The 13 Best Healthy Eating Apps

It’s easy to assume that healthy eating apps start and end with calorie trackers, but that’s just one of the many ways in which smartphones can help you eat well. You can use apps to find healthy meals when you’re out and about, or hunt down restaurants that serve food that caters to any intolerances and allergies you have, and there are even apps that give you access to a nutrition expert who creates a diet plan for you and remains on hand to provide advice whenever you need it.

Then there are the thousands of recipe apps out there, many of which are focused on teaching you to cook simple, healthy food yourself, or help you narrow down the abundance of options out there to fit your tastes.

And yes, there are the calorie counting apps too, some so sophisticated that you just have to scan barcodes on the food you’re eating and all your daily macros will be totted up instantly.

Here are the healthy eating apps no smartphone should be without.

Calorie Counter And Diet Tracker By MyFitnessPal

There are plenty of calorie-tracking apps out there, but MyFitnessPal is the most popular for a reason. Its database is colossal, containing over five million foods, meaning the frustration of being unable to log the exact item you’ve eaten is a rare event, rather than the norm. It’s also very quick to use and remembers your favourite foods, so every meal isn’t finished with five minutes of clicking. Free, pro £7.99 monthly, App Store and Google Play, myfitnesspal.com

Meal IQ

We’ll come clean from the off: this AXA Health Tech & You award winner isn’t an app, but the web-based meal planner (you’ve got a browser on your phone, yeah?) is clever enough that we’ll bend the rules just this once. The free version searches recipes on the web that fit the criteria you select and it can get really quite specific, including diet types along the lines of vegan and gluten-free, your budget, macro splits, preferred cuisines and even excluding ingredients you dislike. You can then review the recipes the service spits out, swap dinners out if you like, and then generate a shopping list that takes into account what you’ve already got in your cupboards. And then, if you want, it’ll put those items into an online Tesco shopping basket for you to check out at your convenience. Phew, that’s pretty comprehensive. If you cook regularly, or want to, it’s well worth a try. getmealiq.com

VNutrition

Even if you have absolutely zero dietary restrictions it takes some planning to make sure you’re eating all the nutrients that your body requires, so it’s vital that you pay even closer attention if you make the decision to go vegan – whether that’s just for Veganuary or for good. The Vegan Society has created the VNutrition app to help people get from plant-based food what that they would previously have consumed by eating animal products. The advice is from a registered dietitian so it’s trustworthy, and there’s a simple checklist in the app to help you track how close you are to hitting your daily nutritional targets. Free, App Store and Google Play, vegansociety.com

Nutrifix

It’s not always easy to find healthy meals when you’re out and about, and if you have specific dietary requirements it can be even tricker to find places that cater to your needs. The Nutrifix app aims to make finding healthy and/or free-from food easy. You build your profile on the app of your nutritional needs and then it finds eateries in your locale that fit the bill. And if you’re feeling especially lazy or have no time to step outside, you can get those meals delivered to you through Nutrifix’s partnership with Deliveroo. Free, App Store, nutrifix.co

FitMenCook

Even if you have minimal spare time, a shoestring budget and no real skills, FitMenCook can help you eat healthily. £2.49, pro £0.79 monthly, £4.49 annually, App Store, fitmencook.com

Change4Life Food Scanner

Scan the barcode of a food and it’ll break down the sugar content into how many cubes it equates to in a bid to shock you out of buying anything too sweet. Free, App Store and Google Play

Kafoodle

If allergies and intolerances plague your mealtimes, Kafoodle lets you set the ingredients you can’t eat, then brings up a list of restaurants and tells you which items are safe. Free, App Store and Google Play, kafoodle.com

Noom

A simple traffic light system helps you track what you’re eating, while support comes from the small group of “Noomers” you’re joined with in your dietary quest. Free, pro £7.99 monthly, £14.99 for three months, £39.99 annually, App Store and Google Play, noom.com

SideChef

Over 2,500 recipes all carefully explained to make them accessible, as well as nutritional tips and video instructions. Free, App Store and Google Play, sidechef.com

