IF Tracker: FAQ

Why aren’t more foods included in the IF Tracker?

We are working to add additional foods to the database. However, in order to calculate the IF Rating of a food, we need extremely detailed nutrient data about the food. For example, the formula takes into account the amounts of individual fatty acids such as arachidonic acid or docosahexaenoic acid—not just the amount of saturated or monounsaturated fat. For many commercially available (i.e., processed) foods, the manufacturers do not provide enough nutritional detail to allow us to calculate a rating.  Calculating a rating in the absence of these details could produce inaccurate or misleading ratings. Although we sympathize with your desire for a larger list of foods, we feel that it’s important to provide ratings only when we have enough nutrient data to calculate an accurate rating.

Why can’t I add new foods?

We’d love to include a tool that would allow you to calculate the IF Ratings for foods that are not in the database. However, in order to get an accurate rating, you’d have to enter extremely detailed nutrient data about the food. For example, the formula takes into account the amounts of individual fatty acids such as arachidonic acid or docosahexaenoic acid—not just the amount of saturated or monounsaturated fat.  Because this information is not generally available to consumers we determined that a custom entry tool would be of little use.

What is the IF Rating for baking powder or baking soda?

Baking powder and baking soda are both neutral (0).   The addition of these ingredients does not change the IF Rating of a recipe. Simply calculate your recipes without them.

Is there a way to substitute or create equivalent flours from millet, amaranth, or almonds?

To the extent that the flours are simply ground up grains or nuts, the rating for 1 ounce of flour would be approximately the same as the rating for 1 ounce of the corresponding grain.  For reference, a cup of flour is about 5 ounces.

Why do the IF Ratings in the app differ from “The Inflammation Free Diet”?

Since the book was originally published in 2006, additional research prompted the author, Monica Reinagel, to make some updates to the rating formula, particularly in the way that the glycemic load impacts the ratings.  The result was some minor changes in the IF Ratings for certain fruits, legumes, and dairy products, which are reflected in the ratings on NutritionData.com.

In addition, there have been some dramatic changes in the way salmon are farmed.  The latest data from the USDA indicates that changes in the food given to farmed salmon have resulted in a product that is now comparable to wild salmon in terms of the anti-inflammatory properties.

Unfortunately, the USDA only updated the data for raw salmon, not the cooked versions.  Because the listings on NutritionData.com are automatically generated based on the USDA database, they are only as up-to-date as the underlying data.  In the IF Tracker, Monica Reinagel was able to interpolate more accurate ratings for cooked salmon as well.

While it may be confusing to have multiple sources which don’t all line up, this is a dynamic area of research and the information doesn’t “stand still.”  Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to keep all the published instances perfectly synchronized with the latest information.

In those cases where there are discrepancies between the ratings in the book, NutritionData.com, and/or the IF Tracker app, the ratings used calculated in the IF Tracker represent the latest most up-to-date calculations.  But, with the exception of the dramatic change in farmed salmon, the changes are basically nuances on the original ratings.  Although it may seem that something changing from negative to positive or the reverse is a big deal, it usually represents a minor shift on a large continuum.  Assigning foods individual ratings inevitably encourages people to think of each food as being inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.  But as we hope you’ve learned from the book, it’s the sum of all foods eaten that really matters.

14 thoughts on “IF Tracker: FAQ”

  1. Hi. I am in the market for a smartphone. Is there likely to be an Android version of IF Tracker in the near future?
    Also, is it feasible to develop food label scanning to integrate with this app?

  2. Hi Michael,

    As of Jan 2013, the IF Tracker is available for iOS and Android devices.

    As for food label scanning, it’s certainly possible but we worked very closely with Ms. Reinagel to ensure the data shown in the app was accurate. The challenge with using generic nutrition labels is that they lack the detailed compositional analysis required to calculate a correct IF Rating.

    Good luck on your phone selection!

  3. Are there any plans to allow downloading of historical journal data to a spreadsheet or is there a way to do it now?

  4. In version 2.x, the app can export/download historical journal data to Excel in “csv” format via email.

    Additionally, you can post data to Facebook or Twitter too.

  5. I’m liking your app because I’m searching and tracking info on this way of eating. I also use lose it for tracking calories etc. Your app would Be fantastic if we could download with barcodes!!! Or at the very least, how can we figure out protein powders for shakes in the morning. I use these daily and really need to know!! Please make this app even better, with more foods. It’s the most I have ever paid for an app and feel it should have more foods.
    Thank you

  6. Mary,

    We’ll investigate barcode support – thanks for the idea.

    One of the reasons the food choices are limited is (generally) because nearly two dozen nutrient values are required to calculate an IF Rating for a food. Unfortunately for many foods, this data hasn’t been published.

  7. Hi Don,

    We’re currently working on an Android version – stay tuned for more details on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IFTracker) or this site for details.


  8. I love your tracker. I have Monica Reinagel’s book. New books by cardiologists are stressing the importance of inflammation effects on heart disease. Having had 3 heart attacks, I have studied this subject for over 2 years.
    It would be really helpful to present (either on the IF Tracker or in a revised book, perhaps by Monica) a listing of all the known good (meaning anti-inflammatory) foods, especially new foods like quinoa and acai berries. Is this happening or is there a way to use the tracker or other data to find new anti-inflammatory foods?
    Keep up the good work, Fred Parkinson, Tacoma WA

  9. Hi Fred,

    Thanks for your comments. Within the IF Tracker, you can use the Browse feature to find new foods. Within Browse, foods are listed by category, like Dairy. After picking a category, there are a few sort options: alphabetical, high to low IF Rating, and low to high IF Rating. These sort features may help identify some new foods that have positive anti-inflammatory affects to incorporate into your diet.

    Also, Monica is looking at new nutritional data from the USDA. The hope is to include newer (or additional) foods in the next release of the IF Tracker. Certainly reach out to her if you’d like specific foods included. Generally, if we can find the data necessary to compute a proper rating, we’ll include it in the app. You can email her via her website or join the discussion on Facebook (www.facebook.com/iftracker).

    Be well!

  10. I just downloaded IF Tracker to my Android for travel.

    However, I all my menu PLANNING at home, on my desktop. Having already purchased the app for my Android, can I download it to my desktop? That’s where I really need to have it.


  11. Currently, the app supports Android and iOS devices. We do not have a version that will operate on a desktop computer or PC, but this may be something we consider in the future. If you’ve already purchased the app, you can request a refund from Google or Apple. Thanks!

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