How cool is it that our technology today allows us to have phone apps and support information available 24/7… and that it’s constantly being updated after new foods have been tested without us having to worry about re-downloading new versions!
There are TWO FODMAP phone apps I am reviewing for you today:
Both FODMAP phone apps are available for Apple or Android phones.
MONASH UNI Low FODMAP Diet
Similarities between the two FODMAP phone apps
Both FODMAP phone apps also have a detailed section on ‘What are FODMAPs’ and the theory behind the Low FODMAPs diet, which is helpful for you to get your head around it further after your initial Dietitian consult, or to prepare in advance.
Both apps allow you to search their extensive database of foods that have been tested for FODMAPs (fructose, lactose, sorbitol, mannitol and fructans). Both also have list of certified Low FODMAP packaged foods (think bread, cereals, sauces, condiments and snack foods), with filters for what is sold in different countries.
Differences in FODMAP Phone Apps
The foods listed in the apps come from different databases, having been tested in different laboratories. Therefore, there are some inconsistencies – for example one says ½ avocado is LOW FODMAPs while the others says the same portion is HIGH!
The Monash app uses a traffic light system – GREEN foods are low FODMAPs and can be eaten in any quantity; ORANGE indicate moderate foods, and a limit of ONE moderate food is allowed per meal; RED foods are high FODMAP and should be avoided when following the Low FODMAPs diet (3-6 week diet before completing food challenges – speak to your Dietitian about the process).
TIP: If a food is listed as yellow or red, make sure you click in to see if a smaller serve changes the rating! E.g. 1 cup coconut is yellow but ½ cup is green. This is a positive feature of this app (and makes it well worth the cost to purchase). If a food is straight off green, it generally won’t show the rating for smaller or larger portions and you can assume it’s safe to eat in unlimited amounts (unless specified otherwise). See HERE for more details on understanding their system.
Monash also allows you to program general filters to select which FODMAPs you have an issue with so that it can grey out unsuitable options for you. There are 80+ recipes and you can keep a shopping list to take to your next shop.
FODMAP Friendly’s app uses a pass / fail system. Search for a food and it will bring it straight up with details on the serve that passed or failed the testing – it doesn’t suggest what would change with smaller or greater quantities though, which is a disadvantage of this app. For example, they tested 40g cranberries which ‘fails’ as a low FODMAP portion, yet Monash’s app will show you that 1Tbls is rated low and suitable on the low FODMAPs diet. It does give the percentage of FODMAPs commonly found in the food though so you can tell which FODMAPs it does or doesn’t contain to help you interpret whether it will be an issue for you or not at this portion (if you are at the stage of knowing which FODMAPs you tolerate).
In summary, I think both FODMAP phone apps will be beneficial if you are struggling to follow the Low FODMAPs diet, or need access to info on which foods contain high and moderate amounts of fructose, lactose, sorbitol, mannitol and fructans. If I had to choose only one app, I would get Monash’s because they provide more data on different portion sizes where applicable. However, FODMAP Friendly may help you out when you can’t find a food in Monash’s database, and both have different low FODMAP packaged foods listed that have been certified by the different companies – the more options you have the easier it is for you.
I hope this helps – please reach out if you need any support following the Low FODMAPs diet, in challenging or reintroducing foods, or for general IBS management.
– Amanda Moon –