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.