Getting Healthier; “There’s an app for that!” Part One

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

September 10, 2013

In this age where technological innovation, healthcare transformation, and wellness meet, mobile phone apps designed to keep us healthy are one piece of the “cure” for a nation saddled with an ever-increasing healthcare burden. Apps can help us take better care of ourselves by not only being informative and instantaneous, but also a lot of fun! It seems new ones appear daily, and it can get complicated finding ones that best suit your needs. For my next several blogs, I will present some of the best applications for your smart phone that will keep you on top of your wellness game. The focus this week will be nutrition. Check back later for apps that I like for fitness and behavior change. I’ll feature five of my favorites even though there are plenty of others that are great.

  1. My Fitness Pal – This one can’t be beat when it comes to tracking food and fitness. The database contains two million plus (!) food items and grows daily. Restaurants, Sodexo cafeteria items, and your homemade family favorites, it’s all there.
    • Features: Can add your own recipes for analysis, ability to scan package bar codes, and very easy to use. Free and available for iOS, Android, Windows phone, and Blackberry.
  2. Fooducate – Need help deciding if a new (or any) product in the supermarket is a good choice or not? This app can help. Simply scan the item’s barcode and get its health “grade”.
    • Features: Alternatives items suggested. Free, and available for iOS and Android.
  3. Healthy Out – Busy lifestyles often mean eating out more. This app will find all the healthy options at restaurants near your current location.
    • Features: Option to choose your dietary and nutrition preferences such as heart healthy, vegetarian, gluten free, etc. Nutritional information provided, and free for iOS and Android.
  4. Fast Food Calories – Not to promote this type of food, but if you have to hit the drive through on the way to soccer practice, this app will provide all the nutrition information you need to make an informed choice.
    • Features: Full menus of 108 popular restaurants, tracking option saves your food choices for up to a year - helpful if you are trying to cut back. Free on iOS and Android.
  5. Juice – This app is great for tracking wellness in a variety of areas. You select which ones to focus on such as nutrition, mood, sleep, exercise, and more. These then are your “ingredients” and you “spin” (swipe) to rate your progress each day.
    • Features: tips are offered for improvement.

Applications help make all the new technology work for us in our pursuit of better health in an innovative, exciting, and convenient way. Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here.

Request an Appointment

Request an appointment with a specialist at University Hospitals.
1-866-UH4-CARE 1-866-844-2273 or use our Online Request Form

Upcoming Sessions of UH OptiWeight

There are no UH OptiWeight sessions at this time.

Need to Refer a Patient?

Click here for Patient Referrals

Browse Services A-Z

Maps and Directions

Click here for directions