticians and parents worked together to create the software, which won first prize in the nutrition and healthy eating category of the U.S. Surgeon General Healthy App Challenge.
Perfect for: candy lovers who are sensitive or outright allergic to certain ingredients
Calorie Counter—My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal boasts the largest database of any Android calorie counter, with nutritional info for more than two million foods. You can also share tracking with friends, providing further incentive to not have just one more piece of candy. In fact, the app reports that users lose three times more weight when they diet with friends. PC Magazine and Wired both choose this app as an editor's choice, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics gave it four-and-a-half stars (out of five).
Perfect for: everyone
If you follow the paleo plan, you know that not a single piece of your kid's candy is allowed. After all, the sweet stuff is on the diet's do-not-eat list. Use Primal Paleo to make and track desserts that are approved, as there are a variety of homemade brownies, cakes, cookies and ice creams that do not use grains or dairy. Coconut ice cream is just as tasty as the traditional frozen treat. You can enjoy while the kids eat their M&Ms and Nerds.
Perfect for: paleo eaters with a sweet tooth
My Diet Coach
My Diet Coach provides nutritional info and calorie tracking, but it also helps you manage the emotional triggers that derail healthy eating. The virtual coach sends reminders to drink water, cook healthy meals, track caloric intake and step on the scale. It also sets daily challenges, such as working out and avoiding junk food, both of which prove especially difficult during the busy holiday season that Halloween kicks off. The coach offers perseverance and motivational tips that help you overcome obstacles throughout the day. And just recently, it added integration for the Android Wear for those of you who use the watch in addition to your phone and tablet.
Perfect for: emotional eaters
You can download these apps to your smartphone or tablet. They all feature a barcode scanner—with the exception of Primal Paleo, because processed foods are a no-no—enabling you to simply scan for nutritional info instead of searching by product name. Be sure to scan bags of fun-size treats and save the counts before emptying them into your designated Halloween bowl.
Did we miss any helpful apps? Let us know and share with us.