Many of us go on diets from time to time, to lose weight or simply eat healthier. In this post we look at 5 smartphone apps that help you manage your diet. Common amongst these apps is the ability to track the nutritional value of foods. Some, such as DailyBurn, even allow you to scan foods to discover nutritional information. Others, such as the official WeightWatchers app, are designed to complement an existing offline diet plan.

Whatever your personal diet needs, below is a selection of smartphone apps to get started with. Most are iPhone apps, but search "diet" in your App Store of choice to find similar apps on other platforms.

DailyBurn

DailyBurn is focused on fitness in general, but has impressive nutritional tracking functionality. It claims to have over 350,000 different foods in its database, the largest of the apps covered here. The app gives a breakdown of nutritional information for foods, such as calories and carbs.

The DailyBurn iPhone app is free. They also offer a food barcode scanning app called FoodScanner for $4.99, which uses the iPhone's camera to scan UPC barcodes on foods.

Lose It!

Lose It! is an online service where you can create a personalized plan for losing weight. It has a free iPhone app, which includes daily, weekly, and program summary reports on your progress.

One feature of Lose It! that many Foursquare features will be familiar with: badges that "reward" you on success milestones!


MyNetDiary

MyNetDiary is a popular online diet tool, which offers a host of mobile applications: for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and iPad. As the name suggests, MyNetDiary enables you to record what you eat every day. It claims to have a database of 102,000 foods.

The online service has a premium offering for $5 per month, while the premium mobile apps range from $2.99 to $9.99 (for the iPad app). Free offerings are also available.

ALowGIDiet

It needn't specifically be a diet to lose weight, there are also diet apps that offer information or instructions on certain types of diets. For example, I'm a diabetic type 1 and I recently started a Low-GI diet to help me regulate my blood sugar levels (and yes, perhaps lose a touch more weight). GI stands for Glycemic Index and is measure of how fast different foods break down.

The aptly named ALowGIDiet is an iPhone app that helps me determine which foods are low GI. You simply enter in the name of a food item and the app tells you whether it's low, medium or high. ALowGIDiet costs $2.99 and features a list of GI ratings for over 4,000 foods.

WeightWatchers

WeightWatchers offers a free iPhone app to members. The app allows you to track WeightWatcher "points" values for food and activity, search over 31,000 food options, look up recipes, and more.

That's just a selection of smartphone apps that help you diet, we'd like to hear about your favorites in the comments!

Thanks to @RWW Twitter followers for your diet app tips. Your suggestions helped create this article.