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Nutrition apps to help you track food, meal prep and develop a health plan

During the month of May, Health & Wellness Reporter Sonia Azad is featuring the best health apps. This week she’s talking about apps focused on nutrition.

DALLAS — When it comes to tracking food online, Health & Wellness Reporter Sonia Azad asked WFAA viewers which app they love the most. 

Whether you're using these tools to identify trigger foods or create new habits, nutrition apps can help you to make sense of what you're eating, how much, and develop a plan for your health moving forward.

Sandy said MyFitnessPal is her go-to, "Keeping a food log is eye-opening."

Larry also added that the daily glucometer readings help control diabetes.

And Staci said she's willing to pay a monthly subscription for tracking food online. She said she loves the Weight Watchers app, which is now called WW. 

"The WW app actually has a ton of great recipes so if you like to cook. While maybe seeing some weight loss, it's not a bad deal," said Caroline Susie, a registered dietitian nutritionist. 

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While Susie doesn't track food for herself, she does recommend daily logging for most of her clients. She says logging your food provides accountability and awareness of portion control.

"Research shows there is a definite benefit to tracking what you eat and outcomes," Susie said. 

But she says logging or food journaling is not for everyone.

"Yes I see value for certain people- but on the flip side for my clients with any type of disordered eating, it is a major trigger, to say every single thing you've had to eat today," she said.

If you are looking for an app to help with weight management try Healthie, Wellory, Lose It, or Noom. Not all of these are free but they do help with choosing healthy options at restaurants. Noom even rates on a color system to encourage behavior changes.

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Healthie:

Healthie allows you to take photos of your food, selfies or "healthies" of your body, and record workouts, metrics, or bring in health data from the Health app using their HealthKit API.

The app also allows you to partner with a nutrition professional who can review your uploads and provide advice along the way. The app is free to download. 

Wellory:

Wellory is the first digital service to offer a meal-by-meal approach to nutrition, paired with photo-sharing, and access to a digital community of vetted licensed nutritionists, certified health coaches and registered dietitians, all at the tip of the users’ fingers. The Wellory app membership is $49.99 per month. 

Lose It:

Lose It! a calorie counting app that helps people reach their weight loss goal. To get started just input your profile details with your goal weight and we’ll calculate the daily calorie budget best for you. Next, easily track your food, weight, and activity and get ready to celebrate your weight-loss victories. Lose It! basic is free, but you can upgrade to Premium to unlock additional features.  

Noom:

Noom includes a psychology-based weight loss course, a series of 10 mini-courses that you can complete at your own pace. 

Every mini-course will help you gain specific knowledge, tools, and skills that will help you change your habits, lose weight, and make progress far beyond the scale. You can make additional in-app purchases that range from $4.99 to $89.99.

Need help with meal prep?

There's also an app for that!

PlateJoy designs personalized meal plans based on your unique health goals.

There are also eMeals which you can try free for 2 weeks, after that it's $5 a month or $10 for 3 months.

Another one Sonia Azad likes is Fooducate and Caroline Susie agrees.

The Fooducate app lets you scan grocery store items and gives you a letter grade based on ingredients.

And finally for anyone with IBS or digestive issues, tracking which foods sit well with you and which ones don't can be a game-changer. 

Sonia uses Find Me Gluten-Free and FODMAP from Monash University. Both were recommended to her by her dietitian. Susie also recommends Cara Care and Bowelle.