Diets Suck

This app encourages small, simple changes to your diet by delivering reminders to help build healthy habits like drinking a glass of water each lunchtime, or eating a doctor-repelling apple a day. Free, App Store and Google Play, dietssuck.org

DietBet

Put your cash on the line by betting on your weight loss. DietBet lets you buy into a pot with thousands of other users, and those that hit their slimming target share the proceeds. Free, App Store and Google Play, dietbet.com

Lose It

This popular weight-loss app tracks your food and exercise, and has a strong community to help challenge and support its users. Free, pro £29.99 annually, App Store and Google Play, loseit.com

Plant Nanny

We can all agree that it shouldn’t take the possible death of a cute virtual plant to make an adult human drink enough water every day, but let’s skip over that and focus on the cute plant. Look how cute it is! Do you want it to die? Of course you don’t! So drink your water and log it in the app. You and your new plant pal will both be better off. Free, App Store and Google Play

This New App Helps You Find The Healthiest Foods At 750 Restaurants

We’ve all taken trips to the fast-food drive-thru. Sometimes we just crave something fast and, well, not actually nutritious. But those little stops can be downright disasters for people looking to stick with a healthy eating plan. What if there was one, handy tool that could provide a comprehensive guide to fast food options and help us make the best choice possible? Say hello to Cheat Day!

The app, developed for the iPhone, puts the nutritional information for 750 restaurants across the U.S. in the palm of your hand. And yes, this includes all of your favorite fast food joints like Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway and Wendy’s. Even Starbucks lovers can find their preferred coffee creations in this handy app.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

What makes Cheat Day a helpful app is how it takes thousands of pieces of nutritional data and makes searching for what you need a user-friendly experience. No matter what type of eating plan you follow, Cheat Day allows the user to sort through each restaurant’s information by a variety of criteria. The user interface is pretty basic, but you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to get to the information you want.

Here’s a breakdown on how to use the app:

Download the Cheat Day app to your iPhone via the App Store or your computer.

When you open the app, you’ll immediately find the home screen with the restaurant name listings. It’s searchable, which makes it extra handy, so you don’t have to scroll through hundreds of options.

Cheat Day

Once you pick where you plan to eat, you get a new list of menu offerings broken down into various sections. For example, with McDonald’s, you’ll see a menu with everything from salads and burgers to breakfast and even McCafe options.

Cheat Day

Let’s say you’re hungry for some breakfast. Just select breakfast and the entire menu is listed, with its full nutritional information, including calories, fat content, protein, fiber, sodium and more. The best part of this app is how the user can sort the listings in a variety of ways. Cheat Day looks at all of a restaurant’s menu options and compiles the information to list the best nutritional choice based on a combination of factors. In this listing, McDonald’s breakfast items are sorted by best nutritional choice, overall.

Cheat Day

Then, if you want to know what the nutritional information is for the individual item, all you have to do is touch the phone screen and you get a full listing of data.

Cheat Day

Users can also sort by specific guidelines, such as calories (low to high), protein (high to low), carbs (low to high), sugar (low to high) and sodium (low to high). So whether you’re simply counting calories, following a low-carb/high-protein meal plan or watching your sugar intake, the Cheat Day app can help you make the best choices, even if you’re eating on the run.

Will you be downloading this nifty app?

10 Top Apps For Eating Healthy

From Apple store and related apps

By Linda Bernstein, Next Avenue Contributor

Like many women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent over the age of 50, I no longer consider dairy my BFF. Gone are the days when lunch was a scoop of cottage cheese and the best low-cal snack came from a frozen yogurt shop.

It took two years of stomach cramps for me to accept that I, like my mother before me, am lactose-intolerant, meaning I cannot tolerate milk products — or molasses, lima beans or beets, which contain similar sugars.

You can buy over-the-counter pills that contain enzymes to help digest thse sugars. But even a fistful of them won’t allow my tummy to handle butter-rich piecrusts and pastry dough. On my rare baking binges, I have tried to use margarine instead of butter. The results have been disappointing at best.

