New Low FODMAP Diet app for IBS – by guest expert Dr Jane Muir

As we kick off our 2013 posts we are excited to bring you more of the latest and greatest nutrition news.  Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gut disorder affecting 1 in 7 adults.  Researchers at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) have developed a cutting edge diet therapy based on restricting the dietary intake of certain short chain carbohydrates (named FODMAPs).   As leading experts around the world they are constantly called on for advice on what foods are on or off the menu?  And which foods are high in FODMAPS? So the simple solution?  Build an app for that. We have the scoop.

About our experts:

Professor Peter Gibson, Dr Jaci Barrett and Dr Jane Muir head up the research team in the Department of Gastroenterology, Monash University.  Jane is head of a new unit called ‘Translational Nutrition Science’ of which the development of this app is an excellent example.   She is also trained dietitian with a PhD in biochemistry and has over 20 years’ experience in nutrition research.  Read her full profile here.

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app includes the largest FODMAP database and provides up-to-date information on the dietary management of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with IBS.  All foods have been tested carefully and scientifically measured so the information is entirely accurate and not based on guess work or anecdotal evidence.  There are a lot of other resources about IBS on the internet but information has changed over the years as research has progressed.  The new FODMAP app allows us to give consumers and health professionals the most up to date information based on our research. We are really excited about the launch and sharing all the features:

Just for me

There are personalised filters so you or your dietitian can help set up the specific FODMAP settings based on your needs.

Colour coded

The app uses a clear ‘traffic light’ system to inform people about the FODMAP content of a standard serving of food.  Red means high dose of FODMAP and avoid, orange means moderate dose and to limit, and green means low dose – which should be well tolerated.  Traffic lights are given for each of the four major classes of FODMAPs; Oligos (including total fructan and GOS), fructose (in excess of glucose), Polyols (mannitol and sorbitol) and Lactose.

Easy peasy shopping list

A shopping list feature is included which allows you to scroll through the foods listed in the ‘Food Guide’ and then add to your shopping list.

Recipes and meal plans

Following the Low FODMAP diet is easy with the help of our recipes – over 79 Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack ideas that are all Low FODMAP. Select the recipe image for a detailed recipe description and step by step instructions.

Challenges and symptom journal

A one week challenge feature has also has been included in this app.  This allows people to follow the Low FODMAP diet for 1 week and record improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms.  At the end of the week a report is generated that graphs changes in symptoms as well a 7 day food diary.   This report can be used by your dietitian to plan further management.

Latest and greatest

The ‘About’ section also features the very popular Monash University Low FODMAP diet booklet.  The research team plan to put the funding  from the sale of this app to good use.  It will go towards the analysis of more foods and so the database and the app will grow!  We plan to do an update every 12 months.  In addition, the funding will go towards more research in this important area.

Editor’s comment:  Thanks so much Jane for sharing the news with us and congratulations.  The Monash University Low FODMAP app is now available in the app store for purchase.  It is currently available for iPhone, iPad and iPad mini with an Android version due for release in early 2013.   A user guide for the app and more info is available on the website.  Do you have any questions for Jane lovely readers?  Do you have IBS questions? And remember if something with your digestion or eating is NQR, see a registered or accredited practising dietitian.  It’s a New Year, maybe a health tune up is on your list?

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