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

Wood, Georgina and Evans, Sharon and Pointon-Bell, Kiri and Rocha, Júlio César and MacDonald, Anita (2020) Special Low Protein Foods in the UK: An Examination of Their Macronutrient Composition in Comparison to Regular Foods. Nutrients, 12 (6). e1893. ISSN 2072-6643

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** History: accepted 23-06-2020; pub-electronic 25-06-2020. ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061893
23 June 2020Accepted
25 June 2020Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: phenylketonuria, special low protein foods, nutritional composition, UK, macronutrients
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-06 - allied health > CAH02-06-02 - nutrition and dietetics
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2020 08:31
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:37
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9397

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