Ranking The Best Keto Apps of 2020

Keto apps are wonderful tools that can streamline your ketogenic diet and help you organize your macros. Many people use these apps to keep track of their diet on the go.

Figuring out exactly how much fat you should be eating and which foods are best to consume can be somewhat frustrating for those new to the diet. Luckily, keto apps can help simplify this process.  We reviewed some of the best keto apps out there so you can pick the best one for your situation. 

Rankings

1.     Carb Manager

Carb Manager

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Carb Manager is one of the most comprehensive apps on the market. It helps you track many metrics, including carbs, net carbs, and fats, which are all integral to the keto diet. Furthermore, it even allows you to track some lesser-known factors, like ketones, blood glucose, and insulin.

2.     Senza

Senza

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For those new to the keto diet, Senza might be the best option. This app values simplicity above all else, which makes it easy for beginners to get started. Senza comes with the renowned “5 Days to Keto” program, which helps you transition from your current diet to a ketogenic one.  

3.     KetoDiet

KetoDiet

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KetoDiet is an app built around community. It features daily challenges to inspire you and a Facebook group for support. For those who thrive on a little competition, this app might be the answer to stick to your diet.

4.     MyMacros+

My Macros

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While this app isn’t exclusively for the ketogenic diet, it can be quite helpful. It features a straightforward app interface and comes with nearly 5 million food items built into its database. Tracking your meals is extremely simple with the app and only takes a few moments.

5.     LifeSum

Lifesum

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LifeSum is designed to help you live the healthiest life possible – whether you’re going the ketogenic diet or not. It allows you to customize your nutrition goals and daily habits, allowing you to set it up for keto easily. While this app includes other plans besides keto, it does come with a keto meal plan that you can choose to follow, complete with four pre-planned recipes a day.

6.     Total Keto Diet

Total Keto Diet

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As the name suggests, this app is built to support ketogenic dieters. This app features thousands of low-carb recipes and blog articles, as well as a macro tracker and food database. You’ll also get access to a beginner’s keto guide and keto calculator.

7.     Platejoy

Platjoy

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Platejoy isn’t designed for ketogenic diets in particular, but it is undoubtedly one of the most useful apps for keto available. With a low-cost subscription, you can get a nutritionist-developed, keto meal plan complete with meal plans, recipes, and grocery lists.

8.     Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic diet

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This app is designed to help beginners transition to a keto diet, though it can be helpful for long-term dieters as well. It features everything you need to get started, including a ketogenic starter guide and a list of appropriate foods.

9.     LowCarb

Low Carb

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LowCarb provides personalized meal plans complete with recipes and video tutorials. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and meal prepping, this app provides you with all the tools you need to get started. All meal plans can be customized based on your diet and allergies. It also allows you to count basic metrics, including calories.

10.  My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal

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My Fitness Pal is not designed for keto exclusively, but it does provide accurate nutrition tracking, which is key to any successful ketogenic diet. It allows you to scan barcodes, save meals, and take a look at traditional recipes. You can log each meal in only a few moments. Those who eat similar meals every day will particularly benefit from this app.

How We Ranked

At the most basic level, a kept app should have the ability to track your meals, as well as your fat and carb intake. It should do this accurately and without too much of a fuss. If it takes you twenty minutes to log a meal, there is a good chance you just aren’t going to do it.

Furthermore, it is always a plus if the app has information about keto already built-in. This information can come in the form of a quick-start guide, FAQs, or even simple blog posts. Of course, this information should be accurate as well and easy to access. If you want to know the number of carbs you can eat in a day to still stay in ketosis, you should easily be able to find that answer within the app.

While not all apps have recipes, they’re a huge plus. Apps with recipes allow you to take care of all your nutritional needs in one place, and often make it easier to track your meals than other apps. Instead of manual entering a recipe’s nutritional information, all you need to do is select the recipe you’re using. The quality of the recipes provided can vary quite a bit.  Just because an app comes with recipes doesn’t necessarily mean the recipes taste good or are appropriate for keto.

