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by Health By Principle

Top 4 Best Free Food Analyzer Apps to Help You Eat Healthily


by Rachel Welch

In the peak of summertime, there are often beach trips, pool days, and hot weather that warrant a more revealing summer wardrobe to stay cool. Unfortunately, it is sometimes easy to feel insecure about weight, physical appearance, or calorie consumption when we dive into these summer habits, and society certainly isn’t shy about adding pressure.


While you should always love your body, no matter its shape, size, or temporary state, sometimes you just want to dive into a tangible plan that can give you a new sense of control over your health goals. This is where food tracker and food analyzer apps come into helpful play. It is simple enough on paper to know what to eat and what not to eat, but often in practice, calories get lost in the cracks, or certain meals leave us with a big question mark. Was that food healthy? How did it fare with macros: protein, fiber, carbs, or overall nutrition?


Luckily, there are some excellent, free apps out there that can help remove the guesswork while giving you full control and insight over your eating habits, calories, macros, and more. Here are some of our favorite free food analyzer apps to help you eat healthy and live well with minimal effort needed.


Food analyzer app basics:


When starting the comparison of these food analyzer apps to assess which one is right for you, it’s helpful to fine-tune what you want to focus on. Some apps are stronger at some features than others. Otherwise, most food analyzer apps cover a set of basic features to help users track their diet, monitor nutritional intake, and make informed choices about their food. While specific features can vary between apps, here are some of the common basics that you can expect to find in most food analyzer apps:


  • Food Database: A comprehensive database of foods is at the core of any food analyzer app. This includes a wide range of items such as brand-name products, generic foods, fresh produce, and homemade recipes. Ideally, your food analyzer will have a hefty base of knowledge, so you don’t have to spend time inputting data manually.


  • Nutritional Information: Apps provide detailed nutritional information for foods, including calories, macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more. This is crucial, as nutritional content is one of the most important areas to focus on when tracking food.


  • Portion Sizes: Users can specify the portion size they consumed or plan to consume, which affects the accuracy of the nutritional calculations. In our society of chronically huge portion sizes, this can help remind us of what is an appropriate portion and help us rebalance our quantity of consumption.


  • Food Logging: Users can log the foods they've eaten throughout the day by searching the database, scanning barcodes, or manually entering details.


  • Customization: Many apps allow users to set personal goals, such as weight loss, maintenance, or muscle gain. The app calculates recommended daily calorie intake based on these goals and activity levels.


  • Calorie Tracking: Apps provide a breakdown of daily calorie consumption, showing how many calories you've consumed and how many remain based on your goals.


  • Macronutrient Tracking: You can monitor your intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which is essential for following specific diets or aiming for balanced nutrition. For example, if your goal is to weight train and gain substantial amounts of protein, this is a helpful feature to help track that.


  • Exercise Tracking: Many apps include the ability to log physical activities and estimate the calories burned during workouts. This information is factored into your daily calorie budget.


  • Barcode Scanner: A barcode scanning feature allows users to scan packaged food items to input nutritional information into their diary quickly. This can be such a time saver when logging every food, especially if you cook at home with an assortment of ingredients.


  • Meal Planning: Users can create and save meal plans, making it easier to log frequently consumed meals.


  • Water Tracking: Some apps allow users to track their water intake alongside their food and exercise. Hydration is a crucial puzzle piece in weight management and healthy living, so it should also be on your radar.


  • Progress Tracking: Very similar to calorie tracking, users can track their weight, measurements, and other health markers over time to monitor their progress. It’s fun and beneficial to track progress as you go. There are few things as satisfying as seeing the marker on a chart get closer to your target goal, and studies support that this is a helpful feature to ensure your success.


  • Community and Social Sharing: Many apps offer a community aspect where users can connect with friends, share achievements, and provide encouragement. If you need accountability to thrive, this is a great feature to have on your list of priorities.


  • Recipes and Cooking: Some apps offer recipe features, allowing users to input their own recipes or find new ones with nutritional information. If you need help with recipes to work in your rainbow of food groups, this can be a useful resource.


  • Integration with Other Apps and Devices: Some apps can sync data with fitness trackers, smart scales, and other health apps, offering a seamless experience across platforms.


With these basic features in mind, here are our top four recommended apps and the features that they include.


First Place: Lose It!


