Protein diet - phenylalanine - low (PKU)
This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.
To provide a diet extremely low in phenylalanine, in order to reduce a high blood level to the desired range of 2-10mg/dL.
The diet eliminates all foods containing significant levels of protein (meat, poultry, fish, milk, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes and peanut butter). Recommended foods are phenylalanine-free formula / medical formula to provide adequate protein (e.g. Easiphen, Lophlex, Phenyl-Free, Phenex) plus fruits, vegetables, and low-protein bread or cereal products.
This is a highly restrictive diet, and is not nutritionally complete. Depending on the type of special metabolic formula used, the suggested food plan may need a multivitamin and a calcium supplement.
Must only be used when ordered by a physician and under the supervision of a dietitian. A dietitian will establish the daily phenylalanine level permitted from foods in the diet.
Not suitable for use in paediatrics.
Specific menu planning guidelines
|Hot main dishes||None||-|
|Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice|
All starchy vegetables
|Soups||Low-protein soups (e.g. clear tomato soup made with water)||Meat-based soups|
|Cheese, meat, fish, egg, baked beans, peanut butter|
Rice Bubbles®, Corn Flakes®, Coco Pops®
|Spreads||All others||Peanut butter|
|Hot breakfast choices||None||-|
|Milk and cheese||Non-dairy creamer||Milk and cheese|
Fruit juice, soft drink, cordial
Beverages containing aspartame
|Biscuits||Low-protein biscuits only||Commercial biscuits|
Special metabolic formula
Low-protein dishes (e.g. pasta)
Cream, sugar, hard lollies
- Poustie VJ, Wildgoose J. Dietary interventions for phenylketonuria. Cochrane Database of Sys Rev 2010;(1):CD001304.
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand. NUTTAB 2006 Online version:foods that contain phenylalanine. [accessed 10 June 2010]
- American Dietetic Association. Nutrition care manual. Chicago: ADA; 2009. [accessed 10 June 2010].
- Mahon LK, Escott-Stump S. Krause’s food and nutrition therapy. 12th ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier; 2008.
- Maher AK, editor; Iowa Dietetic Association. Simplified diet manual. 10th ed. Ames: Blackwell; 2007.
- Dolan BE, Koch R, Bekins C, Schuett V. Diet intervention guidelines for adults with untreated PKU.