While ranking each app, we mostly focused on how accurate and accessible the meal tracking was. Built-in keto information and recipes are always helpful, but we felt that they wouldn’t be instrumental unless the app had a reliable tracking system. The robust tracking system of the Carb Manager app is the main reason it ranked in first place and was the reason we included some great tracking apps like My Fitness Pal, though they are not keto-specific.

We didn’t necessarily penalize apps for not including recipes and keto information. If an app did include these features, we took their quality into account. Wrong information is worse than no information, in our opinion. Because of this, some apps like Senza ranked very high thanks to their high-quality information and easy-to-follow guides. However, the Ketogenic Diet ranked lower. While it does rely heavily on the information it provides, the information it does produce doesn’t have high-quality or easy to access as Senza.

We also included quite a few different apps that provide recipes almost exclusively, as well as some that create whole meal plans. Not all of these apps have nutrition tracking systems, but they provide very high-quality recipes. Many of those who are new to the ketogenic diet have particular issues finding tasty recipes, so we felt that it was essential to include some great recipe apps as well, such as PlateJoy. However, because some of these apps don’t include tracking, which is also very important, they didn’t rank as high as some other options. With that said, they’re an excellent second app to download if you’re looking for recipes in particular.

For most ketogenic dieters, you’ll likely going to benefit most from one of our top-ranked apps. Carb Manager is a great tracking app, and Senza is a good option for those who would benefit from some hand-holding.

Benefits

Keto apps can help you lose fat while gaining and preserving muscles. If you’re on a calorie-restricted diet, you can lose mostly fat and protect muscle tissue, as long as you consume enough protein (1). However, ensuring that you get enough protein means keeping track of your macronutrient intake.

Apps that have tracking features can help you accomplish this much more accessible than just relying on pen and paper. Plus, apps often have built-in nutrition information, allowing them to run themselves practically. Apps will also do all the math for you, so you won’t have to keep up with it yourself.

Keeping your muscle mass is important because it both makes you look toned, but also helps you burn calories faster, which leads to more weight loss over time. When muscles work, they burn calories. Therefore, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn. Furthermore, muscles are also helpful for more practical tasks, such as lifting furniture. 

Keto apps can combat pre-diabetes and reduce insulin resistance. Keto is well-known for decreasing insulin resistance, insulin levels, and blood sugar (2, 3). If you’re in pre-diabetes, reducing your insulin resistance is often enough to keep diabetes at bay. Furthermore, reducing your insulin resistance can also help you manage type 2 diabetes and may be a suitable management technique. However, taking advantage of these benefits requires staying in a state of ketosis, which requires you to limit your carb intake.

Keto apps with tracking systems help you keep track of your carb intake accurately, especially if they use built-in information from quality sources. Furthermore, some keto apps can even track your insulin levels, such as Carb Manager.

Keto apps prevent heart disease. Studies have shown that those who eat low-carb diets have lower levels of HDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and systolic blood pressure (4, 5). Many of these studies were randomized, controlled trials, which makes them quite accurate. All of these factors have a role in heart disease. Because keto is a low-carb diet, sticking to it can help lower your risk of heart problems.

Furthermore, low-carb diets can also lower blood pressure, as some studies have shown (6). Hypertension is a critical factor for heart disease and stroke, so practicing a keto diet can help prevent these diseases.

Of course, downloading a keto app can make sticking to the diet much more comfortable, especially if the app comes with recipes. Some apps even come with low-carb meal plans, which can go leagues to preventing heart problems if you’re at risk. The keto diet can be a helpful management tool for those at risk for heart problems, though you should of course talk to your doctor for a complete management plan. 

Keto apps help manage other conditions. The ketogenic diet can help you manage other conditions as well. Based on some studies, ketosis might help manage cancer. Some studies have shown that some cancer cells can not use ketones as energy, which leaves them in difficulties when your body is in ketosis and only producing ketones (7).

