We’ve had a lot of people ask us to add some new options to the Spoon Guru app over the last couple of months, and we’ve been working hard to make this happen. We’ve now added Six Food Exclusion and Palm Oil Free options to the app as they were the most requested last year, and we’ve also added a new Fact Sheet about the low FODMAP diet. Please have a read so you know what they are and who will benefit most from them.


Six Food Exclusion Diet (SFED) & Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)


What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)?

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is a disease which results in chronic inflammation of the oesophagus due to an allergic reaction to food or environmental factors. Symptoms of EoE can include vomiting and nausea, with abdominal pain and difficulty swallowing.

EoE prevalence has increased over the past decades, and it is now considered the most common eosinophilic disorder. The majority of EoE patients also show signs of atopy, which can present as a skin rash, hay-fever like symptoms, or asthma.


The Six Food Exclusion Diet

It has been reported that 15% to 43% of subjects with EoE have a food allergy. In the UK, the foods most likely to induce an allergic reaction are: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, soy, tree nuts and peanuts, and wheat. Of all the allergic reactions recorded, it is thought that 90% are due to these foods.

The Six Food Exclusion Diet (SFED) involves removal of these six major food groups. After all six food types are removed from the diet, they are then reintroduced one by one to determine which foods the sufferer is intolerant to.

It’s important that this process is only carried out under the close supervision of a Registered Dietitian.

How can Spoon Guru help?

Due to the high prevalence of food allergies to these six major food groups, the Spoon Guru SFED profile makes managing food allergies a lot simpler as all of the information is in one place.

The information contained within the Spoon Guru app is provided as an information resource only, and it should not be used in place of any medical advice. We advise that you follow the Six Food Exclusion Diet under the close supervision and support of a Registered Dietitian.

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Palm Oil Free

We’ve now also included Palm Oil Free as a separate category in the Lifestyle Diets section of the app. Palm oil is a very common ingredient in many processed foods, and people have requested the ability to remove these products from search results. While we understand that this is largely due to environmental concerns around its production, it’s important to note that this option includes all palm oil, regardless of whether or not it’s labelled as ‘sustainable palm oil’.


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IBS & The Low FODMAP Diet


What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long term condition of the digestive system. It’s characterised by lower abdominal pain, bloating, wind, and altered bowel habits such as constipation and diarrhoea. It is thought that 10-20% of the global population suffer from IBS, and it’s most common amongst women and people under the age of 50.

If you suspect you have IBS you should always discuss it with your GP first. They can offer a diagnosis and refer you to a Dietitian if required.


The Low FODMAP Diet

FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, a group of short-chain carbohydrates that can aggravate symptoms of IBS. The FODMAP diet was first identified in 2012 by researchers at Monash University Australia, and has since been adapted by researchers at King’s College London. Research indicates that following a low FODMAP diet can be effective in reducing IBS symptoms for around 70% of sufferers.

The low FODMAP diet consists of a strict exclusion of FODMAP containing foods for 4-6 weeks. This is followed by a reintroduction phase to determine tolerance levels depending on sensitivity to particular FODMAP containing foods.

For the reasons outlined below, it’s important that this process is only carried out under the close supervision of a FODMAP trained Registered Dietitian.


Potential Risks

Following the low FODMAP diet long term could potentially lead to some health risks.

Because the diet is complex and requires the exclusion of large groups of foods, some health professionals have voiced concerns around the nutritional adequacy of the diet. The main concern here is that due to the diet’s restrictive nature, those on a low FODMAP diet may not get all the nutrients needed in a balanced diet. It’s therefore vital that the diet is followed with the help of a Registered Dietitian who can ensure suitable substitutes are made.

Researchers have also speculated that following a low FODMAP diet could alter gut microbiota which play a critical role in health and disease. However, this does require further research.

If you are on a low FODMAP diet, it’s important that it is followed with these potential risks in mind.

For more detailed information on FODMAP see our FODMAP blog

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