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Frequently Asked Questions.

What is How Much Phe?

How Much Phe is an online subscription service which provides access to the Phe content of foods as contained in the Low Protein Food List for PKU and's Baby Food List. The site is a service of National PKU News. The revenue from How Much Phe is used to support development of features and foods for, and PKU News' and general operations.

How does it work?

HMP allows you to search for foods by name. You will be presented with a list of possible results and can select one to see the following data: Measure, weight, phe, exchanges, protein, mg phe/g, and calories. You can then customize the data by entering your own amounts of any of the following (weight, phe, protein, or exchanges) and recalculating the related values. See a demo here.

How much does it cost?

$45/year. The revenue from HMP will be used to fund PKUNews' Amino Acid Analysis Program and general operations.

What do all these icons mean?

  • Search
  • Calculate
  • Reset data
  • Favorites
  • Tracking
  • Edit
  • Eat it! (Record intake)
  • Click for package photo
  • Food added by you
  • Link to Brand Store Locator
  • Verified by our Amino Acid Analysis program
  • Recipe
  • Recorded based on the simplified diet

Tracking & Reporting Features

How many people can I track?

You can track as many PKUers as you have in your household (each HMP subscription covers one household)

Where do I enter my blood test results?

Click on tracking (the icon) and click the button that says "Record Phe levels and other labs"

Can I export my tracking/reporting data?

Yes! Go to Account > Reporting and select the EXPORT tab. Set the preferred date range and check off the reports you want to export. When you click the EXPORT button, your reports will be emailed to the email address in your profile

What does 'protein equivalent' mean when I'm entering my goals on the diet tab?

This is the phe-free protein from formula. Not everyone tracks this information, but if you want to keep track, ask your clinic what the value should be.

Food Data

How do I add my own foods to the database?

Go to Foods > Add New on the top menu. Enter the food name, brand, measurement details, and phe and/or protein (the app can calculate on of these based on the other, but be sure you confirm the values with your dietician and update if necessary. Foods you add to the database are shared among all the profiles on your account and can be found under Foods > My Foods

What if I want to change the values associated with a food in the database that I did not add?

While you can't change the values of a food shared among all users, you can use the 'import and modify' feature to change some values of a food in the database. This will create a COPY of that food. Go to Foods > Add and click 'import and modify a food.' Search for the food and click on it to add to the 'Add New Food' page. Make your modifications and save your customized food. This feature is useful for those who don't count the phe in some fruits and vegetables but still want to track those items and their calories.

I found a value online that is different than the one in the book. Why is this?

One of the advantages of is that we can update the data when new values become available. Many products change their ingredient list from year to year, and PHE values change accordingly. Even fruits and vegetables can change over time when new and supposedly better data is available to the USDA, where our values for phe on fruits and veggies come from. Much of the data in the USDA database is old to quite old, and new data obtained using more up to date techniques is always being sought by USDA. The USDA updates their database for the public every few years. Most values remain the same, but some do change.

Where do the values in HowMuchPhe come from?

The data in HMP comes from multiple sources:
  • USDA Standard Reference: This is the USDA's own database (not the Branded Food database with food label data submitted by manufacturers), which has multiple sources, detailed here.
  • Unrounded protein obtained from manufacturers. Manufacturers use a range of methods (among them, amino acid analysis, nutritional database calculation programs, protein analysis) to derive these values. Phe values are then derived as described below.
  • Our own Amino Acid Analysis Program, the details of which are here.

In all these cases, our staff dietitan reviews the data and make sure it correlates with what we know of the phe/protein ratio of each of the food's ingredients, and derives an estimate of phe content. No values are accepted wholesale from any source; all are independently reviewed and verified based on the method developed by Virginia Schuett for the Low Protein Food List for PKU, using the nutritional and dietary standards for PKU management in North America.

What if the food I am looking for isn't listed?

All the foods in the Low Protein Food List for PKU and PKUNews' baby food list are included. We will add foods as confirmed data becomes available and operations allow. You may request the phe data for any food not included using this form. We prioritize requests based on their potential for the PKU diet, availability, and budget. Sorry, we cannot contact individuals personally with the results. And please note that we are not always successful in obtaining the needed data.

Is there a way to ESTIMATE the amount of phe in particular food?

The amount of phe in a gram of protein ranges from 20 to 50mg, depending on the type of food. In the United States, the FDA requires that food labels show protein content rounded to the nearest gram. This means that a serving labeled as having 1 gram of protein could have as little as 15mg or as much as 75mg of phe, depending on the type of food and actual (unrounded) 4 protein per serving. This is a huge margin of error for someone who has a daily limit of 200-400mg of phe. Luckily, phe is found in fairly constant ratio to the kind of protein present (a ratio that varies depending on whether the main ingredient is a fruit, vegetable, or grain), and it is therefore possible to reasonably estimate phe based on unrounded protein content. A label with 0 protein may or may not actually be protein/phe-free. For a rough estimate of phe per serving, take the protein per serving from the label, add 0.5 and multiply by 50. This will be the approximate maximum amount of phe (in mg) in that serving. For a more accurate estimate, if the main ingredient is a fruit, use 30 as the multiplier; for vegetables, use 40, and for all other foods, 50 is an appropriate multiplier.

Devices & Platforms

Can I use this without an internet connection?

No. This is a web-based application and an internet connection is required.

What devices does this work on?

Any device with an internet browser and internet connectivity (phone, wifi, broadband, etc.)


Do you have a free trial?

Yes! Click here to request a demo account. You'll be able to access almost all the site's features, but for only a limited number of foods. Once you've tested it out, it's easy to upgrade to a full account.

How do I turn off auto-renew?

Go to your account > settings and select the SUBSCRIPTION tab. Click on "cancel subscription." You will be taken to a page that allows you to confirm cancellation, turn off auto-renew, or go back. Click on turn off auto-renew and your subscription will not be renewed at the end of your current term. If you change your mind and would like to turn auto-renew back on, simply go to your account and there will be a blue button at the bottom of the page (next to "edit billing info") that says "turn on auto-renew".

Can I get a refund?

In order to keep operating costs low, we cannot proess refunds. When you subscribe to How Much Phe, you receive a year's subscription, which will auto-renew at the end of that year. You can turn off auto-renew at any time and still have access to the site for the entire length of your subscription. Please refer to our full terms of use.

What if I can't afford a subscription?

Click here to apply for a scholarship. Scholarship Grants depend on whether we have money in the Scholarship Fund, but we do our best to meet the needs of the commmunity.

Can I buy a gift subscription for someone?

Please click here to purchase an electronic gift card that can be emailed to you for printing or emailing to the recipient.