One particular study was performed on adult mice with brain tumors. They fed each mouse either a ketogenic diet, or a regular, carbohydrate-heavy diet. At the end of the trial, they found that the mice who were on the ketogenic diet experienced less tumor growth and had a higher survivability rate. 

Furthermore, ketosis might help manage other conditions as well, such as anxiety, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and others. While the research is in the early stages for exactly why and how the keto diet might help, results are currently promising. There have been many studies done on children with epilepsy who started the keto diet to manage their symptoms. In many cases, this diet appears to work wonderfully. However, there have been some instances of negative side effects, which we will discuss later in this article. Still, many doctors now use the keto diet to treat certain cases of epilepsy in children. 

Using ketosis to help manage these conditions means keeping a tight leash on your nutrition, however. Apps can help with this due to their tracking systems, as well as provide recipes and information that can help those new to the diet get started.

Keto apps can help you lose weight. Studies have shown that those who follow a ketogenic diet often lose more weight than those who follow a low-fat diet (8). One particular study published in The British Journal of Nutrition performed a meta-analysis of the ketogenic diet and its weight loss effects. In other words, they looked at many different studies and drew conclusions from all their data combined. They found that those with very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets lost more weight than those following the typical low-calorie diet. 

Of course, starting any new diet can be somewhat complicated and confusing, which is why keto apps are so helpful for getting started and sticking to your diet. No diet is going to work unless you stick to it, which is a large reason why keto is becoming so popular. We highly recommend downloading a keto app to make sticking to your diet even easier and lose weight. 

Keto apps can also help control acne. If you have issues with acne development, a ketogenic diet might be able to help. Reducing your carb intake may affect the severity and length of your breakouts, which is always a nice plus (9).

Many studies have found that diet is directly linked to the number of acne breakouts you get, and many studies have pointed to carbs in particular. Because of this, using a keto app to reduce your carb intake might help substantially improve your acne. Of course, other dietary factors play into acne as well, such as your water intake. You also have to consider things like genetics and water intake. Luckily, some apps allow you to track certain factors such as water intake, as well, which may allow you to further diminish your acne symptoms. 

Side Effects

Keto apps can cause constipation. A study performed in children with epilepsy who were using their diet to control their symptoms found that constipation was quite common. It occurred in 65% of participants, making it one of the most common side effects of this diet.

If you download a keto app and follow its instruction, you will more likely than not find yourself struggling with constipation (10). Of course, there is something you can do to alleviate this, like staying plenty hydrated. Apps that allow you to track your water intake might be particularly helpful in this situation.

Keto apps may create vitamin deficiencies. The ketogenic diet excludes many common foods and is not always complete. Those who focus solely on sticking within a specific carbohydrate range might find themselves missing out on critical nutrients and vitamins. If you download a keto app and use it only to track your macronutrients, you probably aren’t getting everything that your body needs.

One study, in particular, found that those who follow a ketogenic diet had low vitamin D levels (11). Supplementation might be necessary for some people who have difficulty getting all their required vitamins while following a ketogenic diet.

We recommend paying attention to the vitamins and minerals you’re consuming, as well as focusing on staying in ketosis. Some apps provide tracking for additional nutrition information, which can be extremely useful in ensuring your diet is complete.

Keto apps can also cause muscle loss. If you do not eat enough protein while on the ketogenic diet, you can lose muscle mass as well as fat. Generally speaking, you want to keep as much muscle mass as possible. This will not only help you achieve a toned look but also allow you to burn more calories while sitting still. Plus, when you’re using muscle mass, you are not losing fat.

However, it is possible to retain your muscle mass while on a ketogenic diet as long as you eat enough protein (12). Many reports and studies are demonstrating that strong performance and muscle mass is no diminished when enough protein is consumed (13). Use apps that help you track your protein intake as well as your fat and carb consumption to get the best outcome from your diet.

Keto apps can cause the dreaded “keto flu.” When we first switch over to a ketogenic diet, whether we’re using an app or not, we can experience what is commonly called the keto flu. While we don’t know why this happens, it is assumed to be caused by your body’s initial difficulties at rendering fat into energy.

