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Carb Master: A Healthcare and Fitness App
For people with health conditions such as diabetes, or other reasons to watch their intake of carbohydrates, a carbohydrate tracker can be a helpful tool. Carb Master by DeltaWorks is a simple and user-friendly mobile app for tracking your intake of carbs as well as other kinds of foods, such as fruits and vegetables. It comes in both free and paid versions, and can be a handy companion for meal planning and working toward a healthier lifestyle.
What is Carb Master?
Fitness and diet apps are among the most downloaded apps for mobile devices of all kinds, tapping into the rapidly expanding health and fitness market with guides and logs for calculating calories, tracking activity and more. And because many diet plans and fitness regimens emphasize limiting carbohydrate foods, carb tracking apps are increasingly popular. These quick, easy to use apps can calculate things like the total carb content of typical foods, percentage of carb calories consumed per day, and more.
Carb Master is a basic app for Android devices and iPad that keeps a running tally of carbs consumed over a given time period. Carb Master can also be programmed to track specific foods and food groups, such as grains, proteins and fruits. The full version of Carb Master costs $4.99 USD from the Apple App store and Google Play, but users can also download a free version with limited features.
Why Track Carbs?
Carbohydrates are essential for health. They provide essential glucose for the brain and fuel for other systems in the body. But not all carbohydrates are the same – and the body knows the difference. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains can provide essential nutrients and help to balance blood sugar, but simple carbs from sugars and sources such as sweetened foods can contribute to weight gain and multiple other health issues. For people with diabetes, high-carbohydrate foods can cause insulin imbalances that have serious consequences.
Some diet plans and fitness regimens also emphasize a diet low in carbs. The Atkins diet and the currently popular keto diet plans put considerable restrictions on the amount of carbs of any kind, in order to keep a healthy weight and reduce inflammation in the body. And many people who simply want to make better food choices can benefit from knowing the carbohydrate content of the things they eat every day.
Carb tracking apps can make it easier to count carbs and the calories they contain. Although some trackers for carbs and other types of food are designed for people with specific health conditions such as diabetes who need highly detailed information, trackers like Carb Master can provide generally accurate carb counts and other data to help keep daily intake within boundaries.
How Does Carb Master Work?
Carb Master can be downloaded from just about any reputable app store, including Google Play and the iTunes store. Once installed and activated, it offers multiple options for customizing displays and basic settings, which include:
The Overview – a snapshot of the percentage of carbs in the day’s calorie intake, along with a breakdown of other categories such as fat and protein. The Overview also includes a detailed breakdown of carb and other nutrient content by meal, with the values of individual foods listed.
A Calendar that highlights calorie content and intake of key nutrients for specific days, with options for tracking progress over time periods such as individual weeks or months.
A Food Categories section that offers general carbohydrate counts and other nutritional information on broad categories of foods and beverages such as coffee, cereal, pasta and bread. Users can add other categories if desired, and the flyout menu offers more detail on specific foods within a particular category. The Categories database contains over 110,000 items, including specific restaurants and brands.
A Custom Foods section that allows users to add specific food groups relevant to their own concerns, such as fruits, nuts or beer and wine. This way, those foods are separated from the more general categories for easy reference.
A Weight page for tracking metrics such as weight (in both kilograms and pounds) and body mass index (BMI) by date and time. The Weight page allows users to indicate what time of day the numbers were taken, such as “before lunch” or “out of bed” for a clearer picture of how weight can fluctuate over time. The total carb count for the day appears at the bottom of the screen for easy reference.
For people with diabetes, Carb Master includes some special carb tracking tools for monitoring and logging insulin and glucose levels. Users can also use the app to set fitness goals and monitor daily exercise. Logs can also be shared via email with healthcare professionals.
Along with its basic tools and setup, Carb Master allows users to set a daily carb intake goal and see how it matches up with actual consumption for the day. Users can also tag specific foods as favorites, add or delete categories at any time. On the Weight screen, users can also set goal weights alongside the daily weight and BMI figures.
Carb Master also includes water tracking. This feature allows users to track water consumption over time, set water goals and keep logs for easy reference.
Carb Master’s appeal lies largely in its simplicity. It doesn’t offer information, motivation, or inspiration – just the numbers that can be used in a variety of ways to accommodate the many different reasons people need to count carbs. In that way, it works as a helpful companion to other tools for diet and nutrition planning, and lets users know quickly and how closely their actual intake matches the goals they set.
Do Carb Trackers Like Carb Master Work?
Carb Master and similar diet planners have received mixed reviews for their benefits in helping people manage their carb intake, particularly for those with diabetes and other health conditions. Although the full version of Carb Master does have tools specifically for tracking metrics for diabetics, some diabetes organizations and specialists say that these tools aren’t specific enough to provide the data diabetics need to manage their condition. And while Carb Master has weight loss tracking, it doesn’t provide baselines for healthy weight as a reference.
Keto dieters have a more favorable opinion. Since the goal of keto diets is to keep carb intake as low as possible, the wide range of foods included in Carb Master’s tracking database can give keto dieters insights into the carbohydrate count of relatively unusual foods – ones that might not appear to have a high carbohydrate count. The charts and other visuals also give carb-counters of all kinds a quick picture of the percentage of carbs in their average daily intake.
For general nutrition information, Carb Master typically counts only the overall carb content of the foods it lists, so there’s no differentiation between types of carbs – an important consideration for those who want to know which foods contain healthy complex carbs. Some users have also found it annoying that some of Carb Master’s metrics are given only in international units.
Carb Master Alternatives and Competitors
In the overall world of carbohydrate tracker apps, Carb Master is relatively obscure, overshadowed by newer carb counters and a variety of general weight and nutrition apps and more specialized apps for keto dieting and diabetes management.
Carb Manager leads the list of carb counting alternatives to Carb Master. Available free for both iPad and Android with optional in-app purchases, Carb Manager also counts daily carbs and calories. Users can keep a daily fitness and nutrition log within the app and get detailed nutrition information at any time.
Low Carb Diet Assistant for iPad and iPod Touch is a straightforward carb counter with many features similar to Carb Master’s. What sets it apart is its Nutrition Breakdown section, which displays the day’s total intake in easy to read pie charts and graphs. It also includes weight and water tracking, and its database includes foods and food groups for specific diet plans like the Atkins diet. The Low Carb Diet Assistant costs $2.99 from the Apple App Store.
MyFitnessPal isn’t a dedicated carb counting app, but it includes detailed carb counting functions among its many features for tracking a variety of nutrients, exercise, and weight. MyFitnessPal is free from the iTunes store, but users can upgrade to a Premium version with a monthly subscription for more features. MyFitnessPal allows users to log exercise and activity, weight loss progress, and share their experiences with the app’s online community. MyFitnessPal also integrates with wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit and Garmin.
Carb Master has been available since 2010 as an easy to use general app for doing just one thing: tracking carbohydrates for weight loss and better health. Though it may not be robust enough for specific purposes like managing diabetes, its stripped down format and limited features make it a useful quick reference for planning meals and working toward a healthier lifestyle.
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