What’s the best nutrition tracker? Review of four popular ones.

Table of Contents

Why I reviewed four popular nutrition trackers

In fall 2016 I created a GET ENOUGH CALCIUM challenge, so wanted to review some popular nutrition trackers I’ve considered using (to actually see if we’re getting enough calcium).

Download my free calcium guides “The Real Deal About Calcium and Your Bones”, and the Calcium Food Chart & Tracker right here.

Of course, these track waaaay more than just calcium!  🙂

The four were:

  • Cron-O-meter
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by SparkPeople
  • HealthWatch 360

Pro Tip: Regardless of the one you choose, you have to be mindful of the serving sizes when entering data.  Check the measures (imperial vs metric).  You can google the conversion.

Cron-O-meter

Here is their demo video:

Cost:

Free on PC; $2.99 for smartphone app; Optional upgrade to “Gold” edition is $5.99/mo or $34.95/yr.

Available on…

PC, Android & iPhone.

Number of nutrients tracked

48 micronutrients (vitamins & minerals), plus macros (protein, fat & carbs), and calories.

Ease of use

Fine.

Divides foods into meals?

No.

Reminds you to enter meals?

Not on the free PC version.

Also tracks…

Exercise, Biometrics (weight, mood, sleep, etc.).

Links with a few different devices (e.g. FitBit).

Connect with others using same app?

No.

Ads?

On the page in the free version, but I don’t find them intrusive.

Overall Impression

Pretty good free software if you don’t need a smartphone version.  I like the user interface with the colour-coded graphs, and it tracks a huge number of nutrients (even vitamin K!).  I don’t like that the foods aren’t sorted by meals.

 

MyFitnessPal

Here is their demo video:

Cost:

Free, with ads & ability to make in-app purchases.  Optional upgrade to paid version.

Available on…

PC, Android & iPhone.

BONUS: Free phone app seamlessly integrates with PC.

Number of nutrients tracked

16

Ease of use

When searching for a food, you can see the measurement units.

Sorts the foods you eat so you can find them easier (“frequent” foods, “recent” foods, etc.).  It also lets you group items together into frequent “meals” and allows you to enter & save your recipes.

Has a built-in barcode scanner (I tried it and it works!).

Divides foods into meals?

Yes.

Reminds you to enter meals?

Can set reminders (never, daily, weekly or monthly).

Also tracks…

Exercise, water, weight.  Can connect with lots of different fitness devices.

Can set weight, nutrition, and fitness goals and graph progress.

Connect with others using same app?

Can invite friends via email or FB.

Ads?

At the bottom of the phone screen, and the top of the PC screen, not too annoying. Premium version is ad-free (CAD$11.99/mo or CAD$57.99/yr).

Overall Impression

Even the free app is a solid choice for ease of use and functionality (paid version would have no ads, and more functionality).

 

Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by SparkPeople

Their demo video appears as a pop-up on this page.

Cost:

Free, with ads. Can upgrade to “SparkPeople Premium” which is ad-free and has more functionality ($4.99/mo or $29.99 as a 1-time payment).

Available on…

PC, Android & iPhone.

BONUS: Free app integrates info on PC & phone.

Number of nutrients tracked

60+

Ease of use

OK.

Has a built-in barcode scanner (I tried it and it works!).

Divides foods into meals?

Yes.

Reminds you to enter meals?

Can set reminders for each meal (or turn them off).

Also tracks…

Water intake, fitness, etc.  Can connect with lots of different fitness devices.

Can set weight, nutrition, and exercise goals.  Can earn “SparkPoints”.

Connect with others using same app?

Chat with other “SparkFriends” on the app in message boards.

Ads?

Annoying & Distracting.  Ads are everywhere. 🙁  Premium version is ad-free (USD$4.99/mo or USD$29.99 1-time payment).

Overall Impression

Too “busy” for me.  Too distracting with ads, “top stories”, chats, etc.

 

HealthWatch 360

Here is their demo video:

Cost:

Free trial for premium ad-free version.  Unclear for how long the trial is, or the cost once the trial is done?

Available on…

PC, Android & iPhone.

In order to sync your phone & PC you have to log out, then log back in (you can only be logged into one or the other at one time).

Number of nutrients tracked

30+

Ease of use

Attractive interface. User-friendly format.

Has a built-in barcode scanner (I tried it and it works!).

Divides foods into meals?

Yes.

Reminds you to enter meals?

No.

Also tracks…

Fitness, symptoms, conditions, medications, sun exposure, supplements, etc. Connects with a few other apps (e.g. FitBit).

I added “sleep quality” and “bone health” as my goals, and it automatically populated a goal of 1,000 mg calcium for me. 🙂

Connect with others using same app?

Ability to join a “special program”.

Ads?

None! 🙂

Overall impression

I love how you can choose health goals beyond nutrition, weight & fitness (I chose sleep quality & bone health).  I wish it tracked more nutrients (vitamin K, boron, etc.), but it tracks quite a few.  I LOVE that they give an ad-free premium membership trial.  I love the user interface.

 

Overall best nutrition tracker?

All of these track calcium, in addition to other nutrients.

In terms of functionality and ease of use I would say that MyFitnessPal wins.

BUT I have chosen to use HealthWatch 360 because of their:

1) Nicer interface,

2) Scientific newsletter and information specific to my health goals (beyond weight, nutrition and fitness), and

3) NO ADS. 🙂

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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.,

Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.

I help health & wellness professionals attract more email subscribers & clients using their blogs. I move them from feeling stumped & overwhelmed to confidently & consistently showing off their expertise. I make credible research-based blogging both strategic & easy, which saves them a ton of time so they can focus on what lights them up in their business & life. To work with me, click here.

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Comments

  1. Seems like Health 360 won because you compared their premium trial to competitors’ basic free versions. How would the comparison be after the free trial is over?

    • Hey Estelle. I actually didn’t pay for any of the apps – I used free trials for all of them. I suppose since I published this post things may have changed on their ends? Leesa

    • Hey Tulio – I haven’t used the tracker for a while now (this post was published over a year ago). I honestly don’t know what changes were made to the app since then. Thanks for asking, though. Leesa

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