Typical symptoms of the keto flu include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, gastrointestinal discomfort, decreased energy, feeling faint, and heartbeat alterations (14). Symptoms will vary quite a bit from person to person and might change throughout the “disease.”

There is some anecdotal evidence that increasing your salt intake can curb these symptoms. Sleep and increasing your caffeine intake are also claimed to help in some instances. However, in most situations, it is simply recommended that you stick with it and wait it out. Many people report that the symptoms decline after a week or two, though they can likely be brought back on by carb binging.

Keep these symptoms in mind when you first download your app and start limiting your carbs.

Keto apps can cause kidney stones. Remaining on the keto diet for an extended period can significantly increase your chances of kidney stones (15). A study published in 2007 found that 6.7% of participants who were on the ketogenic diet developed kidney stones. That is not a huge amount, but it is significant enough to be a common side effect.

The prevalence of kidney stones does not seem to change based on age, so younger people are just as likely to get them when on the keto diet. It is important to note that this study was performed on children, so it is possible that adults might not be as at-risk. However, we just do not have that information currently.

Taking oral potassium citrate has been shown to reduce these kidney stones significantly, and might be worth adding to your routine while you’re using your keto app.

Keto apps can cause hypoproteinemia. Hypoproteinemia is lower than the normal level of protein in the body. This occurs when on the keto diet, especially if you do not eat enough protein every day (16). Your body does not store protein, making it essential to carefully watch your protein levels while following a keto app.

When there is not enough protein in your blood, you will experience swelling due to a build-up of fluid, loss of muscle mass, hair loss, lack of growth, cracked nails, infections, and fatigue. This is a serious condition, though it only happens in extreme cases when on the ketogenic diet.

We highly recommend choosing an app that keeps up with your protein consumption as well as the usual metrics for the ketogenic diet.

Keto apps may contribute to lipemia. Lipemia is having an unusually high amount of emulsified fat in your blood. As keto apps revolve around eating lots of fat, it doesn’t take much stretch of the imagination to see that this could be an unintended consequence. Luckily though, it happens only in sporadic cases – about 1% (16).

Lipemia does not usually cause many negative consequences. The significant effect it has is messing with specific laboratory blood tests. It can make certain tests give false positives and can even make your blood have a milky appearance (17).

Keto apps can cause hemolytic anemia. When using a keto app to help you follow a ketogenic diet, it can very rarely cause a condition called hemolytic anemia. This medical term means that your red blood cells are destroyed faster than they are made. This is a severe condition since your red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body.

We aren’t sure why a ketogenic diet causes this to happen in some people, though it has been reported in about 1% of instances (16).

Symptoms of this condition include dark urine, jaundice, heart murmurs, increased heart rate, enlarged spleen, and an enlarged liver. Luckily, this condition typically reverses when you stop your keto diet and can also be treated using blood transfusions.

Keto apps can cause liver damage. In some rare cases, following the ketogenic diet can cause liver damage (16). This is likely because your liver has to process unusually high amounts of fat in your blood, which puts a massive strain on it. If you are already at risk for liver damage, you may find that this is more likely to occur.

There are a few specific liver diseases the keto diet can cause, but non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common. Lifestyle modifications are required to treat this disease, which usually means something similar to the Mediterranean diet.

Liver damage due to ketosis can occur very rapidly after a few weeks, or not appear until you’ve been on the diet for years.

Recommended Usage

You can purchase and use as many keto apps as you wish. Of course, at some point, buying more apps will become redundant and likely be a waste of money. Generally speaking, you only need about one app for tracking, and then an extra app or two for recipes and information. If you download an app that does all of these things satisfactorily, you probably won’t need another one.

FAQ

How do I keep track of the keto diet? When you begin the keto diet, there is a lot to keep up with. You have to keep track of how much fat and carbs you eat, of course. However, you should also take your keep track of other dietary points as well. Eating enough protein is essential to ensure that you don’t lose muscle mass or develop some conditions associated with the keto diet, such as having too little protein in your blood. Furthermore, you should also keep track of various vital nutrients. When you start a new restrictive diet like keto, it isn’t uncommon to miss out on some essential nutrients. 

