How To Use The FODMAP Friendly App
The FODMAP Friendly smartphone app contains much more than a mere list of foods, but that is what are focusing on in this post. Also please read our article, FODMAP Friendly Lab Testing Explained.
FODMAP Friendly, by the way, is a trademarked term (note the caps on “Friendly”) and we do not use the term casually. When we discuss a food or product and call it FODMAP Friendly, it means it has been lab tested by FODMAP Friendly.
We Highly Recommend This App
There are two apps that we think everyone following the low FODMAP diet should have: the FODMAP Friendly app and the Monash University app. This is because these are the two entities that are doing the original lab testing, for which we are eternally grateful. All other apps are using derivatives of this information, and it is often not presented well, not in its entirety, is not up-to-date, and/or lacks the nuances present in these primary resources.
Items Only Found In The FODMAP Friendly App
Did you know that the FODMAP Friendly app contains information not found anywhere else? At the time of writing there are many such entries – yellow summer squash, yellow bell peppers, A2 milk, mirin, kombu, roasted rice flour, Red Flame grapes and prosciutto, to name a few – and many commercially prepared products that are lab tested and certified low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly. You need this app!
Look For The Icon
By the way, if you see this icon below on a prepared product, it means it was lab tested and certified low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly. Regardless of the ingredients (there might a little honey for instance) the product is guaranteed low FODMAP at the serving size suggested.
FODMAP Friendly Smartphone App System
Any app takes some getting used to; as you use the app you will become more comfortable with the system. Here is the initial interface that you will see when you open the FODMAP Friendly app.
If you click on the three white lines, upper right, you will see this screen below. You can read about FODMAP Friendly Certified products, access Recipes using their products, and more.
Check out our article, How To Read A Low FODMAP Certified Product Label, for more info on that in particular.
But let’s get back to that initial screen and press on the Food List box, top of the right column – or you can access the Food List from the screen shown above.
The FODMAP Friendly Food List
You will then be brought to all the food categories, in alphabetical order. Looking for FODMAP content of Beverages? Click there. Looking for Dairy & Alternatives, Snacks & Cookies? One click away. You get the idea.
Let’s look at Fruit.
The interface, shown below, now shows color images, also in alphabetical order, of the fruits that have been lab tested. If a fruit is not listed, it has not been tested.
FODMAP Friendly Lab Tests Grapes
Scroll down and click on Red Globe grapes. There have been many questions about grapes in general, particularly since Monash University recently updated their test results. This is the app entry on the FODMAP Friendly app.
Note that they make a point of telling us that they tested Red Globe grapes, which we greatly appreciate. (You can read more here about why that is important; Monash University did not tell us what grapes they tested).
One of the main features that we love about the FODMAP Friendly app is that they very clearly show us the percentages of FODMAPs detected in lab testing. These percentages are based upon thresholds that are known to trigger IBS in most people.
Here, you can see that no FODMAPs were detected. All foods are tested for Sorbitol, Mannitol, Fructans, GOS, Lactose and Excess Fructose and you can see the percentages, if present, of each FODMAP tested.
The Tested Serving Size is clearly posted: 150 g (5.29 oz). This serving size receives a “Pass” – see the green box with “Pass”, upper right.
Now, click on the green Can I Have More? button, near the bottom of the screen, as shown above. This is a feature unique to the FODMAP Friendly app.
This is what opens.
You will see that the Max Serve Size Classified as low FODMAP is actually 1000g (1000 oz.) This makes sense given the “no FODMAPs detected” in lab reporting.
Percentages Of FODMAPs Present
Now let’s look at an entry that does show FODMAPs, but that also “passes” and has a low FODMAP serving size. Butternut pumpkin (also known as butternut squash) is under Vegetables. You can see that the lab tested low FODMAP amount is 75 g (2.65-ounces), and it gets a green “Pass”. Note that now you can see the percentages of FODMAPs present, as these were detected in lab testing.
Under Can I Have More, they have reported that 188 g (6.6-ounces) can be eaten and remain low FODMAP. This is known from the percentages of FODMAPs that were shown in the initial view above.
With the easy-to-view FODMAP breakdown we can see that the 75 g serving size contains: 40% GOS, 20% Fructans, 10% Sorbitol. Mannitol, Lactose and Excess Fructose are all 0%. What does this mean to you?
Before we get to that, let’s look at an item that has a red “Fail”: Red Kidney Beans:
For a 94.97 g (3.35-ounce) serving size we can see that the threshold for fructans is 650% and 800% for GOS; this is why they get a red “Fail”. This amount of fructans and GOS would likely trigger IBS symptoms in most people.
Now you can see that there is a green box that says, How Much Passes? If you click it, the panel below appears. We now see that 9.92 g (.35-ounces) would be low FODMAP. Hopefully by now you know that having a digital scale is extremely helpful to have when following the low FODMAP diet.
How To Use The FODMAP Friendly App Percentages
An item gets a green “Pass” if it is considered low FODMAP at the serving size listed. A “Fail” will be presented in red. The percentages of individual FODMAPs, which are unique to this app, can be used to assess serving sizes in addition to what are shown in the initial app entry – and also to help us understand FODMAP Stacking.
