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Diabetes Victoria Blog

Join the discussion in our blog where a variety of writers from all walks of life take a stance on current diabetes issues.

Apps in focus - Fourth edition

By Ivan Chan
Accredited Practising Dietitian

In this round-up of apps, we cover healthy eating, physical activity, quitting smoking and mental health, to help enhance your health when living with diabetes.

But first, a newsflash that the Calorie King app is finally on Android! We covered this popular app in one of our past editions.


Platform: Apple (iOS) and Android
Cost: Free
Do you want to find healthier packaged foods quickly? FoodSwitch contains an Australian-based database of packaged foods. By scanning the food package barcode with your smartphone camera, this app compares up to 10 similar products based on salt, total and saturated fat, sugar and energy.

With their traffic light system or the health star rating, you can identify healthier food choices based on your health needs. This app also shows if the food is gluten free or suitable for vegetarians.

Finally, you can save your healthier favourites for your next food shopping trip.



Platform: Apple (iOS) and Android
Cost: Free (or from $3.99 per month, per summit feature). 
Physical activity can help lower blood glucose levels and improve concentration, memory and mood.  Using GPS technology on your smartphone, watch or exercise tracker (such as FitBit or Garmin), Strava tracks distance, pace, speed, metres climbed (they call it “elevation gained”), and energy burned when you exercise.

Apart from walking or bike riding, you can use Strava for activities like canoeing, skating, kayaking, rock climbing and surfing. Strava helps you monitor your progress and analyse your performance over time. It also suggests routes and maps to add variety to your current routine.

If you like to socialise when you exercise, you can connect with other Strava users, whether you want to compare or even compete with them! Use Strava on social media so friends and followers can comment and share their activity experiences.

Under the paid summit section, Strava offers customised training and workout plans. Receive feedback to help you train safely and perform better, as the app analyses your exercise data, like heart rate or “power meter”.


My QuitBuddy
Platform: Apple (iOS) and Android
Cost: Free
Are you thinking of quitting smoking? Whether now or later, for the first time or not, My QuitBuddy can help.

Use this app to set your own goals, add the support you need and list your reasons for quitting. App features include identifying danger times, distraction strategies and nominating friends or family (whom you can call on during tough times) to help you stay on course.

You can also see how much money you save each day to increase your motivation to quit. Engage with the My QuitBuddy community as you post and receive helpful messages from community members as you take this journey together for better health.

Finally, you can call Quitline on 13 7848 directly from the app to speak with a Quitline counsellor for information or support.



Platform: Apple (iOS) and Android
Cost: Free (or from $12 a month for full features). 
Living with diabetes can be overwhelming. The Headspace app provides guided meditation and mindfulness techniques to help you manage stress and anxiety, sleep better and improve relationships. The free basics course teaches you fundamental techniques across 10 sessions. You can also try out their everyday headspace sessions for no additional cost. 
By subscribing to the full Headspace meditation library, you will be provided with additional features to enhance sleep, assist with kids and parenting, work and productivity, as well as personal growth. There are also meditations catered for children of various age groups.

Information correct as per 27/11/19