Essential apps for your diabetes toolbox
In recent years we’ve seen the arrival of a new tool in the ‘diabetes toolbox’ and it isn’t a new diet or pill. In fact, it’s found inside the smartphone that you likely carry everywhere you go. For people who live with diabetes, many are discovering the benefits of using mobile apps for helping with everything from carb counting to fitness tracking to healthy cooking and blood glucose (BG) monitoring. So how do you know which one might be helpful for you?
- Carbs & Cals: Diet & Diabetes – The Carbs & Cals app contains 3,500+ food photos to help you get your portion size just right. Up to 6 portion photos are provided for each food item and you can choose from carbs, calories, protein, fat, saturated fat, fibre, alcohol units and 5-a-day fruit & veg for the nutrition information provided. You can track meals, snacks and exercise too. Carbs&Cals is available for iOS and Android and costs $4.99.
- Calorie King® - Provides a quick reference database for easy searching of over 100,000 food items and a full nutrient breakdown is provided. It includes fast food chains and allows barcode scanning. Keep in mind that it is an American database so you won’t be able to find all Canadian restaurants and food products. The CalorieKing Calorie Counter is only available on iOS. It is free to download and use, but is supported by advertising.
App users have been shown to increase exercise levels and have more positive results in managing their weight. Try a few out and see what works best to get you moving more to help balance out those blood glucose levels.
- MyFitnessPal - A smartphone app and website that track exercise to help meet health and weight loss goals. It also allows tracking of food intake by scanning the barcodes of various food items or manually add them in to the database of over five million different foods. MyFitnessPal is available on both iOS and Android and is free to download and use, but is supported by advertising.
- If you enjoy walking, running or biking, GPS based apps like Strava, Map My Ride/Walk/Run/Fitness and Nike Run Club track your distance, speed, pace and progress over time. You can discover new routes wherever you are and challenge friends to meet new goals. Share your workouts with followers who can provide encouragement and supportive messages helping you to stay committed to your fitness routine. They are all available on both iOS and Android, they sync with multiple trackers and watches and are free with the option of in-app purchases.
Blood Glucose Monitoring Apps
And last but certainly not least, there are many options to help you with blood glucose monitoring and diabetes tracking apps to help you manage your individual blood glucose challenges. Bluetooth® connectivity allows us to simplify diabetes management and data sharing by integrating BG results with food, insulin and activity into a smartphone. The most downloaded diabetes app in Canada* is the One Touch Reveal® app, which wirelessly connects with the One Touch Verio Flex® blood glucose meter. It uses ColourSure® technology to transform your BG data into quick, visual personalized snapshots that can highlight when you have been repeatedly out of range. The app is available for iOS and Android and can be downloaded for free.
*As reported for all diabetes management apps downloaded in Canada in 2017 from Google Play and Apple iOS App Stores. Research2Guidance data Q42017.
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