Want to have a snack of blueberries and Greek yogurt? Or maybe blueberries and almonds? How do you know how much you can have of each? Check out these charts below, which show you how to use the percentages found within the FODMAP Friendly app.
The first example combining the blueberries and Greek yogurt shows you, in percentages, that FODMAPs are less than 100% for each FODMAP and therefore this would be a low FODMAP snack.
Table 2 depicting blueberries and almonds combined shows you that GOS equal 120% if you combine those amounts of the berries and the nuts; that makes it high FODMAP.
No other app on the market provides you with this information.
The FODMAP Friendly FOD-Stacker
Joanna Baker APD AN RN has written a post for FODMAP Friendly explaining how to use their FOD-Stacker, which is essentially a calculator that helps you use those percentages in a practical manner to help you navigate the low FODMAP diet.
The system can help you determine whether any recipe is low FODMAP.
Think of it this way – let’s say there is a fruit that has no FODMAPs except for fructose, and at a serving size of 100 g, the fructose is 50%. You would then know that you could eat 200 g of that fruit, because then you would hit the 100% level for fructose, but not go over. If you ate 300 g of that fruit, that serving would be considered high FODMAP. Of course, your tolerance might vary; always remember that lab test results are lines in the sand that provide a guide for you to use when you begin exploring your relationship to FODMAPs in the Elimination and Challenge Phases.
The FODMAP Friendly app contains a lot of information, but of course there will always be items that you are interested in that are not represented. What do you do if a food is not on either app, but is similar to a food that has been lab tested? For instance, what about orange bell peppers? Green bell peppers, red and yellow have been lab tested, but not orange.
Extrapolations can be tricky, as the FODMAP content of a food is unknown until it is lab tested.
We have an article for you that will be very helpful with this: What If A Food Hasn’t Been Lab Tested For FODMAPs?
Let’s look at a few similar foods:
- Green peppers: In initial tests, Monash reported that they contained sorbitol. In subsequent tests they reported fructans. FODMAP Friendly lab tests show fructans, GOS and sorbitol.
- Red peppers were originally reported by Monash to contain no FODMAPs, and fructans and GOS according to FODMAP Friendly. In subsequent tests, Monash reported that red bell peppers contain fructose. Do you think you can guess by looking what is in another variety of the hundreds of peppers available? (For the record, the answer is No).
- Ripe bananas contain much higher FODMAP content than unripe.
- Guavas are the opposite. Unripe are very high FODMAP (fructose), according to both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly, and ripe contain no FODMAPs detected at all, again according to both Monash and FODMAP Friendly.
- Green and red cabbages contain completely different FODMAPs. And Savoy and Chinese cabbage, which you might think would be more similar to Green cabbage, are both actually more akin to red cabbage.
- Fresh grapes contain no FODMAPs in certain lab tests, yet contain FODMAPs in other lab tests; raisins are high FODMAP.
- White flesh, yellow flesh and clingstone peaches showed different types of FODMAPs in lab tests.
- Oranges and fresh squeezed orange juice contain no FODMAPs, according to Monash University. FODMAP Friendly says navel oranges contain no FODMAPs, but freshly squeezed juice contains excess fructose.
- See what we mean?
We suggest that you do not try to extrapolate. If you cannot resist, then we suggest you extrapolate from known FODMAP information only when you are in your Challenge Phase, or beyond, and are stable.
And then, really, regardless of whether something is determined to be low FODMAP in a lab or not, most likely what you really want to know is whether a food might trigger symptoms for you.
Ask The Right Questions? Is It Low FODMAP vs. Can I Tolerate This? is the perfect article to read at this time.
FODMAP Lab Testing Articles At A Glance
Here are all of our other articles that pertain to lab testing for FODMAPs. We suggest that you read them all:
- Monash University Lab Testing Explained
- FODMAP Friendly Lab Testing Explained
- How To Use The Monash University Smartphone App
- When Monash University & FODMAP Friendly Lab Test Results Differ
The FODMAP Friendly Smartphone App bring you a plethora of FODMAP information, straight from the researchers who do the lab testing, right to your fingertips.
Using the app is the most expedient and reliable way to keep up-to-date on FODMAP information. The app is free and we cannot imagine being able to follow the low FODMAP diet without it. We think everyone who follows the diet should have this app. Period.
Please help us maintain the integrity of FODMAP Friendly. This is a trademarked term and we only use it to denote a food or food product that has actually been lab tested by FODMAP Friendly. In other words, we do not say something is “FODMAP friendly” in a casual sense.
We do not support any of the generic free FODMAP apps. They are deriving information from those who are actually doing the lab testing, which are FODMAP Friendly and Monash University. In our experience the extrapolation of the primary source information often means that it is watered down, often mis-represented, and also often out-of date.
Do yourself a favor and download the FODMAP Friendly smartphone app today, jump in, start using it, and you will be well on your way to following the low FODMAP diet as accurately and easily as possible.