With modern technology taking center stage for personal research, it’s no wonder apps have become so popular. Of the millions out there, there are quite a few that can aid those of us with a no-gluten lifestyle. From shopping and ingredient lists to what to eat when you’re dining out to journaling your food intake and easily printing it out for your doctor, we’ve rounded them up into this handy list and sorted them by use and compatible device.
Shopwell (Android, FREE) is a barcode scanning app that allows you to set preferences on allergies and other nutritional requirements, such as fat and sugar content. While it isn’t always perfect, it does tend to error on the conservative side. We recommend looking over the ingredients just in case.
Scanavert (Android, FREE) is a lesser rated version of a scanning app. Users like that they can filter what they’d like for their diet, scan a product bar code and get a general idea of whether they should consider buying it.
The Gluten Free Scanner (Android or iPhone, FREE trial then $9.99 for 3 years) is another scanning option that some people really praise. Others have noted in reviews that the scanner only works on about half the items they chose, but the databases may have been updated since then.
Is That Gluten Free? (iPhone, $7.99) is an app that allows you to search a product’s name to make sure it’s safe to consume. They brag 33,800 total product listings, over 1,400 brands, and several great reviews in celiac.com forums.
Dining Out Apps
Find me Gluten Free (Android, FREE) helps you find restaurants that offer gluten free items, shows you which items are safe, displays other users reviews, and lists prices. In addition to these features, you can also call to order out directly from the app and use the map links to get there. Once you’ve eaten your meal, you can use Find Me Gluten Free to leave your own reviews and help others know where to dine.
DineGF (Android, FREE) was a top suggested app on celiac.com. Its features are similar to Find Me Gluten Free above, however many users found its streamline design easier to navigate. Plus DineGF offers all the details about international restaurants as well. It also offers gluten free news alerts, gluten free product and restaurant coupons, and a community forum to share your experiences.
Gluten Free Registry (Android, $0.99) is a 40,000+ dining out, catering, and grocers database for gluten free eaters. Of those, 12,000+ places have menus you can view. What makes this huge list awesome is that it can be filtered by city or proximity to your location, types of food, and chain establishments. You can also search by business name and call directly from your device or simply check out their website.
Gluten Free Restaurant Items (Android, $2.49 with recent price-reduction, iPhone $2.99) is a quick find app for 135+ major restaurants within 30 mile radius of you and your device. Restaurants include fast food joints, grills and pubs, as well as sit down restaurants such as Applebees, Cracker barrel, Chevy’s, and more! You can create a favorites list as well.
Gluten Free Fast Food (Android) is an easy to use way to check menus for America’s top fast food chains. While some reviews state that the app hasn’t kept up with menu changes, others say that the ninety-nine cent price tag is worth it.
Seamless (Android, FREE) is not a strictly gluten free app, but it has gluten as one allergy that can be checked before you place a meal delivery order at a local restaurant. Seamless allows you to access a local restaurant’s menu for items that fit your selected allergies, use their website or call to place the order, and receive confirmation via email. Then all you have to do is await your food.
GrubHub (Android, FREE) is similar to seamless, though a little less detailed. Rating system seems to be more lax, so if you use this one, be sure to double check restaurant reviews on yelp to compare.
HealthyOut (Android and iPhone, FREE) is a healthy cousin to Grubhub and Seamless, offering ordering and reviews for local restaurants that serve up healthy options. If you want organic, locally sourced, or more nutritious places to order from or dine at, this is the app for you. You can filter your search by allergies, calories and points, ingredients, cuisine type.
iEatOut Gluten Free and Allergen Free (Apple, $4.99) helps the gluten-sensitive if they suffer from additional food allergies. With the simple design, this app lets you mark your allergies and then choose an ethnic food category you want to eat in. Then it finds U.S. and abroad options and lets you browse menu choices, ingredients, and food preparation considerations. It also has features to help you ask the right questions at any given ethnic restaurant.
Celiac Feed (Apple, FREE) is a great way to give other celiacs reviews and notes on restaurants and stores in a given area. The information is strictly from other diners, so no businesses can claim more than they offer.
Gluten Free Bartender (Apple, $2.99) is a smorgasbord of information on all things gluten free alcohol. From lists of mixed drinks that can be made gluten free to gluten free liquor, beer, and wine brands and products, you’ll use this app to help make those times of celebration something you can toast to!
Ingredients, Recipes, and Other Allergies Apps
Gluten Free Ingredients (Android, $0.99) is a super comprehensive list of ingredients. You can use this with any of the scanners above in that if you get a no report on something you’re sure is right, you can use Gluten Free Ingredients to double check anything you’re not sure about on the label.
Gluten Free Recipes 1000 (Android, FREE but has upgrade version) does just as its name implies. You can search the list by recipe name or ingredient. Great for those that cook or bake a lot more than they eat out.
Gluten Free for Blackberry ($2.99) offers both a searchable ingredients and brand product list so you can stay safe on the go. Until BBM decides to make an android phone, this app is one of the few available.
Gluten Free Guide (iPhone, FREE) is a great tool for newbies to the gluten free lifestyle, but doesn’t have a large database of items to search. Paid version is $18.00, but many claim that its vast information and helpful database are worth it.
Glutenology (Apple, FREE) is a wonderful app for those recently diagnosed with celiac or who’ve just started on their no-gluten journey. We’d also suggest it as a great way to introduce family members or friends who want to know more about what you’re dealing with or how serious it is. Glutenology was created by a Doctor on his own gluten sensitivity journey and contains articles on gluten related topics, food lists, gluten related health alerts, and a list of celiac organizations and support groups in the U.S. If you opt to buy the upgraded version, you’ll also have access to recipes, lists of alternative flour types, list of GF beer options, and more.
Health Tracking Apps
Food Allergy Tracker (Android, FREE) is the best allergy symptom tracker and food journal available for android. You can easily record long term data and share it with your doctor.
Symple (iPhone, FREE) is a patient and doctor collaborated creation to help make tracking food and symptoms a breeze. The elegant interface and sleek design makes it super easy to record data and share it with your doctor via a PDF file. Symptoms and factors are chosen from lists you create and you can rate the symptoms based on their daily intensity. They are translated onto a little graph so you can keep track of how you’re doing. Then write in the journal as normal.
mySymptoms (iPhone, $2.99) gives you an easy way to track food you eat and symptoms that occur. You can run reports and make graphs to better find patterns in your diet. If you want your doctor to get a better look, create and print a PDF of your reports.
As always, make sure you are double checking anything you aren’t sure about regardless of what any of these apps report. Ask questions of businesses and doctors to stay healthy. Which, if any, of these apps have you used? Do you have another favorite that you find incredibly helpful? Please tell us in the comments below and be sure to share this article with anyone you know that might benefit from a gluten-free or food allergy app!