Some Helpful Tips
When starting the low FODMAP diet it is first helpful to understand what FODMAPs actually are. the page What are FODMAPs? gives a rundown of the technical aspects of the diet. Once you have digested that page have a look at the FODMAP safe food list and familiarize yourself with the list so you have a good idea of what to consume as well as which ingredients you need to look out for.
Many people find it helpful to start a food diary when undertaking this diet, as well as other diets that can help with IBS. To do so simply write down each food item you consume for each meal on a daily basis noting down the quantity of food and any possible symptoms you may have got from eating a particular food item. I find it best to also give a rating out of 10 how you feel each day with 1 being terrible and 10 being awesome!
After reading the FODMAP food list and looking at FODMAP friendly recipes it is helpful to follow the recommended FODMAP diet plan and then go shopping for the right foods needed on the diet.
Low FODMAP Diet Plan
It is recommended by Monash University that you follow the typical FODMAP diet plan. The plan is to eliminate or reduce all sources of FODMAPs as best you can for 6 – 8 weeks and then slowly add high FODMAP foods one at a time to help you identify any food that triggers your symptoms. Be sure to use a food and symptom diary to help you keep track of what foods may be causing any symptoms.
Trawling the Supermarket
When you go to the supermarket you will need to be constantly checking the ingredients on food items. Any items with onion or garlic products you will need to leave behind as they can be big contributors to feeling unwell. Another easy thing to check is any items with wheat – often companies list allergy advice and specify if there is any gluten present. Head for the free from food aisle if your supermarket has one as that helps a great deal and buy lots of gluten free bread and other gluten free items. A favourite of mine is genius bread as they have changed the recipe recently and it actually tastes nice. In the free from aisle be sure to avoid any foods with soya in them as they are quite a common dairy free product. Be wary of seemingly safe items such as chicken stock cubes as they often have gluten and/or onion and/or garlic.
Back at Home
After you have returned from the supermarket it may help to get rid of any items you had before that contain any of the bad foods in your cupboards and fridge/freezer. You may find it helpful to work out your meals in advance as often repeating meals or making big batches and freezing helps ease the planning stage.
Breakfasts can be gluten free porridge, gluten free bread toasted with a serving of low FODMAP fruit. Or perhaps rice crispies with chocolate oat milk which makes a very tasty cocopops substitute.
For lunches I tend to make gluten free bread sandwiches with sandwich meat (be sure there’s no gluten or onion!), lettuce, mayo (check the label, some mayonnaise is not suitable) and sometimes I put tortilla chips in them. Yum.
Dinners can be a variety of things from stir-frys to rice dishes like risotto. Jacket potatoes with butter served with a nice steak goes down lovely. Drinks don’t just have to be water, you are allowed the odd beer or wine and also any of the “full fat” soda drinks like coca-cola and pepsi are OK (assuming they do not contain HFCS)
This is a diet that is based on very new research but has had many accounts of improvement to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis and Crohn’s Disease sufferers symptoms. The diet can help address the following symptoms that sufferers suffer from:
Abdominal pain and discomfort
Wind and flatulence
Changes in bowel habit e.g. diarrhoea to constipation or viceversa)
Research shows that some carbohydrates can cause irritation to the bowels and contribute to these symptoms. The carbohydrates are called Fermentable Oligo-saccharides Di-saccharides Mono-saccharides and Polyols – otherwise known as FODMAPs.
This carbohydrate is poorly absorbed so restricting all foods with these in them will be of benefit to most people who exhibit symptoms of IBS. Sources of this carbohydate include:
Beans, peas and pulses
Some vegetables – particularly onion
Inulin and FOS (fructooligosaccharides). these are processed food additives
The main form of di-saccharide is lactose found in animal milk such as cow and goats milk. It can be malabsorbed by certain ethnic populations. As small amounts of lactose is tolerable to most people including IBS sufferers, a complete avoidance is not usually necessary. Sources of this carbohydrate include:
Milk – all types including skimmed etc. Keep to 50mls or less
The main contributors to mono-saccharides is fructose. This carbohydrate is a sugar and is present in many fruits naturally as well as honey. When the amount of fructose exceeds the amount of glucose problems start to occur. Sources include:
Sugar snap peas
Polyols are sugar alcohols which can be found in various diet and sugar free foods to lower their calorific content. Examples of polyols are sorbitol and xylotol. They can also be found naturally in stone fruits and some vegetables. Sources of polyols include:
Sugar free sweets
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