What Healthcare Professionals Think of “Nutrition & Diet” Apps - Newport Paper House

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What Healthcare Professionals Think of “Nutrition & Diet” Apps

Smartphones are a miracle of modern life, they connect us to the worldwide net, making our lives more fun and easier. They help us in almost all spheres of life, including weight loss. Actually, there are plenty of diet monitoring apps, and many people find them super convenient & effective. Some users even compare diet apps with essential kitchen appliances that help achieve nutritional goals. Moreover, high-quality apps can tell how to properly store meals and why choosing the best food saver is important.

But what does science tell us about diet apps for weight loss? Do they really help maintain balanced eating patterns and prevent nutrition-related diseases? Keep reading to find out the answers!

This post will provide you with the correct, science-backed information on “nutrition and diet” apps. We’ll also briefly discuss the best apps available on today’s market.

Do Diet Apps Really Work?

weight loss

Healthcare professionals (HCP) seek effective assessment tools to help patients improve their dietary patterns. Many HCPs acknowledge that mobile health technology is promising since it may help to understand and record what, how much, and when people eat, which is an important part of the dietary assessment process.

In fact, surveys on how healthcare professionals use diet apps have already been conducted. For instance, an international study conducted among sports dietitians showed that about 30 percent of them use nutrition and diet apps in their daily practices and consider them helpful for monitoring and assessment. In another research, HPCs mention that diet apps enhance outcomes of patients suffering from diabetes and obesity when compared to traditional methods.

On the other hand, a Canadian study found that some dietitians who are enthusiastic about using diet apps in general, describe some challenges with their use and express a few concerns related to the lack of accuracy, credibility, or content in some apps.

So, let’s take a closer look at diet apps advantages and drawbacks.

mobile apps

Pros:

            Using diet apps reduces healthcare costs.

            Mobile dietary monitoring tools can reduce measurement errors compared to conventional methods, which is vital for patients with various diseases, e.g., diabetes, obesity, and more.

            Everyone can find the right tool for oneself, depending on the health condition and interests. For example, those who suffer from diabetes will appreciate diet apps for diabetics; obese people might find diet apps with meal plans helpful; fitness fans will definitely enjoy diet apps for athletes. 

            Quality diet apps allow users to assess much more than just calories. They can show sugar, saturated fat, healthy fats, protein, carbs, fiber, and even micronutrients like potassium and iron. This feature helps to understand how balanced the meals are and target certain nutrients for health conditions a person is trying to address.

            Due to some apps, people can monitor not only their diet but also their physical activity.

            Diary diet apps help people make the right food choices. Unfortunately, mindless eating is prevalent, and people do it almost all the time without realizing it. But once a person commits to tracking what he/she eats, it makes him/her think twice before taking a bite.

            Using diet apps is fun and it helps people to stay motivated. There are lots of various options that help maintain user’s interest, e.g., diet apps with recipes.

Cons:

            Many diet apps require payment, and some users are not willing to pay. On the other hand, paying for the app is much more budget-friendly than consulting clinicians.

            Although most diet apps have an intuitive interface, the elderly may find them difficult to operate. They need some assistance and time to understand how to use a diet app.

            Diet apps need to be updated often, some users find it inconvenient.

            It can freeze and slow the phone down.

            Some diary diet apps can be a time-suck since they ask users to manually enter every ingredient in certain meals, e.g., salads.

            Lack of nutritional information and missing foods in some apps.

            Nutrient estimation can be incorrect.

            Local food composition can not be supported.

To sum up, this study and this study show that lots of healthcare professionals use diet apps in their daily practice and recommend them to their patients for self-monitoring of dietary and physical behaviors. HPCs believe that these apps can improve patients' outcomes. However, some improvements need to be done to make diet apps operation smoother and more user-friendly.

body metrics

The Most Popular Nutrition and Diet Apps

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

iOS - 4.5 stars

Android - 4.5 stars

Features:

   Oriented towards weight loss

    A robust data bank of 5 million of foods & dishes

   User-friendly interface

    The full functionality requires a subscription of $50 per year or $10 per month.

 

MyPlate Calories Tracker

iOS - 4.5 stars

Android - 4.5 stars

Features:

    A nutritional data bank of 2.000.000 foods

    Tracks water intake, calories, and macronutrients

    Users can create charts and graphs to maintain good food habits

    The most useful features require a subscription of $9.99 per month or $44.99 per year

 

Calorie Counter & Food Diary

iOS - 4.5 stars

Android - 4 stars

Features:

    Users can plan their meals and monitor their adherence

    Users can track their fitness regimen

    The app is compatible with fitness trackers

    It can scan barcodes to get nutritional information

   User-friendly interface

   Full functionality is unlocked with an annual subscription of $40 per month.

Food Intolerances

iOS -  4 stars, $5.99

Android - 4 stars, $4.99

Features:

    Designed for people with food sensitivities and allergies

    Database of many categories of foods, but not particular products

   The iOS version of the app is more feature-rich than the Android version.

Shopwell

iOS - 4.5 stars, free

Android - 3.5 stars, free

Features:

    Helps users make healthy choices at a grocery store

   Can scan barcodes of products

   Some grocery stores don’t participate

 

Carbs Control

iOS - 3.5 stars, $2.99

Android - 3.5 stars, $2.99

Features:

    This app is the right for diabetics and those on a low-carb diet

   Help monitor carbohydrates

    A food diary is generated automatically

   Data bank of 100.000 products

   Is not good at monitoring other nutrients.

Conclusion

If you want to try one of many diet apps, make sure it’s appropriate to your aims and keeps you motivated, otherwise, it can be just a time-waster.

Hopefully, our post will be helpful for you!

 Bio : Malcolm Cano
He is a chef in the past and the editor of a print media about cooking till nowadays. Big fan of dieting, kitchen design, and everything related to it. After years of work in the culinary field, Malcolm writes very useful and interesting articles about the kitchen and has a lot of personal recipes that he would like to share.

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