Nutritionist’s Picks for Best Food Tracking Apps


FoodDiaryScreenShotWhether you’re counting carbs for glucose management, crunching calories for weight loss or beefing up your protein intake to build muscle mass, food tracking apps can be an invaluable resource for your health and fitness goals. A novelty a few years ago, these apps are now in abundance giving us multiple options, large food databases and a myriad of features to suit any user’s needs.

These apps range in price from Free to Cheap and may come with additional fee-based options offering higher tech, upgraded features. User preferences vary from person to person so check out these top 4 apps and see if one would be a good fit for you.

Lose It

  • Sets a custom daily calorie budget to help you achieve weight management goals.
  • Tracks your food, exercise and weight.
  • Tracks major nutrients including carbohydrates, fats, protein, fiber and sodium.
  • Reports include daily and weekly summaries that can be printed or emailed.
  • Food database has thousands of restaurant, grocery store and brand name foods.
  • Has a barcode scanner for quick entry of new food products.
  • Allows you to build your own recipes and meals.
  • Can connect you with public groups for motivation and support as well as connect you with friends and family through Facebook or Twitter.
  • Integrates with Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Nike+ Fuelband, Withings and Fitbit Body Scales.

Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

  • Gives you customized goals based on your age, gender, activity level, etc.
  • Allows you to enter your own goals if you’ve been given specific recommendations from a doctor or dietitian.
  • Food database has over 3 million foods.
  • Fast and easy food and exercise entry.
  • Remembers your favorite foods, allows you to add multiple foods at once, and allows you to enter your own recipes, foods, and meals.
  • Has a barcode scanner for quick entry of new food products.
  • Tracks the major nutrients including calories, fat, protein, carbs, sugar, fiber, and cholesterol.
  • Integrates with Fitbit, Jawbone UP and other activity tracking devices to monitor your daily step progress on the MyFitnessPal home screen.
  • Allows you to enter your own calorie amounts (if you’re using a Heart Rate Monitor).

Calorie Counter Pro by MyNetDiary

  • Provides up to 45 nutrients including carbohydrates, all types of fats, protein, sugars, fiber, sodium, cholesterol and vitamins.
  • Tracks exercise.
  • Nutrition database of 600,000 foods.
  • Has barcode scanner for quick entry of new food products.
  • Tracks daily steps, blood pressure, hours of sleep and work.
  • Has a Food Photo feature where you can take pictures of food labels and submit them for the Pro team to add to the database.
  • Has a Community Forum supported by a Registered Dietitian.
  • Integrates with Fitbit, Withings, Jawbone UP and Twitter.

Go Meals (Powered by Calorie King)

  • Its nutrition information database is powered by CalorieKing and includes 40,000 everyday foods and more than 20,000 restaurant menu items.
  • Provides calories, carbs, total fat, and protein data.
  • Has a Restaurant Locator for browsing restaurant menus to see nutritional information on thousands of food choices. Helps you pick where and what to eat. Includes a map and location of the ones closest to you.
  • Has a feature for tracking blood glucose levels. Meal and exercise tags as well as customized entry notes can be added next to your numbers. Tracks your highs and lows and is an easy way to share your readings with your provider.
  • Food intake is displayed on a plate which gives you an easy visual of the distribution of carbs, protein, and fat you’ve consumed.
  • Activity tracker lets you browse and log cardio and strength exercises and select intensity level.
  • Syncs with Fitbit.

Roasting Vegetables

Roasting vegetables has become my preferred way of cooking them. I roast all of ‘em!! Here is one of my family’s faves- Roasted Asparagus.

You can use any thickness of asparagus for this recipe. It all comes down to preference. The thick asparagus becomes creamy on the inside with a little bit of crispness on the outside. The thin ones become crunchy. We call them "healthy French fries" at my house. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Oven Roasted Asparagus
Makes 4 Servings



2 bunches fresh asparagus (about 2-3 pounds)
1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
⅓ tsp salt or seasoned salt
¼ tsp black pepper


-Trim the starchy bottom ends (about 2 inches) from the asparagus spears and discard. Wash and air- or pat-dry the spears.

-Spray a jelly roll pan with vegetable cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
-Make 2 piles of asparagus on the pan.
-Drizzle the olive oil equally over both piles. Toss asparagus until well coated.
-Layer the asparagus in a single layer.
-Evenly season with salt and pepper.
-Roast in a pre-heated 400° oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. (Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your asparagus).
-For even browning, rotate the pan 180° half way through the cooking time.


Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories: 104, Carbs: 11 gm, Fiber: 6 gm, Protein: 6 gm, Total Fat: 5.5 gm, Saturated Fat: 1 gm, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 198 mg

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.


For a printer-friendly version of this blog post, click here.



About Author

Cathy Greer Mazanec, MPH, RDN, LDN

Cathy is the Senior Manager of Nutrition and Healthy Living Programs at SAS Institute Inc in Cary, NC. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, functional medicine nutritionist, blogger and food photographer. Cathy's specialties include integrative and functional nutrition, gut health, food allergies and intolerances and culinary nutrition. She is also a Certified Biofeedback instructor. An avid lover of the outdoors, Cathy spends her free time biking, golfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, sitting under the stars and spending time with her grandson. Follow @CmazanecRD on Twitter.

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