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A Helping of Healthy: Nutrition Apps for Your Smartphone

With spring just around the corner and visions of sandy beaches dancing in our heads, it’s easy to start thinking about getting in shape for summer and shedding any extra pounds acquired during winter hibernation. To help you live a healthier lifestyle, here are a few nutrition apps that can be part of your recipe for success.

Even though a package may say “fat free” or “sugar free,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest item on the supermarket shelf. The Fooducate app empowers you to make smarter choices at the supermarket by exposing sugar, trans fats and other unhealthy additives and preservatives. By scanning a product’s barcode, Fooducate will grade it based upon nutritional value, explain the pros and cons and even offer healthier alternatives.

It’s not always easy to make healthy food choices when you’re on the road, especially when fast food seems to be the only option. Restaurant Nutrition helps you stay in the know by providing nutritional information from more than 250 national restaurant chains. With more than 60,000 menu items in its database, the app allows you to keep a journal of your eating habits and track calories, carbs, protein, fat and more. If you’re not familiar with a particular area, you can use the app’s map feature to locate nearby restaurants.

And for those who want to monitor calorie intake or progress on their diet, there’s the MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker. In addition to allowing you to track calories, fats, carbs and proteins consumed, it also helps you to track daily intake of essential vitamins and nutrients. It even has the ability to predict how much you’ll weigh in five weeks if you continue your diet. For more motivation, you can set personal goals, connect with friends for encouragement and generate reports on your progress.

What apps do you currently use to track your health and fitness goals? Tweet @VZWnews to share your tips.