Last updated August 16th 2015
Eating healthier is perhaps one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Yet, many of us know from experience that it is easier said than done. Well, it’s never too late to recommit to a healthier eating regiment (especially in the summer!), whether it is to finally reach that ideal weight, to get fitter, to stick to a more restrictive dietary lifestyle like veganism, or to simply eat more balanced, nutritious meals.
NoCamels profiles five of the hottest Israeli apps that make eating healthier a piece of cake.
Fooducate: Know what you eat
Eating better starts with knowing better. Fooducate, a free app created by Israeli entrepreneur Hemi Weingarten, is informing consumers on the contents of the food they buy, so they can make healthier purchases. The app’s main feature is the “food finder,” which lets people scan the barcode of a food item in any US chain supermarket to see its nutrition grade, a brief explanation on why it got the score it did, and healthier alternatives.
SEE ALSO: Israeli ‘Fooducate’ Wins App Competition
Using the app, you can instantly scan and see that a certain brand of breakfast cereals has a nutrition rating of A minus, for example, because it is made of 100 percent whole grain and has more than 12 percent of the daily recommended dose of fiber. The app also has information about food products from fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, among others. And for an additional fee (starting at $2.99 a month), you can buy premium features like the gluten and allergies food scanner and even a pet food scanner. Fooducate’s impressive database has information on over 200,000 foods, and is growing. With millions of downloads to date, Fooducate plans to expand into Western European markets in the future.
Nutrino: The nutritionist that fits in your pocket
How often do you find yourself thinking, “What should I eat today”? Nutrino, a free data-driven, personalized food recommendation app, can answer that question for you. Founded by Jonathan Lipnik and Yaron Hadad in Israel, the app first gathers information on your health status, health goals, and food taste preferences, and then suggests tailored dishes for all of your meals and snacks. The suggestions come with recipes and nutritional information, and the ingredients for the recipes can be instantly added onto your Nutrino grocery list. You log what you eat as you go, and the app helps you monitor your progress and gives tips on how to stay on track.
A novel aspect of Nutrino is that it can connect to fitness apps and wearable devices such as Fitbit and Runkeeper to take into account physical activity, sleep and biomarkers, all of which contribute to creating the optimal food plan for each user. Whatever your health goal is – be it losing weight, gaining muscle, or simply eating better – Nutrino says it can help.
MakeMyPlate: The not-so-secret ingredient for a successful diet
You shouldn’t have to skip meals or subscribe to expensive diet programs to lose weight. With the MakeMyPlate app, you can get on a balanced, healthy diet plan for free. Founded by Israeli psychologist Alin Cooperman, the app presents a visual list of suggested plates you are to eat every day. The meals are balanced, based on expert nutritional guidelines, and come out to 1,200 calories in total. The visual interface gives you a sense of how large the portions should be. But if you’re not in the mood for the egg sandwich, or tuna salad the app suggests for lunch, you can easily select another plate with a similar calorie count and nutritional breakdown – say, a whole wheat pita stuffed with hummus and veggies.
SEE ALSO: The Online Visual Nutrition Guide
While the main weight loss plan is free, there are premium plans like The Ultimate New York Diet and the Paleo Plan, among others, which are designed by celebrity nutritionists and cost $4.99. For a more interactive experience, check out the MakeMyPlate website, where you can keep an online food diary by dragging and dropping photos of foods to create virtual plates that mirror what you eat.
My Diet Coach: Easy diet tracking
It’s time to keep track of your diet more quickly and efficiently than ever before with the My Diet Coach app for Apple Watch. With a simple tap on the Apple Watch screen or by voice activation, users can log their food and water intake in a matter of seconds, distinguishing it from smartphone apps that require a little more time to input information. Anat Levy, the CEO and founder of My Diet Coach, argues that this small saving will make a big difference.
Luckily for those who are not ready to invest in an Apple Watch just yet, the app is available on smartphones and comes with even more features. The smartphone version, which has been downloaded by 8 million users, offers personalized motivation – flashing animated reminders of your health goals, providing specific tips for maintaining your diet in situations like “eating out” and “emotional eating,” and even helping you fight off cravings with the “panic button,” which counts down the 20 minutes needed to resist before the craving goes away.
Go Vegan: Finding vegan dishes near you
Eating out no longer has to be a hassle for those leading a vegan lifestyle with the location-based Go Vegan app. Launched in January 2013 by Israeli tech developer Yehuda Goldner, the app displays a large selection of vegan dishes and the restaurants that serve them – including restaurants that are not entirely vegan and are not usually on vegans’ radars. Using the app is simple: Type in your address, pick what you want to eat from a visual list of dishes, and the app will give you directions to a restaurant that serves the dish (and its price!). Users can help improve the app by leaving reviews, sharing new dishes and restaurants, and reporting any mistakes.
Currently, the app is only available for use in Israel and San Francisco, but plans to expand to Las Vegas and Los Angeles are under way. Goldner tells NoCamels that he became a full vegan four years ago for personal, health and ethical reasons. “I wanted to put my past experience as a tech developer to good use and make the vegan lifestyle more accessible.”
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