Lose It! is a comprehensive weight loss and calorie tracking app available on both iOS and Android platforms. It focuses on helping users manage their weight and overall health by providing tools to track food intake, exercise, and other health-related activities. Here's some basic information about Lose It!:


  • Food Tracking: Free
  • Nutritional Information: Free
  • Lose It! provides detailed nutritional information, including calories, macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat), vitamins, and minerals, based on the logged food items.
  • Customization: Free
  • Exercise Tracking: Free
  • Barcode Scanner: Free
  • Community and Social Sharing: Free
  • Product Ratings and Analysis: Free
  • Healthy Eating Challenges: Free
  • Other things to note about Lose It!:
  • A premium subscription unlocks advanced features for more detailed tracking and insights.
  • The premium subscription cost starts at $39.99/year. If you choose to branch out to a lifetime membership, you can upgrade your annual membership with a one-time fee of $149.99, and then you have it for life. (Or at least for as long as it exists).
  • While the free version offers robust tracking and analysis tools, the premium subscription enhances the user experience for those seeking more in-depth features.


Second Place: MyFitnessPal


MyFitnessPal is a popular and widely used free food analyzer app designed to help users track their diet, monitor their nutritional intake, and set fitness goals. It's available on both iOS and Android platforms and can also be accessed via a web browser. When you start the process of setting up an account with MyFitnessPal, it will ask you a series of goal-oriented questions to assess your main goal, barriers you’ve faced in the past, and things that are motivating to you.


Once you’re in, you can decide if you want the Premium (paid) version with its extra features or if you want the free version. We’ve listed out the features that are included and which ones are only available with the upgraded version. Additionally, you can review some of the free features and any cons that come with them.


  • Food Tracking: Free
  • Nutritional Information: Free
  • Premium: To set specific macro goals and track progress in that way, you would have to upgrade to premium.
  • Customization: Free
  • Premium: To set specific protein, fiber, and carb goals, you need premium.
  • Exercise Tracking: Free
  • Barcode Scanner: Premium
  • Meal Planning: Premium
  • Community and Social Sharing: Free
  • Water Tracking: Free
  • Challenges and Progress Tracking: Free
  • Other things to note about MyFitnessPal:
  • To go ad-free, you have to subscribe to premium
  • Their premium cost is $79.99/year, or $19.99/month
  • They offer a one-month free trial before you are charged


Third Place: Fooducate


Fooducate is a nutrition and wellness app designed to help users make healthier food choices by providing them with detailed information about the nutritional content and quality of various food products. It's available for both iOS and Android devices. The app aims to educate users about the nutritional value of foods, enabling them to make more informed decisions while grocery shopping and planning meals. Here's some basic information about Fooducate:


  • Food Tracking: Free
  • Nutritional Information: Free
  • Includes a breakdown of protein, carbs, and fat and their calories based on your log.
  • Customization: Free
  • Exercise Tracking: Free
  • Barcode Scanner: Free
  • Community and Social Sharing: Free
  • Product Ratings and Analysis: Free
  • Healthy Eating Challenges: Free
  • Other things to note about Fooducate:
  • A premium subscription provides more advanced features and insights.
  • Premium cost is reasonable, at $6.99/month after a 30-day free trial.
  • While the free version offers valuable tools, the premium subscription enhances the depth of analysis and customization.


Fourth Place: MyPlate


For the visual learners out there, MyPlate is different from your standard food tracker as it uses a visual nutrition guide. Their guide was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help individuals make healthier food choices and build balanced meals. It replaced the Food Pyramid as a simpler and more intuitive way to understand how to create a balanced and nutritious diet. MyPlate uses a plate icon divided into sections to represent the proportions of different food groups that should make up a healthy meal. Here is some basic information about MyPlate:


Visual Representation: MyPlate uses a circular plate divided into four colored sections, each representing a different food group. The sections are usually colored green, red, orange, and purple.


Food Groups: The plate is divided into the following food groups:

  • Fruits: Represented by the red section, this group includes a variety of fresh, whole fruits.
  • Vegetables: Represented by the green section, this group includes a wide range of vegetables, both raw and cooked.
  • Protein: Represented by the purple section, this group includes protein-rich foods such as lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
  • Dairy: You can easily set and track goals for daily dairy consumption and mark off the goals as you go.
  • Grains: Represented by the orange section, this group includes foods like whole grains (e.g., brown rice, whole wheat bread) and refined grains (e.g., white rice, white bread).


With a helpful assortment of free tracking features at your fingertips, you can easily begin tracking and analyzing your daily food habits. Research confirms that just as keeping a migraine journal can be hugely beneficial to your health, so can keeping a food diary. If you want a bit more control and understanding over your food habits, nutrition goals, and calories, try out any of these four apps to see if you like them. It is always empowering to take more control over your weight and overall health.

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