Custom Food Challenges
If you love to explore every nook and cranny of an app as soon as it's downloaded to your smartphone, by now you’ll most likely have come across the Custom Challenges feature located in the Discovery section of the FoodMarble app. If you haven’t and this is your first time hearing of Custom Challenges, please read on to learn about an excellent app feature that can help you make even more digestive discoveries with your FoodMarble device.
What is a custom challenge?
A custom challenge is a structured test that runs exactly like a food intolerance test. It requires preparation i.e. eat low FODMAP the day before and fast for 12 hours in advance. On the challenge day, instead of consuming a FODMAP substrate as the testing substance, the user consumes a ‘custom’ food in their chosen quantity (eg. one Pink Lady apple) and this information is inputted on the app before proceeding with the test. Once started, the test runs like any other challenge with the user being prompted to take one breath test every 15 minutes over a 3 hour period. On completion of the challenge, the test result will be displayed in the app.
Who should do a custom challenge?
If you’re new to FoodMarble and you don't feel quite ready for the food intolerance tests, a custom challenge for a food you regularly eat but suspect triggers symptoms can be a great place to start. For instance, if you suspect that leek has triggered your symptoms in the past, you could test your response to this food using a 100g portion of cooked leek which you'll learn from the Food Library is high in fructose and FOS.
Custom challenges take the user beyond day to day breath testing, and can also be particularly helpful to those who have completed the four food intolerance tests and are wondering what to do next. For example purposes, if a user had completed all four challenges and received a high result in their lactose test as well as experiencing symptoms, this would suggest that they don’t tolerate lactose very well. After a high result in a challenge, the user might wonder what this means for their future dietary choices - do they now need to cut out all their beloved foods that contain lactose? The answer is not necessarily! In reality, most people should be able to tolerate some amount of every FODMAP and custom tests are a great way to figure out your personal tolerance level.
Custom challenge to discover your individual tolerance
Sticking with our earlier example - lactose - we know that the lactose test pack contains 25 grams of lactose which is the equivalent of two large glasses of milk. Therefore, a user who scored high in the lactose challenge could do a follow up custom challenge for a smaller quantity of lactose i.e. one glass of milk, to determine if their symptoms are still triggered when lower levels of lactose are consumed. If this first custom challenge ends in a low result, a further test could be done for a larger quantity of lactose and conversely, if the user saw a high result with symptoms, they may like to reduce the quantity of lactose they test with and run another custom challenge.
A diverse and fiber filled diet can help you to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. The more plants - vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds - that we maintain in our diet the better it is for our health. However, as we know, the healthiest of foods can be high FODMAP provoking high levels of fermentation and triggering symptoms. This brings us back to the benefit of completing custom challenges to make discoveries about your personal threshold for a specific food or FODMAP. Rather than simply removing a food or whole food group from your diet, our users can learn how much of a food they can tolerate by doing a custom challenge to get more definitive answers about how much fermentation the food causes.
Updated on: 24/10/2023