The 4 Best Delicious Cooking Apps for Dieters

Watching your weight? Try these iOS and Android apps for healthy recipes

Finding healthy recipes can be a chore, especially if you're on a diet and have to count every last calorie. There are several great recipe apps for smartphones, but a few offer unique features that will help dieters shed those pesky pounds. These apps offer nutritional information for all their recipes, and some provide specific content for low-carb or low-fat diets.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

All Recipes website
What We Like
  • Lots of different recipes.

  • Shopping-list feature.

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of ads.

  • You must sign in or create an account to access some useful search features.

The free AllRecipes Dinner Spinner app is a fun way to discover new recipe ideas. Simply choose a course and main ingredient (and shake your iPhone if that's your platform), and the app will display recipes that meet your criteria.

With thousands of user-submitted recipes to choose from, you're bound to find something new. AllRecipes is one of the best apps for low-carb dieters, as it has a filters for high-fiber, low-fat, gluten-free and low-sodium diets. The app includes nutritional information for all recipes, including total carbs and dietary fiber so you can calculate your net carb intake.

HealthyRecipes

The SparkRecipes app for iPad open to the Dietary Needs search screen.
What We Like
  • Nutrition facts clearly displayed on the recipe page.

  • Clean design, well-organized, and ad-free.

What We Don't Like
  • Not clear who computes the nutrition facts when the recipes are user-contributed.

  • No extra tools like shopping lists.

The HealthyRecipes app is from the same folks behind SparkPeople.com, a popular diet and calorie-tracking website. As a result, SparkRecipes is similarly focused on helping dieters shed pounds.

SparkRecipes includes nearly 200,000 user-submitted recipes, each one with detailed nutritional information. Unlike some diet apps, which give you only a brief overview, SparkRecipes is more detailed and includes info on polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, potassium, fiber, and sugar. You can also search for specific low-fat or low-carb recipes.

Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat recipe window for iPad.
What We Like
  • Meal-planner design.

  • Integrated shopping list.

  • Recipe import from the web.

What We Don't Like
  • Paid app—you get a 30-day free trial, then its nearly $40/year.

  • No built-in recipe list: You add all of them yourself.

This app is a bit different: It's not a recipe-discovery tool but rather a comprehensive meal-planning solution. Also available on the web, you can use it to schedule complex meals days or weeks in advance, generate the shopping lists you need to prepare meals more effectively, and much more.

Although you can add a new recipe by hand, the app offers an import feature that works well. We tried it with AllRecpies and all the metadata, including the meal image and the nutrition data, imported cleanly. Just specify the URL in the app and it will fetch the recipe.

Plan to Eat requires an annual subscription, although you can trial it for free for 30 days.

Yummly

Yummly welcome screen (Android)
What We Like
  • Library of more than 2 million recipes.

  • Tell the app what your diet and allergy needs are, and it will filter for you.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires registration before use, including a mandatory confirmation code for email registrations—a potential privacy risk.

  • The app's design, while clean, is not appealing.

Like many other recipe apps, Yummly offers a library of recipes and a shopping list feature. Unlike others, however, it asks you up-front what your diet and allergy needs are so that results are fine-tuned to your specific needs.

Yummly is free and available for Android and on the iPhone.