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.
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You can try to sift through reviews on Yelp or Google, but it’s often time-consuming, and the information can be out of date.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.
Whether you're looking for celiac-safe restaurants, grocery shopping, meal planning, or trying to get a handle on your overall wellbeing, there's an app for you on our list. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below and reviewer comments when available.
*Please note that these apps were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Andrea Marincovich. For more on our selection process, check out our content policy. Prices were gathered from respective app sites on August 9, 2022.
Gluten Free Classes
Find Me Gluten Free
The Gluten Free Scanner
Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools
Paprika Recipe Manager 3
MySymptoms Food Diary
Gluten-Free Restaurants Recommended by Real People
Save Time at the Grocery Store
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
A Recipe Box, Meal Planner, and Grocery List in One
A Customizable Tracker for Food, Symptoms, and More
|Type||Restaurant reviews||Label scanner||Recipes||Tracking||Tracking||Restaurant guide||Barcode scanner||Label scanner||Recipe manager||Tracking|
|Features||Crowdsourced ratings and reviews, restaurant info, bookmark favorites||500,000+ products||2 million+ recipes, grocery lists, meal planning||Food and exercise tracking, label scanner, nutritional info, community||Food tracking, mental and physical health tracking, analysis, recipes||Crowdsourced ratings and reviews, restaurant info, filter by allergen||Multiple diets, community, shopping list||400,000+ products, alerts for multiple allergens, favorite lists||Meal planning, grocery lists||Food tracking, mental and physical health tracking, analysis|
|Features||Crowdsourced ratings and reviews, restaurant info, bookmark favorites|
|Features||2 million+ recipes, grocery lists, meal planning|
|Features||Food and exercise tracking, label scanner, nutritional info, community|
|Features||Food tracking, mental and physical health tracking, analysis, recipes|
|Features||Crowdsourced ratings and reviews, restaurant info, filter by allergen|
|Features||Multiple diets, community, shopping list|
|Features||400,000+ products, alerts for multiple allergens, favorite lists|
|Features||Meal planning, grocery lists|
|Features||Food tracking, mental and physical health tracking, analysis|
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.
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