Anyone who follows a gluten-free diet knows that it's more than just the food you put in your mouth. Aside from replacing your favorite carb-heavy foods with gluten-free alternatives, it involves meal planning and reading labels. It impacts your social life by limiting the restaurants you can eat at. It can affect your physical and mental health too. But while eating gluten-free can sometimes feel like a struggle, there are some handy apps that can make your life easier and help you feel less alone.
Find Me Gluten Free is an excellent resource for finding safe restaurants when eating out or traveling, with ratings and reviews from real people who have eaten there. They provide information that typical restaurant reviews don't, like whether or not the kitchen has a dedicated gluten-free fryer. If you're looking for a different kind of app, check out the rest of our list below! And read our buying guide to help determine which app will be best for your needs.
Andrea Marincovich (aka The Realistic Dietitian), is a registered dietitian and macros nutrition expert. She helps individuals reach their weight, body composition, and specific health goals through nutrition. Andrea specializes in altering diets in order to meet the needs of each client, such as: macro-centered, keto, paleo, Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, diabetic, renal, cardiovascular, IBS/IBD, and GERD diets.
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Going gluten-free can affect many different aspects of your life, from how you cook to how you feel mentally and physically. When browsing apps, consider what your main goal is. Then, take a closer look at factors like user interface, community, and accuracy of information.
Some gluten-free apps are designed to help you find food that fits your dietary needs or preferences at restaurants or grocery stores. These types of apps make it convenient to quickly figure out what food you can eat while out and about.
Finding a gluten-free restaurant can be difficult. Not all restaurants list allergen information on their websites or menus, and even fewer include information about whether or not they take measures to prevent cross-contamination from gluten-containing ingredients.
You can try to sift through reviews on Yelp or Google, but it’s often time-consuming, and the information can be out of date. A gluten-free restaurant app can help take most of the detective work out of your hands.
These apps are essentially Yelp for gluten-free folks, with ratings and reviews from real people who follow a gluten-free diet. They provide in-depth information about the restaurant's gluten-free setup, like whether they have a fully gluten-free kitchen or a just dedicated kitchen space.
If, for some reason, the information is not listed on the app, calling and asking to speak with the manager about how they prepare gluten-free items and what types of gluten-free meals they offer is always the best plan of action.
Having to read the labels of everything you buy can be time-consuming and exhausting! Instead of carefully combing through ingredient lists at the grocery store, you can find apps that scan labels and tell you if a product contains gluten.
This can be especially helpful if you’re short on time, haven’t been able to plan and research your ingredients ahead of time, or if your go-to gluten-free product is unexpectedly out of stock. Label scanning apps have a database of food products to check against, so look for an app with a large database for the best results.
Unless a restaurant is fully gluten-free, eating out often comes with accidental gluten consumption or cross-contamination from those preparing your food item. If you follow a strict gluten-free diet, you’ve probably become accustomed to cooking a lot of your own meals. However, you can get bored of cooking the same things; therefore, a recipe app can come in handy to add variety to meals you cook at home.
In addition, planning ahead is important since some gluten-free recipes call for specialty ingredients, like alternative flours, that you may not have on hand. To help keep your gluten-free recipes organized and plan your meals for the week, look for a recipe app to make sure that you have and can find everything that you need for the recipe.
Some apps suggest recipes to fit your diet and can also help with meal planning and grocery lists. With these, you’re limited to whatever recipes are in the app itself, but they’re super convenient and make it easy to find new things to cook.
Other apps function more like a digital recipe book and allow you to save recipes from anywhere on the web. This can help you keep all of your favorite recipes in one place for easy meal planning and grocery shopping.
Whether you have a medical diagnosis like celiac or just prefer to eat gluten-free, a gluten-free diet is just one part of your overall health. If you’re interested in an app that takes a holistic view of your health, look for a tracking app that allows you to track multiple aspects of your life, including your diet, exercise, sleep, symptoms, and more.
Tracking apps vary, so think about what you’re most interested in tracking. If you want to focus on your diet, you can find apps where you can record your food and get a breakdown of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.
If you’re more concerned with how your diet affects your mental health, look for a mood tracking app that allows you to log both your meals and your feelings. And if you tend to have negative reactions to eating gluten, an app that tracks your food and symptoms can help you pinpoint the problem food.
While some apps are designed for individual use, others have a built-in community that you can connect with. This might include sharing recipes and food lists, tips on eating out and grocery shopping, and stories about personal struggles.
In addition, some nutrition-focused apps connect you with professionals who can help guide you towards reaching your goals.
If you’re struggling with a gluten-free diet, having a community to share your wins and frustrations with can help you feel less alone. Connecting with others is also a great way to get inspired to try new foods and meals.
