Eating well used to mean simply choosing produce over red meat, or limiting sugar or salt intake. In today’s world, making healthy food choices does not always feel so easy. Fortunately, with the rise in portable technologies, there are an ever increasing number of mobile applications to help individuals make better food choices. Frequently I can be seen in the grocery store using my phone to consult with my favorite apps. Today I am sharing my most used food apps with you.
Monterey Bay Aquarium safe fish list. This easy to read guide is broken down into “safe”, “avoid”, and “good” fish options. The list is not only available online, but as an app, and as a handy wallet card for those who are less techie. Fish on this list are rated based on sustainable fishing practices and not on heavy metal or pesticide content of the fish.
Fish4Health from Purdue University provides the heavy metal and pesticide data that Monterey Bay Aquarium dos not have. The information is particularly useful for women who may become or are pregnant, and children from 2-6 years of age. This is another app which is new to me, but features such as a log to keep track of omega 3, polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) and mercury intake, along with recipes, it is likely to be getting a lot of use both at the grocery store and at home.
Environmental Working Groups Dirty Dozen: As the name of this app suggests, this is a list of produce that are sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Foods that show up on this list should be organic or no spray, conventionally grown produce from this list should be avoided.
Environmental Working Groups Clean 15: This is an annually updated list of the 15 foods least likely to be sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. The list is available online or as a printed card, unfortunately there is not an app for this list, though it would be helpful.
My newest favorite: CSPI’s Chemical Cuisine. The Center for Science in Public Interest, a support public health research, and public health policy. This app is a list of food additives broken down into groups of “safe”, “cut back”, “avoid”, “caution”, or “avoid by some groups”. Having a list like this is helpful when trying to understand what is in the ingredient lists of prepared foods.
Dr Amanda Hochman