Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
The centerpiece of diabetes management for many has morphed over the years as diabetes has gone digital. We've said our goodbyes to the dusty "How to Count Carbohydrates" book on kitchen counters and replaced it with a digital copy or phone app serving a similar purpose.
In today's digital world, choices and convenience top the list for consumers — especially those with diabetes. There is so much information at our fingertips as most people hold a library (smartphone) in their purse or pocket at all times.
Not all apps are equals. There are favorites and popular choices for those living with diabetes. Choosing the right apps can be a positive and integral addition to a life filled with counting carbs and managing blood sugar.
A single focus of many of these apps can be placed on food choices. Cooking healthy meals with fresh whole foods is the cornerstone of a healthy life with type 1 diabetes and often type 2 diabetes as well. Many prefer prepared and processed foods due to the convenience and ease of carbohydrate counting as it is spelled out for the consumer in the nutrition facts. But please don't be afraid to cook; these apps can help clear the confusion.
There are a wide array of apps to use at the grocery store to aid with nutritious selections such as ShopWell and FoodSwitch. These apps allow you to easily scan food choices with your smartphone, finding foods that fit your dietary preferences and health conditions.
If you are looking for a large food database that also covers restaurants, CalorieKing is great. This app covers 70,000 foods and 260 restaurants making carbohydrate counting on the fly easy.