(MORE: Milk Alternatives: Are They Really Better for You, or Is It Hype?)

Apps for Healthy Eating Choices

Google Play and the iTunes store are brimming with apps that can help us eat better or work around food allergies. These 10 do everything from count calories to insure we don’t purchase endangered fish.

1. Substitutions

Platform: Apple iPhone and iPad ($0.99)

Handy in the supermarket as well as the kitchen, this app offers alternatives for foods you wish to avoid. It also gives tips for ingredients you can swap in a pinch if you’re in the middle of cooking something and realize you’re missing a key item. (Google Play has a similar app for $0.99.)

2. Fooducate

Platform: Android, Apple iPhone (free – $9.99, depending on version)

I can read a few different languages, but the nutrition information on food labels is not one of them. And I know I’m not alone. This app lets you scan the barcode of a product or type in its name (or a kind of food, like “banana”) to uncover its total calories, fat, sodium and other ingredients. It also “scores” the food for healthiness and lets you know if the smoothie that advertises itself as super-wholesome is actually packed with calories.

(MORE: Don’t Believe Everything You Read on Food Labels)

3. Seafood Watch From the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Platform: Android, Apple iPhone (free)

I used to have a laminated list of “ocean friendly” fish, which I tried to remember to bring with me whenever I went to the market. More often than not, I’d forget it. This app makes eco-consciousness a no-brainer. In addition to offering alternatives to fish on the “avoid” list, Seafood Watch has a new feature that lets you add names and locations of restaurants that serve sustainable seafood.

Fish is good for us. This app is good for the fish. What goes around comes around.

4. True Food

Platform: Android, Apple iPhone and iPad (free)

According to the nonprofit Center for Food Safety, more than 70% of all packaged foods on our supermarket shelves contain genetically modified ingredients — GMIs — and in the USA, GMOs (the O is for “organisms”) don’t need to be labeled.

There is some debate about how dangerous genetically modified foods may be for our bodies and the environment. But if you want to avoid these products, you’ll appreciate True Food. The app lists “green” foods (which do not contain modified ingredients) and “red” foods (which do). Click on a tab and you can join up with anti-GMI activists to protest companies that make or sell “red” products. You can also locate stores that refuse to carry anything with GMOs.

(MORE: 10 Top Wellness Apps to Meet Your Health Goals)

5. Harvest App

Platform: Apple iPhone ($1.99)

Did you know that a yellow spot on the bottom of a watermelon means it ripened on the vine in the sun? I didn’t — until I found this app that helps select fresh produce. An alphabetical directory gives tips for identifying more than 100 ripe edibles grown on trees, vines or in the ground. The app also gives such valuable storage tips as not to wash strawberries until you’re ready to eat them.

6. Is That Gluten Free?

Platform: Apple iPhone and iPad ($7.99)

In the world of mobile apps, this one is bit pricey. But if you have celiac disease and get seriously ill when you accidentally eat something with gluten, it’s worth every penny. In response to a flood of complaints about the incompleteness of the previous version, this latest one lists nearly 16,000 items, which are searchable by name or by category. Users can add their own items and the company will then verify the information.

7. Locavore

Platform: Android, Apple iPhone (free)

I love the way this app helps me find local produce and in-season food at farmers markets, farm stands and groceries. You can also post directly to Facebook with this app, so your friends can share the food fun.

8. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

Platform: Android, BlackBerry, Apple iPhone and iPad (free)

Anyone who has shed pounds on Weight Watchers can tell you the power of the program lies not just in what you eat or what you don’t eat. Community support is a big part of the success formula. That’s the beauty of this app. Not only does it come with a handy food diary and access to calorie counts for more than 3 million foods, it lets you set fitness goals. The best part is the encouragement from the built-in social network, where you connect with others, post your updates and feel all the virtual pats on the back.