Location can be important when choosing a gluten-free app. Food brands differ from country to country, so a barcode scanning app that works in the United States might not be familiar with products in Europe.
In addition, since restaurant apps usually use crowdsourcing for their reviews and ratings, there are likely to be more options in certain parts of the world. If you want to use an app while traveling, make sure it will work at your destination by checking the app description or contacting the app manufacturer to get in touch with the company that created the app.
When it comes to recipe apps, you can absolutely cook recipes from around the world. However, note that recipes written by people from other countries may include ingredients that are hard to find, as well as use different measurements for volume and weight.
If an app isn’t convenient and easy to use, it may end up just taking up space on your phone. No one wants to spend 10 minutes standing in a grocery store aisle trying to figure out how to scan a barcode!
Take a look at the screenshots in the app store to get a feel for the interface. Is the design appealing? Is the interface intuitive? If you can look at a screenshot and understand how that feature of the app works, you will likely have an easy time using it.
On the other hand, if the screenshots don’t really make sense, it’s a sign that the app won’t be intuitive. Many apps also have a free version that you can download and test out before committing to a paid version.
Some apps, like restaurant review apps, crowdsource their information, while others rely on a team of experts. When determining if food is gluten-free, pay attention to the source of the information to gauge how reliable it is.
Crowdsourced content is created by regular people who may be more or less strict about their gluten-free diet than you. While it may not always be accurate to your experience, it can still help guide your decision-making.
On the other hand, experts like Registered Dietitians or nutritionists have more training and are better equipped to determine objectively whether something is safe. Of course, menus and ingredients change. For the most up-to-date information, you should always contact the restaurant or food manufacturer.
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Gluten Free Classes
Find Me Gluten Free
Gluten-Free Restaurants Recommended by Real People
The Gluten Free Scanner
Save Time at the Grocery Store
Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools
Discover New Recipes Based on Your Diet
A Tracking App to Help You Achieve Your Health Goals
A Health Tracker for Chronic Gut Issues
Find Restaurants Based on Food Allergies
Experts Help You Find Safe Food
Choose Food That Fits All of Your Dietary Needs
Paprika Recipe Manager 3
A Recipe Box, Meal Planner, and Grocery List in One
MySymptoms Food Diary
A Customizable Tracker for Food, Symptoms, and More
Eating at restaurants can be stressful for people on a gluten-free diet, but Find Me Gluten Free can help make your life easier. It's like Yelp for gluten-free diets, with a list of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, bars, and more. You can search by location and cuisine and filter for places that are dedicated gluten-free establishments.
Each listing provides information on the restaurant's offerings and procedures as well as allergens, prices, hours, menus, and more. Reviews from community members provide insight, and you can submit your own ratings to help out others! Subscribe to the premium version for access to the "most celiac friendly" filter.
Because the information in this app is crowdsourced, some reviewers warned that it's not always correct or up-to-date. However, the majority of people said it's an amazing resource that makes traveling and eating out much easier. They found it easy to use and appreciated being able to read reviews from other gluten-free folks.
Tired of reading food labels every time you go to the store? Check out The Gluten Free Scanner, which uses your phone camera to scan product barcodes and lets you know whether or not the food is safe. They have a database of over 500,000 products tested by a team of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and researchers.
Upgrade to the paid version for a host of additional features, including the ability to search products by name, brand, or category. You will also gain access to a searchable list of ingredients, dining cards for celiacs to use in a variety of countries, and a discovery feature to find new favorites.
The main complaint from reviewers was that certain products aren't in the database, although users can leave feedback within the app for items to be added. Many more said this app is a lifesaver at the grocery store. They appreciated that they can simply scan a barcode and quickly determine if a product is safe.
Step up your home cooking game with Yummly, an app that recommends recipes based on your dietary needs, allergies, experience level, and food preferences. They have over two million recipes sourced from their test kitchen, various food publications, and bloggers.
List items from your fridge and pantry to get recipes you can make right away or browse their database. Subscribers gain access to a meal planning feature, where you can add recipes to your calendar and get reminders when it's time to start cooking. You also get step-by-step tutorials, including videos and built-in timers.
Some reviewers were disappointed by the limited recipe options in the free version of the app. Still, most reviewers said there are plenty of useful features, including the ability to input all kinds of allergies and create customizable recipe categories. Many said Yummly is their go-to method for finding new recipes.
Gluten-free diets can sometimes lack important nutrients that gluten-containing foods are fortified with, like vitamin B6 and folate. Fooducate can help ensure you're getting everything you need in your diet to achieve your health goals. Use it to track your meals and exercise and see the nutritional value of the food you eat.
With a paid subscription, you can tailor the app to a gluten-free diet. You will get a more detailed nutritional profile, help in identifying gluten in scanned foods, and suggestions for alternative products that fit your diet. The free and paid versions also give you access to the community of users for support and motivation.
