It seems like new carb counting apps hit the market every week, and that’s great. It’s good to know that app developers are working hard to help make dealing with diabetes a little easier. But the flood of choices can be confusing. You want an app that’s accurate — you’ll depend on it to help you manage your blood sugars. You might use it to gauge how much insulin you need. That’s important stuff, so you’ll need a dependable app. Which carb counting apps will give you the information you need?
These are my three favorite carb counting apps, from the pared-down version for folks who are just starting out, all the way to the deluxe version for those who like lots of bells and whistles:
Carb Counting App #1: Calorie King
Calorie King is not necessarily built for people with diabetes, but it's a great choice for counting carbs. This app is user-friendly and it's available for both Android and Apple. Calorie King has information on a tremendous database of food, including fast food, chain restaurants, and name-brand foods. If you just want to know how many grams of carbohydrates there are the food you eat and you don't want to track your blood sugars or medications, this app is for you.
Carb Counting App #2: Figwee
If you're a visual person, you might like Figwee a lot. Figwee lets you use pictures to decide how much food you're eating. Then it calculates nutrition information, including carb counts, based on the picture you choose. If you don't like facts, figures, or math, this one's for you. This is also a really good app for kids. Unfortunately, Figwee is only available for iPhone; there's no Android version.
Carb Counting App #3: One Drop
One Drop is a more comprehensive app, and it also comes with a monthly fee. It's built specifically for people with diabetes, and it's available for Android and Apple users. If it's used consistently, it can predict trends in your blood glucose, similar to the predictions you might get from using a Dexcom. Of course, the trend predictions are dependent on data you enter directly into the app about your carb intake and your insulin dosage, so the predictions will only be as good as the information entered into the system.
Back to basics
If apps aren’t your thing and you prefer to look things up the old-fashioned way, my favorite tool is a little book called Calorie King. This book was around long before any of the apps I've listed, and it's made by the same people who make the Calorie King app. This little gem gives more information than just Calories, including carbohydrate counts and lots of other nutrition information. It also includes brand name foods and chain restaurants, too. New versions are published on a regular basis so that restaurant and name-brand food data are kept up to date.
It doesn’t really matter what method you choose to count carbs, as long as you count them. Carb counting is a proven method for managing your blood sugar, and it's one that lets you enjoy the foods you like and keep your blood sugar under control. That's the name of the game as far as I'm concerned.
Learn more about Carb Counting for Diabetes.