9. Allergy Guard

Platform: Apple iPhone ($0.99)

It never occurred to me that a friend couldn’t eat milk chocolate — until I realized it contains cow’s milk, to which she is severely allergic. For people with food allergies, this app could literally be a lifesaver.

It allows you to look the ingredients in more than 2,000 common foods. Some of the listings are “name brand” items, like Taco Bell seasoning — helpful when you’re eating out. The app downloads the data onto your phone, so you have easy access even when out of 3-4G or Wi-Fi range. Another nice aspect: You can use a free version if you don’t mind ads and want to input only your own allergy data (instead of creating profiles for other family members or friends).

10. Superfoods

Platform: Apple iPhone, iPad (free)

We’ve all heard about nutritional powerhouses that can boost our immune systems and memory, ward off disease and give us more energy. But if you, like me, need reminders about which foods to stock in the larder, this guidebook to healthful eating helps you make smart shopping purchases. Spend some time reading through their articles (e.g., “Superfoods for Your Brain”) for in-depth information about the benefits of particular items, like açai or pomegranate juice. The “deals” tab links you to shopping specials. At present, most are in the United Kingdom, but more American bargains are being added.

Linda Bernstein has written hundreds of articles for dozens of magazines and newspapers, writes the blog GenerationBsquared and teaches social media at the Columbia University School of Journalism.

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5 Plant-Based Restaurants in Paris

France is known to have the most amazing culinary cuisine in the world. The restaurant options are limitless and there are over 30,000 bakeries in Paris alone! When you think of food in Paris, the first thing that comes to mind is probably something from the following list: baguette, croissant, Nutella crêpe, fois gras, tartare, cheese, butter, brioche, raclette, soufflé, the list goes on and on.

So what do these delicious French foods all have in common besides making our mouths water? Unfortunately, most of the good food in France doesn’t fall under the category of nutritious, and it’s quite easy to maintain unhealthy eating habits while staying in Paris.

Though all those good foods can and should be enjoyed in moderation, I noticed after a few months of being in Paris that I miss the wide variety of healthy restaurants I had back in Los Angeles, and how much harder of a time I have sticking to a wholesome diet that nourishes my body and leaves me feeling good. If you’re feeling a bit tired of gluten-filled pastries, the endless amount of dairy and excess sugar in your Parisian eating routines, it might be time to take a break from the local bakery visits and brasseries.

Sure, it’s widely known that it’s easier to eat clean when you buy groceries and cook- but many in Paris live in small quarters without well- equipped kitchens and don’t have this option! Not to mention being a tourist in Paris doesn’t usually involve standing in a kitchen preparing your dinner. Chances are one of the reasons you came to Paris is to eat out. The good news is that Paris actually has a variety of healthy, plant-based/vegan restaurants. Check out the below list of healthy food options in Paris and get ready to feel healthy in Paris!

1. Le Potager de Charlotte

Potager de Charlotte- Instagram

This family-owned restaurant was founded by two brothers and offers a gourmet home cooked approach to plant-based cuisine. The restaurant opened in 2015 and is quite popular among vegans and health enthusiasts alike. They now even have two locations- one in the 9th and one in the 17th.

The menu features healthy and unique meals with the most popular dish being the chickpea and rice pancake (this might not sound so appetizing, but it’s known to be delicious). Most of their dishes are gluten free and the recipes change over the seasons, so you’re always going to find something new and unique to try. The restaurant has a very appealing aesthetic, and has been featured in Le Bonbon and Vogue Magazine.

The place is quite popular so be sure to call for a reservation. See their website for booking reservations and hours of operation.

12 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne 75009

21 rue Rennequin 75017

2. Liife

Liife- Facebook

This trendy health food spot offers new dishes every week, and is popular among sports enthusiasts. The ingredients are fresh and the three friends who started this restaurant were inspired by the large variety of healthy restaurants in the U.S.

You can eat in or takeaway, making this healthy eating spot super convenient for those on the move. Their goal is to offer healthy food that tastes good but is also nutritious and fresh tasting. Though the restaurant is geared towards sport lovers, it is still welcoming to all who want to consume food that is good for your health.

