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Using apps can make living with a food allergy or intolerance a lot easier and help to keep you safe and healthy. Whether you need to find an allergy friendly restaurant, or want to know which foods contain allergens apps can help.
As we have discussed many times, living with food intolerances is not easy. Finding out what you can eat is challenge number one. To do this you need an accurate diagnosis, proper food labeling, and to know what to choose when you are eating out. The list of challenges is a long one to say the least.
Fortunately, there are ways to simplify things for yourself. One of the easiest ways to do exactly that is to tap into and use new technology.
Food allergy apps
The fact that more people are developing food intolerances and allergies means that people are finally developing apps and software that are designed to help you to live a gluten free, or lactose free life. Below I provide a round up of the best of these apps and software.
Please help by listing the food intolerance apps you use
If you are currently using something that has helped you, please take the time to comment and let others know about it.
Diagnosis of food intolerance using apps
Given that getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in solving your problems I decided to start by looking for apps that help with diagnosis. To be honest, I did not expect to find any, but much to my surprise I did.
App to help you better understand your food intolerance
It takes time to get a handle on exactly what types of foods you should be avoiding. The Food Intolerance app can really help you with this. This app takes an in-depth look at each issue including some of the rarer conditions like histamine intolerance and Salicylate intolerance. Using it you can review what you need to know wherever you happen to be. Perhaps on the train on the way home from work, or during your lunch break. Being able to absorb the information you need in little bytes, makes it easier to digest the information, and learn what you need to know.
Food intolerance shopping apps
Once you know which food items you have issues with the next hurdle is going shopping. As most of you shopping is a minefield. Especially if you have a gluten intolerance because as well as avoiding most grains and starches you have to stop eating a lot of food additives that are used to make common food stuffs.
Remembering this long list is hard to say the least, and it is a pain having to read through every label is really annoying, not to mention time consuming. Fortunately, there is an app available that can make going shopping a lot easier.
NxtNutri food intolerance and allergy apps
NxtNutri have come up with an app that allows you to input the foods and additives that you cannot eat into their app. When shopping, you fire up the app and scan the bar-code on any food that you are thinking of buying. If it contains one of the ingredients that you have flagged in the app you will be warned, and can put it back on the shelf. You can find out more about it here.
Now I am not saying that this app is flawless, but it considerably reduces the risk of your picking up and putting a product that you cannot eat into your basket. As a precaution I would recommend your reading the actual label before actually cooking with it. That way you will pick up any errors the app may make. I do this anyway, because I have noticed that manufacturers have a tendency to change their ingredients sometimes. As a result of this, a couple of times I have ended up eating something I shouldn’t have. So, I always double check everything before actually cooking with it.
Ipiit food intolerance bar code scanning app
Another great food shopping and cooking app is made by ipiit. It is designed for US consumers to quickly determine whether a food they find in the supermarket is safe for them to eat. At the time of writing this piece the creators had added over 300,000 foods to their database, and they are adding more every day.
Currently, it is set up for you to use if you suffer from one of the following food sensitivities, allergies, or digestive disorders:
There are plans to add egg intolerance, and other food sensitivities to the list, at a later date.
Gluten Free product bar code scanning app
The Gluten Free Scanner app is designed to help those who need to eat gluten free to scan their shopping as they go. Currently, the database contains more than 500,000 food products. Unusually their database is maintained by nutritionists, which seems to be behind why so many users find this a accurate app. Of course, the fact that manufacturers, regularly change their ingredients means that a visual check of the ingredients list is still a good idea.
If you buy the full version there are several useful features. Among the best is the ability to discover new gluten free foods.
Gluten Free Food Checker app for UK users
You may have noticed that a lot of the apps on this page are designed for American consumers. This is quite sad given the fact that millions of people across the world suffer from celiac disease, or cannot eat gluten for other reasons.
Fortunately, food allergy and intolerance apps are starting to pop up in other countries. A great example of this is the Gluten Free Food Checker app that is provided by Coeliac UK, which is a charity that helps sufferers to understand their disease and helps them to lead as full a life as possible. The app is very good, but, currently it is only available to members of Coeliac UK.
