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Open AccessArticle

Special Low Protein Foods in the UK: An Examination of Their Macronutrient Composition in Comparison to Regular Foods

1
Faculty of Health, Education & Life Sciences, Birmingham City University, City South Campus, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3TN, UK
2
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK
3
Nutrition & Metabolism, NOVA Medical School, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campo Mártires da Pátria, 130, 1169-056 Lisbon, Portugal
4
Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), R. Dr. Plácido da Costa, s/n, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061893
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 21 June 2020 / Accepted: 23 June 2020 / Published: 25 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet Therapy and Nutritional Management of Phenylketonuria)
Special low protein foods (SLPFs) are essential in a low phenylalanine diet for treating phenylketonuria (PKU). With little known about their nutritional composition, all SLPFs on UK prescription were studied (n = 146) and compared to equivalent protein-containing foods (n = 190). SLPF nutritional analysis was obtained from suppliers/manufacturers. Comparable information about regular protein-containing foods was obtained from online UK supermarkets. Similar foods were grouped together, with mean nutritional values calculated for each subgroup (n = 40) and percentage differences determined between SLPFs and regular food subgroups. All SLPF subgroups contained 43–100% less protein than regular foods. Sixty-three percent (n = 25/40) of SLPF subgroups contained less total fat with palm oil (25%, n = 36/146) and hydrogenated vegetable oil (23%, n = 33/146) key fat sources. Sixty-eight percent (n = 27/40) of SLPF subgroups contained more carbohydrate, with 72% (n = 105/146) containing added sugar. Key SLPF starch sources were maize/corn (72%; n = 105/146). Seventy-seven percent (n = 113/146) of SLPFs versus 18% (n = 34/190) of regular foods contained added fibre, predominantly hydrocolloids. Nine percent of SLPFs contained phenylalanine > 25 mg/100 g and sources of phenylalanine/protein in their ingredient lists. Stricter nutritional composition regulations for SLPFs are required, identifying maximum upper limits for macronutrients and phenylalanine, and fat and carbohydrate sources that are associated with healthy outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: phenylketonuria; special low protein foods; nutritional composition; UK; macronutrients phenylketonuria; special low protein foods; nutritional composition; UK; macronutrients
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wood, G.; Evans, S.; Pointon-Bell, K.; Rocha, J.C.; MacDonald, A. Special Low Protein Foods in the UK: An Examination of Their Macronutrient Composition in Comparison to Regular Foods. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1893. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061893

AMA Style

Wood G, Evans S, Pointon-Bell K, Rocha JC, MacDonald A. Special Low Protein Foods in the UK: An Examination of Their Macronutrient Composition in Comparison to Regular Foods. Nutrients. 2020; 12(6):1893. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061893

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wood, Georgina; Evans, Sharon; Pointon-Bell, Kiri; Rocha, Júlio C.; MacDonald, Anita. 2020. "Special Low Protein Foods in the UK: An Examination of Their Macronutrient Composition in Comparison to Regular Foods" Nutrients 12, no. 6: 1893. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061893

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