They do have meat but offer a variety of vegan and dairy free options too, making this a favorite among vegetarians in Paris. They have more than one location, so be sure to check their website for more info on the menu and open hours.

33 rue des Petits Carreaux – 75002 Paris
21 Rue Herold – 75001 Paris (Midtown sports club location)

3. Season

Season Paris- Instagram

Season is a cute Instagram-photo worthy spot offering tons of healthy food options for those that are hungry. People tend to enjoy this place for the California green healthy vibe. You’ll find avocado toast, kale, matcha, and delicious Acai bowls.

Though their menu offers less of a “plant-based” variety than other spots on this list, they do offer really tasty salads, bowls, and an amazing shakshuka. All of which are sure to leave you feeling healthy and good about yourself.

The interior design is impressive too, and many social media influencers tend to frequent this restaurant. It’s not far from the hip spot of Oberkampf, so go for dinner and hit the bars after.

1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003

4. Abattoir Végétal

Abattoir Végétal- Instagram

Abbatoir Végétal is a 100% organic coffee shop, bistro, and juice bar. Among their breakfast options are matcha pancakes and the charcoal pancakes, which are known to be quite popular and tasty. For lunch on a hot summer day, try the gazpacho!

Some reviews tend to mention the prices are a bit high but reasonable enough for the quality. Additionally the ambiance is quite nice, and they play a lot of Céline Dion hits! Check out their menu here. It’s also conveniently located in the 18th arrondissement near the Sacre Coeur, so try a free walking tour after your delicious meal.

61 Rue Ramey, 75018 Paris

5. Wild & The Moon

Wild & the Moon- Instagram

This little juice bar looks like it came straight out of West Hollywood or Venice Beach. It’s also a chain, so you can find the trendy little health cafe in six different parts of Paris!

They consider themselves a lifestyle movement created by foodlovers, chefs, nutritionists, and neuropaths, who want to serve food that tastes good, is good for the environment, and most importantly good for you.

They pride themselves on their completely plant-based, hormone-free, and cruelty-free products! Try their selection of cold-pressed juices, nutmylks (their own dairy-free milk), smoothies, salads, soups, desserts, bowls, and more.

Those who tend to frequent this healthy restaurant are nutritionists, vegans, and food lovers from around the globe! Check out their website for the menu and some delicious looking food pictures. They have a couple of locations in and around Le Marais, so it’s an ideal pick for a perfect Sunday of shopping and treating yourself.

19 Place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001
55 rue Charlot, 75003
25 rue des Gravilliers, 75003
138 rue Amelot, 75011
4 rue du Helder, 75009
9 rue du Plâtre, 75004

Let us know which ones are your favorite!

Planning a trip to Paris ? Get ready !
These are Amazon’s best-selling travel products that you may need for coming to Paris.

Bookstore

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Check Amazon’s best-seller list for the most popular travel accessories. We sometimes read this list just to find out what new travel products people are buying.

Apps That Help You Eat Healthy When You Dine Out

For some people, half of what we spend on food is often spent eating out. We all know eating out can be tough on a diet. Yet there are free apps and websites to help shift the balance of power in your favor by connecting you with healthier eating choices — no matter where you are.

The New York Times recently ran a story that explored how hard it can be to control what and how much you consume when you dine out. But they noted how technology is stepping into that breach to come to the rescue.

Check out these apps and websites to help you eat healthy when you eat out

Apps

Food Tripping app – Find great alternatives to fast food wherever you are. Food Tripping locates the closest eateries, juice joints, farmers’ markets, microbreweries, and more

Healthy Out app – Find a healthy meal. Free online ordering from NYC’s best restaurants. Create an account so we can personalize your healthy menu

Gluten Free Restaurant Items app – Provides you with gluten free food items of over 150 most popular restaurant and fast-food chains

Find Me Gluten Free app – Helps you eat gluten free. We have free iPhone and Android apps that help you find gluten free businesses and products