Some reviewers noted that Fooducate has a smaller database than other trackers, but you can still enter items manually. Overall, users said this app helped make them more aware of what they're putting into their bodies. They said it's informative and appreciated the suggestions of healthier alternatives to their favorite snacks.
If you're interested in learning how your gluten-free diet affects your overall health, check out Cara Care, which was designed specifically for people with chronic gut conditions. It tracks a range of factors like food, sleep, stress, menstruation, bowel movements, and symptoms like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Cara Care will provide you with an analysis of your best and worst days, as well as data you can share with your healthcare provider. Plus, it can synchronize with the iOS Health app for even more insights. There are even low-FODMAP recipes, which often overlap with gluten-free diets.
Some users warned that inputting food, symptoms, and other data can be time-consuming. But those who used this app to track their health regularly found that they were able to discover patterns. They loved the comprehensive overview of their health and said the app is easy to personalize to your needs.
Find your new favorite restaurant with AllergyEats, an app that compiles restaurant reviews from diners with allergies. Customize your search based on common allergens and food restrictions and view restaurants anywhere inside the United States.
Restaurants are rated by users on how well they accommodate a range of allergies, plus you can read reviews to get an idea of what the experience will be like. The app provides menus from over 400,000 restaurants as well as links to OpenTable for easy reservations.
A few reviewers wished there were allergy options beyond the most common ones. Some said the app works better in larger cities due to the user-generated content. But overall, reviewers said this app is extremely helpful when planning where to eat, especially if you have multiple allergies and are away from home.
Spoonful is a barcode scanning app that takes the mystery out of food labels. Choose from a variety of diets, including gluten-free, vegan, and low-FODMAP, then scan the barcode of your favorite foods. The app will tell you whether or not the food fits your diet, with harmful ingredients highlighted in red.
A team of experts analyzes each food to ensure accuracy, and you can submit foods that aren't yet in their database. Get inspired by the community of users and create shopping lists of foods to buy. Upgrade to the paid version for recommended alternatives to unsafe foods and a 48-hour turnaround time on submissions.
Overall, users found this app extremely helpful, especially if you're new to a gluten-free diet or struggling with maintaining one. Those who submitted products said the team of experts is quick to respond. And others added that the app is also useful for family members who grocery shop for gluten-free folks.
ShopWell is more than just a label scanner. Create a profile with your dietary goals, food allergies, and dislikes, and it will provide personalized results for over 400,000 foods. You can choose from a list of 16 allergens, including gluten, peanuts, soy, and lactose.
If you have a condition like high cholesterol or diabetes, you can input that too. When you scan a food item, the app will alert you of any allergens as well as let you know if the food matches your profile. You can also create lists of your favorite foods and share them. Follow others' lists to discover more delicious things to try.
A few reviewers found the database to be lacking or said some of the information was inaccurate. On the other hand, many said it makes grocery shopping much easier, especially if you have multiple allergies. They found that it could identify hidden gluten and helped them feel safe in their food choices.
Cooking your own meals is the easiest way to ensure that your food is gluten-free every time. To help you stay organized, use a recipe manager app like Paprika. You can import recipes from the web or add your own, then sort them into customizable categories. Use the meal planner to plan out upcoming meals.
Ingredients can be added to a grocery list that will combine them and sort them by aisle, and you can add your pantry items with expiration dates for easy reference. Paprika syncs between all your devices so you can access recipes on your tablet in the kitchen and view grocery lists on your watch at the store.
Reviewers praised this app's many useful features and customization. They were impressed by the recipe import feature and found that syncing across devices is super useful. They also appreciated the helpful recipe features, like built-in timers, highlighting, and conversions. Plus, they agreed that the interface is easy to use.
We know that what we eat affects how we feel. Using a tracking app like MySymptoms Food Diary can help shed light on how certain foods impact your overall wellbeing. Enter your meals manually or via barcode scanning and track your mood, symptoms, bowel movements, medications, and sleep.
You can add custom symptoms and record the time and intensity of each one. The reporting function gives you insights into correlations between your diet and symptoms. The data can be exported to PDF or CSV for easy sharing with your healthcare provider.
Reviewers noted that the food database isn't as large as other apps, so you may have to input your meals manually. Still, most users were impressed by the level of detail and customization and said it's easy enough to use. Those with chronic illnesses said it helps them identify patterns in their overall health.
We're thankful that there are gluten-free alternatives to our favorite snacks, but not all of them are hits. Avoid disappointment with more of our top gluten-free products below!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Gluten Free Classes｜Find Me Gluten Free
No. 2: Lluis Guiu｜The Gluten Free Scanner
No. 3: Yummly｜Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools
No. 4: Fooducate｜Fooducate
No. 5: HiDoc Technologies｜Cara Care
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