Have you heard about apps for gluten-free living, but aren’t sure what they can offer you and which one to use?
Some people avoid gluten by choice, while others avoid it for health reasons. With 3 million Americans having celiac disease, according to the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago Medicine, gluten-free living is extremely common. There are diet plans, special food brands, and coaching lessons that can help people ease into their gluten-free lives, but some of the most useful and affordable tools are mobile apps.
From finding nearby restaurants and relevant recipes, to deciphering food labels, apps have made many elements of gluten-free living easier.
1. Know Your Body
When gluten-free, it’s important to know what's really affecting your body. Did you go out to dinner one night and come back with an upset stomach? Maybe you ate at your friend’s house and are not sure if it was the bread or the dessert that made you feel sick. Use the food and symptom tracker app, mySymptoms, to figure out exactly what’s triggering your symptoms. People love this app because you can record everything you eat and drink, and the app’s algorithm identifies what’s causing the problems. You can also record other things that could be causing you to have the symptoms, like sleep patterns, stress, and energy levels. You can easily save the records by exporting them to a PDF document if you want to bring them to your doctor.
2. Find What’s Right For You
Many times people who avoid gluten are scared to eat at restaurants for fear that there will be gluten in a dish. But with the right app, there’s nothing to worry about. After learning about the foods that trigger your symptoms, use the information to find the perfect restaurant to fit your needs.
Two popular apps in this category are Find Me Gluten Free and AllergyEats. Find Me Gluten Free is known to be the Yelp of gluten-free eating. You can use the interactive map in the app to find gluten-free restaurants near you, or use it when you’re traveling, and you can even read past customer reviews to see if it’s worth going to. AllergyEats was started in 2010 after its founder struggled to find a good restaurant to take his three kids who had food allergies to. The app rates allergy-friendly restaurants around the world, and has a database of over 850,000 restaurants. If you travel a lot, check out the Food Tripping app. The app has a list of restaurants, coffee shops, farmer’s markets, and stores that can save you when you’re looking for a gluten-free bite on-the-go.
A lot of people who avoid gluten prefer to eat out, as it’s easier than finding a recipe and cooking a gluten-free meal for themselves or their family. But if you’re not so into eating out and prefer to dine in, there are apps that can be your saving grace. Take the Yummly app, for example. It’s a free iOS and Android app that can help you find recipes tailored to your specific needs. Whether you or your kids are picky eaters, just like to avoid gluten, or have severe celiac disease, the smart recipe database can help you find meals you’ll love and that are good for you. The app is even integrated with the popular grocery-ordering-app, Instacart, so you can order your groceries. If that sounds like it’s up your alley, you can also give Lose It! a try. It’s similar to Yummly, the only difference being that it’s more focused on weight loss than food allergies. It helps you track your calorie intake and physical activity, and it also has a built-in community to share recipes and health inspiration with.
3. Shop Smart
Anyone who’s gluten-free knows that there are gluten-free foods that are actually healthy, and then there are those that are far from it. That’s why so many people rely on the app, ShopWell. It’s a free app available for iOS and Android that makes you a better and smarter grocery shopper. You can use the app to scan the barcodes of items in the grocery store, and the app will tell you how healthy the certain item is for you based on calories, allergies, and other nutritional information.
If you try to avoid packaged foods and prefer going natural with fruits and vegetable, try Harvest. The app is extremely simply to use and tells you what produce is in season so that you end up only buying the best. The app aims to get you to eat healthier by helping you choose the most delicious and flavorful produce based on ripeness. It even gives tips to help you choose the best pack of strawberries in the bunch.
4. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
There are also apps that can get you eating healthier by keeping you informed about the foods you eat like MyFitnessPal and Fooducate, which let you know about the quality of your calories. What exactly does this mean? It means that 250 calories of coke isn’t the same as 250 calories of chickpeas. MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular calorie-counting apps out there and has tons of positive reviews on the App Store. It lets you input the foods you’ve eaten throughout the day, so that you can easily see your good and bad choices. It also has a food log that can be used to keep track of your food intake and calorie count. Fooducate’s health tracker empowers you to achieve your diet, health, and fitness goals. It creates pie charts for you to see the quality of your calories from a score of A to D, and has an extensive database of healthy food products.
Gluten-Free With Ease
Before apps for gluten-free living became popular, it was difficult to avoid gluten and other food allergies. Going to restaurants was tough, cooking homemade meals was frustrating, and grocery shopping and finding gluten-free items seemed almost impossible. Luckily, with the apps that are available today, gluten-free living is more accessible and achievable than ever before. So next time you feel frustrated about gluten-free living, remember, there’s an app for that!