DINE Gluten Free app – Lets you access our huge database of Gluten Free Dining & Travel REVIEWS from the U.S. — and around the world — when you’re on-the-go

Websites

HealthyDiningFinder.com – Find nutrition information for Healthy Dining-approved restaurant menus, Sodium Savvy and Kids LiveWell choices

SafeFare.org – If you are managing food allergies or are a restaurant professional, SafeFARE provides tools and resources to help you create a safer, more enjoyable dining experience

AllergyEats.com – Guide to allergy-friendly restaurants across the United States, rated by people with food allergies

Advertisement

GlutenFreePassport.com – Safely eat and serve foods free from gluten, wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, egg, soy, and more

Don’t forget the java!

On the fun side, there’s also a NYC startup with an app called Cups that is like the anti-Starbucks. It puts together a consortium of indie coffee shops, then you pay a subscription and can drink all you want for a flat rate per month. Of course, we’re talking New York prices, so this service will set you back $45 a month for unlimited coffee!

Avoid the Bermuda Triangle

Some years ago, I wrote in Clark’s Big Book of Bargains about how to eat out at restaurants the Clark Smart way. At the time, I discussed the Bermuda Triangle of the restaurant industry where restaurateurs make their biggest profits: Appetizers, desserts and alcohol.

Now the Bermuda Triangle of dining is snaring diners because the price of wine is up. The Los Angeles Times reports wine production is at the lowest level since 1975 at the same time that consumption is up. Hence the squeeze play leading to higher prices.

This is a time to product substitute. You may need to become more selective about the wine you choose to drink and look for the deals.

Or why not have that glass of wine at home instead of at the restaurant? Or why not look for discounts on sites like Restaurant.com or use a site like OpenTable.com that lets you make reservations online and earn points toward free meals?

And if you’ve ever wondered how much to tip when eating out, you may want to read this article about the new normal when it comes to restaurant tipping! But don’t read it on a full stomach; I want you to enjoy that meal when you go out and take the trouble to eat healthy!

3 Best Apps for Eating Healthy on the Go

Thinkstock

Anyone following a special diet knows how tricky it can be to find food on the go when hunger strikes, whether you’re traveling to a new city or running an errand in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Fortunately there are free apps out there to help you locate healthy options, stat. Download these three today to ensure you’ll never again feel famished or find yourself reaching for the closest candy bar next time you get the munchies away from home.

Food Tripping

Car trips shouldn’t mean your options are limited to greasy fast food. Food Tripping, a GPS-based app, focuses on finding local, sustainable food at spots that are convenient to swing by while you’re on the road. With a growing database of quick eateries, healthy food markets, farmers’ markets, juice bars, organic coffee shops, and more, the app allows you to easily locate a healthy and “green” snack or meal to keep you energized. Save your favorites so you can always remember where you found that amazing kale smoothie. Bonus: Avid environmentalist and Entourage cutie Adrian Grenier is a co-founder of SHFT, the eco-friendly brand that co-created the app with Ford.

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play

InBloom

Whether you’re looking for a room for the night or a cafe to grab an organic cup of joe, this app stores your dietary and lifestyle preferences to locate nearby restaurants-plus shops and hotels-that cater to your needs. Simply press the “See Goodness Nearby” button and the app pulls up a list of eco-friendly retailers in the area that offer the specific foods or products you’re looking for: organic, vegetarian, gluten-free, locavore, raw, or paleo. The original idea for this genius app came from two musicians who wanted to make it easier for bands to tour more sustainably. It’s available in New York City and Austin and expanding to more cities next year.

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store

Clean Plates

Clean eating is no problem with this app that lets you browse nearby restaurants and filter options by cuisine, price, or diet (gluten-free, vegan, raw, and more). Each result is rated according to Clean Plates’ strict review criteria, such as hormone-free and grass-fed meat, local ingredients, organic produce, gluten-free options, and naturally sweetened desserts. Plus the restaurant receives a rating ranging of “Clean Plates Seal” (the highest rating), “Clean” (mostly healthy options), or “Good” (some healthy options, but order carefully), so you’ll know exactly what to expect when you go. Available in New York City, Los Angeles, and Austin, it will expand to cover more cities soon.