Keto apps are a great way to keep track of all of these variables. Many keto apps allow you to track your macronutrient intake (carbs, fats, and protein) as well as various other nutrients. Some also allow you to track your water intake, which is essential for combating the keto flu. Plus, some even comes with additional features that make monitoring even more straightforward, like saving your favorite recipes or using the app’s recipes with the click of a button. To be successful at keto, getting an easy-to-use app is practically essential. Without it, you’ll have to do your math every time you eat, which isn’t practical in any sense. Luckily, many of these apps are inexpensive and work quite well.

Do keto apps provide a list of appropriate foods? Any food can fit into a keto diet, technically – even cake. When you’re on a ketogenic diet, you want to avoid high-carb food and eat high-fat foods instead. Peanut butter fits this macronutrient layout perfectly. However, too much of anything can be a bad thing. If you binge and eat three tubes of peanut butter, you probably aren’t going to stay underneath your carbohydrate requirements.

Of course, doing all this planning in your head can get very complicated. You might want a cookie after dinner, but adding up how much fat and carbs you need in your other meals and figuring what foods meet those requirements can be incredibly difficult. Luckily, that’s where keto apps come in at. They do all the math for you and allow you to plan out your day without much fuss. You can play around with different foods until you meet your calorie restrictions, even if you decide that you want that cookie.

Is My Fitness Pal good for keto? Yes, we did rank My Fitness Pal as one of our top ten apps for the ketogenic diet. However, it is not the best app out there by any means, primarily because it does not focus on keto specifically. To get it to work for your diet, you’ll have to adjust the macronutrient goals and play with some of the settings. For those new to the diet, this can be much more complicated than downloading an app that is already set up. With that said, My Fitness Pal is free in its basic form, so we can see why some of our readers might be interested in using it.

To make it work for your keto diet, you’ll need to set the goals to a daily intake of around 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.

Keep in mind, not all of the built-in nutritional information on this app is accurate. We found more than one instance of incorrect information. This is because the app crowdsources its data, which means it relies on what other users put in. Since most users are not experts in nutrition, wrong information is bound to happen. This is a significant reason we scored this app so low and put other apps that got their data for scientific sources higher.

Is there a keto app for iPhone? Nearly all of the keto apps we mentioned in this article are available for iPhone and Android. For the download link, you can head straight to the app’s website or search for them on your device’s app store.

Most companies are making their apps for multiple device systems, especially if they are popular. You can bet that any popular, quality app is going to be available for both iPhone and Android phones. Many apps have versions for tablets as well if you want to go that route.

Can you gain weight when using a keto app? Yes, just because you’re restricting your carbs doesn’t mean you can’t gain weight. If you eat a considerable amount of fat, you will gain weight even if you stay in ketosis. Plus, eating tons of fat also opens you up for some health problems, such a fatty liver and having too many lipids in your bloodstream.

It is essential to keep track of how much fat you are eating – not just to eat as much fat as possible. This is why downloading a keto app is so important.

Is there a keto app for Android? Most high-quality apps are available for both iPhone and Android, so you should have no problem finding appropriate apps for your Android device. Many of the apps we mentioned in our reviews are available on Android, so we recommend starting there when searching for an appropriate app. 

How much is Carb Manager app? As of now, Carb Manager starts a 3.34 a month. This includes premium content, as well as the regular tracking. The exact cost depends on how many months you sign up for at once. Month-to-month payments are more expensive, while yearly payments are cheaper. 

Recap

Keto apps are secure, accessible ways to keep track of your daily fat and card intake, which are essential to succeed on the keto diet. Plus, they can also help you track other vital nutrients, allowing you to prevent some adverse conditions associated with the ketogenic diet.

While keto can help you lose weight, it is also beneficial for managing specific conditions, such as epilepsy and heart conditions.

For Fitbug‘s #1 recommended keto app, click here

 

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