There is far more to this app than meets the eye. It has been set up in a way that allows you to manage multiple food allergies. Currently it covers 14 allergens. It is also good to see them providing users with lists of foods that fit their dietary needs. This approach means that you can go shopping and go straight to the products that are suitable. There is no need to pick up individual products and scan the bar codes to find things you can buy.
Gluten intolerance management app
If you suffer from Gluten intolerance there are some great apps out there to help you to manage your condition, but one that stands out from the pack is FindMeGlutenFree. When I did a shout out on Facebook asking which apps people used to help them to manage their food intolerances, this was the app that was mentioned the most on the big gluten free Facebook pages and groups like this one.
For those who live in the USA it is a fantastic way to find gluten friendly restaurants and shops. The community of over 3 million users keeps the app up to date, which makes it a great resource for those with celiac or gluten intolerance.
Spoon Guru app to find recipes for your food allergies
If you find yourself scratching your head trying to come up with a recipe that excludes the foods you cannot eat Spoon Guru is a great place to find a recipe you can use. It looks very beautiful, is intuitive and also has a shopping app with a bar code scanner. It is set up so you just have to scan the bar code of products to find out if you should put it in your basket, or stick it back on the shelf.
Allergy Eats American allergy friendly restaurant app
Eating out with allergies or food intolerances is often a bit of a trial. One of the earliest apps to tackle this issue was Allergy Eats. As with so many of the best apps and tools the person who founded the app, Paul Antico, had personal experience of living with food allergies. Three of his kids suffered from food allergies. The app is really only for the US market, but it is extensive.
It is an award winning app, that has several extra features that you do not find on similar apps. A particularly good feature is the reviews. If you are planning a visit to Disney, you will love their in-depth coverage of the resorts.
App to help Canadian Celiac sufferers save money
I was surprised to learn that the Canadian government gives its citizen’s a tax credit if they have to eat gluten free for medical reasons. To qualify citizens have to keep all of their food receipts for gluten free products. At the end of the year, they tot them up and add them to their tax return. The government then gives them some tax relief on the difference between the cost of specialist food products and the typical cost of similar products. Living with food intolerances is expensive, whether you are gluten, milk or egg intolerant.
Keeping track of everything and totting it all up at the end of year is time consuming, and it is all too easy to make mistakes that invalidate the claim. Which is one reason Justin Gravelle, who is a Burlington-based chartered accountant developed his app, which is called CeliTax.
If you know of any similar schemes in other countries, please take the time to leave a comment. For many people, the cost of living with a food intolerance is hard to bear, so if you know of any government or charity schemes that are designed to spread the cost, I would really like to know about them, so I can share them with others on this website.
CeliHack app for Celiacs and gluten intolerant people
If you cannot eat gluten and want help with cooking gluten free food at home, or fancy eating out the CeliHack app is an excellent resource. The fact that the information has been sourced from people who actually suffer from the condition means that it is really accurate, and therefore extremely helpful.
One of the best features is the fact that you can search by cuisine type, or use the search feature to unearth recipes for ingredients you already have in the cupboard. It is updated on a regular basis, and is well supported, so is well worth giving a try.
Tell me about the apps you use to manage food sensitivity
The above are just a few of the apps that are available to help you to manage your food intolerances. There are loads more, and when I get a bit of time I will add to this page. In the meantime, if there are any food allergy aids that you know about, and use, please tell us about them using the comments section below.
I am also interested in general health and diet apps that you use.
Food intolerance courses
It is also good to see a few people putting together training for those with food intolerances or allergies. Many of them are run buy people who have had to learn the hard way how to live with food sensitivity, so the advice you get is 100% practical and tailored to your specific food issues.
The training is delivered in many different formats. Some in the form of an online course, others in the form of one to one coaching. For example, the owner of Beyond Soy offers both personal coaching and consultancy for business owners. If you suffer from multiple food intolerances, the course offered by Gluten Sugar Dairy Free could prove useful. It is 100% relevant if you cannot eat a combination of gluten, sugar and dairy.