If you suffer with a food allergy or intolerance then you’ll know how hard it can be to find suitable recipes and products in the supermarket, which is why I wanted to share with you an amazing new free app called Spoon Guru.
Spoon Guru allows you to not only quickly scan products for allergens (instead of analysing the food label), but allows you to easily search for recipes and products that fit your nutritional needs; whether you have a food allergy, intolerance or personal way of eating e.g. vegan or low sugar.
First up though, what is the difference between a food allergy, a food intolerance and a personal way of eating (lifestyle preference)?
- Food Allergy
Food allergies in adults are relatively uncommon, affecting around 1 in 50 individuals, however as many as 1 in 12 children aged under 3 are estimated to have one. Food allergies occur when your immune system reacts to food causing an allergic reaction after eating e.g. wheezing, rash or vomiting.
For children, the most common food allergens are cow’s milk, chicken eggs, shellfish such as prawns, fish, soy, peanuts, wheat and tree nuts including hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts. The most common food allergy in adults is to raw fruits and vegetables; known as oral allergy syndrome.
NB, Coeliac disease isn’t a food allergy (or intolerance), it’s an autoimmune condition where the immune system reacts to gluten.
- Food Intolerance
Food intolerances are more common than food allergies with around 1 in 5 adults reporting to suffer from one. Symptoms may include bloating and stomach cramps however they shouldn’t be mixed up with the symptoms of IBD or IBS.
A common food intolerance is to lactose, the natural sugar found in milk, which is caused by the person having too little or no lactose (the enzyme used to break it down).
- Eating Lifestyle Preference
Choosing a ‘lifestyle diet’ is not uncommon and popular ways of eating now include low sugar, paleo, vegan and organic.
I personally follow the ’80/20 rule’ where 80% of my diet is pretty healthy (based around whole foods) and then the other 20% is ‘what ever I fancy’ which could include chocolate and alcohol! I don’t follow any other ‘diet’ as I prefer to have the freedom to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible.
- About Spoon Guru
So where does Spoon Guru fit in? Spoon Guru is a brand new free app for foodies who have dietary requirements or who just want to eat healthily, which allows you to set specific needs e.g. recipes that don’t contain nuts but are also low in sugar. Spoon Guru shows the macros (carbs, protein and fat) and micros (vitamins and minerals) of each recipe and they work in partnership with Allergy UK.
Markus Stripf, co-founder and CEO of Spoon Guru says: “We are all unique and so are our allergies and dietary preferences. Someone with an egg allergy may also be a vegetarian who prefers a low-sugar diet. No matter how complex the need, Spoon Guru is designed to find food that’s just right for that person. We want to focus on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t.” Spoon Guru also has it’s own Registered Nutritionist, Alexis Poole, who states: “Food is one of life’s great joys. Spoon Guru will be an invaluable source of nutritional information and education for people living with specific food needs.”
- How to Get & Use the Spoon Guru App
1) You can download the Spoon Guru app for free from [iTunes].
2) Create a profile by simply selecting your food preferences from the categories provided:
Food intolerance Categories: Egg Free, Celery, Fish, Shellfish, Gluten, Milk, Nuts, Lupin, Pulses, Beans & Peas, Seeds, Sesame, Soya, Sulphites.
Lifestyle Diet Categories: Lacto-Vegetarian, Low Carb, Low Sugar, Organic, Ovo-Vegetarian, Paleo, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian.
3) From then on, the app will be tailored to your personal dietary requirements and everything on the ‘be inspired’ tab will be meals that you CAN eat!
4) By clicking on a recipe or product, you can quickly check nutritional information, ingredients and save it to your favourites tab for quick access.
5) The barcode scanner can be used to check products whilst in the supermarket or at home. If you want to check whether a chocolate bar contains nuts, Spoon Guru will tell you, so you can quickly put it back on the shelf if needed!
- My Verdict
I really am impressed with the Spoon Guru app and honestly think that’s it’s a must for individuals who have specific dietary needs. I love the fact that you can easily search for recipes and also products that fit with your food requirements (it’s like a Google for the ultimate foodie!) and I love the addition of the barcode scanner too!
Do let me know if you get the Spoon Guru app and what you think of it!
*This blog post was written in collaboration with Spoon Guru however as always all words written are 100% honest. For more information please read my disclaimer page.