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store

  • By Locke Hughes

Best Restaurant Nutrition Guide in market !!
Are you eat out a lot? Enjoy all those delicious, prepared meals from fast food restaurants? Trying to reconcile your diet with your love for fast food? BUT it’s really hard to track when you EAT OUT at restaurants!
BUT Wait, There’s a Solution 🙂
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No matter which diet program or system you are following, Nutrismart will give you all the important information to stay on your diet!
Whether you are on a fitness plan or on diet this app provides you with already calculated Nutritions value like calories,carbs ,fat, protein*,sodium* for menu items of around 700+ most popular restaurants and fast food chains this helpful guide will empower you to make better choices.
Nutrismart is 24/7 on your mobile device for when you need it.
Features :
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– 5,00,000 grocery items
– Scan barcodes for over 1,000,000+ UPC’s!
– USDA support
– Detailed nutrition information (in app purchase required to view some content !)
– Add to favourites.
– Regularly updated menus.
– Use nearby option to find nearby restaurant within 1 miles near you
*To view some nutrition information user required to make in app purchase.

Lifesum – Diet Plan, Macro Calculator & Food Diary

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Meal planner and macro tracker – TOP Lifesum features:
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Macros mythbusting. It’s easy with our macro tracker – reach the right type of energy consumption with the macro calculator. Simply scan barcodes for macros and nutritional information, or enter manually.
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For extended features such as specialized diets and detailed nutrition information, and to sync with fitness apps such as Moves, Nokia Health, FitBit, Jawbone, Endomondo and Runkeeper, get the Lifesum Premium membership.

The life of a Developer Evangelist can be very unhealthy. I travel to many different countries and end up ordering fast food to my hotel room far more frequently than I would like. This year, I’m trying to take control of my diet, particularly when on the road. However, I also suffer from decision paralysis. Looking at a long list of restaurants and filtering through them to find restaurants with healthy options can often be tedious and frustrating.

The amazing thing about being a developer is that I can build tools to solve my problems. Today I’m going to show you how I created a bot to find the closest restaurants serving healthy food, no matter where in the world I am! Follow along to build your own.

The Twilio API for WhatsApp makes gathering location data from users easy, enabling us to respond appropriately. Therefore, we’ll use WhatsApp as the channel for our bot.

What We’ll Need

  • A Twilio Account (Get one here for Free)
  • A Travel API with restaurant information (I’m using the Zomato API)

Setting Up Our Function

In this project, we’ll use Twilio Functions as they runJavaScript code directly on Twilio. They are also one of the easiest ways to have code respond to an incoming message.

Head on over to the Twilio Functions page and create a new function using the “blank function” template. Give the function a name and set its path to /food. Make a note of the whole URL as we will use it later. Be sure to Save the function. By pressing the Save button at the bottom of the page

We are going to use axios to make HTTP requests to the Travel API. To add this to our environment, navigate to the Configure section on the left-hand side of the Twilio Console and add axios to our dependencies. I built this using axios version 0.19.1.

We can also add any environment variables we need here such as the API credentials for Zomato. I’ll be adding an environmental variable called ZOMATO_API_KEY that I’ll be using in my code.

Getting Location Data from WhatsApp

WhatsApp enables users to share their location data with ease. When Twilio receives the location data in a WhatsApp message, it will make a request to our Twilio Function. It surfaces the location data as request parameters with latitude, longitude and an address if available.

To get started with the Twilio API for WhatsApp, you will need to set up a Twilio Sandbox number. After you have completed setup, make sure you have used your personal sandbox keyword to join your sandbox conversation from your WhatsApp App.

Once set up, configure the “When a message comes in” field to make a POST request to the URL we noted earlier in the Twilio Function.

Navigate back to the Twilio Function and get ready to write some code!

Apps for healthy eating

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