The internet is overflowing with advice about nutrition and hydration. Some of it is even useful advice.
Here are some apps – all of which are compatible with at least iOS and Android – that, hopefully, fall into the “useful” category.
Carbs & Cals
According to consultant dietitian Paula Mee, co-author of Your Middle Years, this app provides up to six portion photos for each item, making it ideal for improving portion control and weight management. "All you have to do is look at the food on your plate, find the food in the app, choose the relevant portion size and add it to the meal calculator. It then calculates your estimated calorie and nutrient intake and gives you daily targets for carbs, cals, protein and fats." Cost: €5.49.
My Fitness Pal
"This app has a massive food database in sync with its website so you can count calories cross-platform. It has a recipe calculator and the ability to add multiple items at once. There is also a good fitness tracker for cardio and strength training," says Mee. Other features include a barcode scanner, a recipe importer with nutrition information, a food insights sections offering guidance on healthier food choices, a water tracker to monitor hydration, as well as a nutrient tracker for calories, fat, protein, carbs, sugar, fibre, vitamins, minerals and more."
"Lose It! is a popular weight loss aid," says Mee. "The app uses the proven principles of calorie tracking to help you succeed. It's easy to use: enter your profile details and goal weight, and the app calculates a daily calorie budget that's best for you. Then track your food, weight, and activity and you're off. It tracks calories, macro and micro-nutrients, water, health, and body measurement goals and you can search a database or use a barcode scanner to easily scan in foods you've eaten."
TOP fruit hub
Another app strongly recommended by Mee, TOP fruit hub finds fun ways to get kids to eat more of what's best for them: a one-stop shop for video recipes, games and competitions. There's a TOP recipe library, a fun "fruit finders" game for kids, a competition portal and handy QR code reader with a link to recipe suggestions and nutrition tips. Links to fun social media channels allow users to share favourite recipes with friends, and post games scores.
This hydration reminder and tracker helps you track how much water you are drinking. For optimum results, it uses your body weight and individual goals to set target levels. Your intake is visually displayed as cup images, while your history of water consumption is shown in chart form.