The Diet Detective: 6 iPhone Apps to Improve Your Health

Here are a few iPhone apps that can help you live a healthier life.


Producer: Fooducate
The company was founded by Hemi Weingarten, a tech entrepreneur, foodie and father of three young children.

Price: Free
Ratings: 184 ratings / 4.5 stars

Coolness Factor: I was shown this app by a colleague at Hunter College in New York City and was really impressed. It's more than just a neat party trick and will surprise even top nutrition gurus. You simply hold the phone over the bar code of a food product and it scans the food into your phone and gives you nutrition information and a rating.

Overview (from the App producer):

  • Automatically scan a product bar code.
  • See product highlights (both good & bad).
  • Compare products.
  • Select better alternatives.
  • Dig deeper and learn more about food and nutrition.
  • Uses iPhone's camera to effortlessly scan UPC bar code.
  • Over 200,000 unique products and growing daily.
  • Works on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Fooducate analyzes information found in each product's nutrition panel and ingredient list. You get to see the stuff manufacturers don't want you to notice, such as excessive sugar, trans fats, additives and preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and controversial food colorings.

Instant Heart Rate

Producer: Azumio
Price: Free
Ratings: 49 ratings / 3.5 stars

Coolness Factor: I'm fascinated by heart-rate monitors, and while this app doesn't really help while you are exercising, at the very least it can show how fast your heart is recovering from exercise.

Overview (from the App producer): Instant Heart Rate is the most accurate heart-rate monitor app for iPhone and it does not need any external hardware. Independently tested by nurses, MDs, EMTs and fitness coaches.

Easy to Use: Takes less than 10 seconds from opening the app to getting a reading. Place your finger gently over the camera. Hold it steady for at least 10 seconds. Your current heart rate will be shown on the display. It works by tracking color changes in the light that passes through your finger.

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