top of page

Blog

  • Writer's pictureLucy Sparkes

What is Low FODMAP Diet & Is it Right for Me?



What is a Low FODMAP Diet?

The Low FODMAP diet is an evidence-based approach designed to reduce the intake of certain short-chain carbohydrates that can ferment in the gut and potentially worsen digestive symptoms. By limiting these Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols (FODMAPs), we can help alleviate gas, bloating, and discomfort, and identify which specific FODMAPs might be triggering your symptoms.


Foods to Include (Permitted Foods):

1.     Protein sources: Fish, poultry, eggs, tofu, tempeh, and lactose-free dairy products (if tolerated).

2.     Grains: Gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, oats (gluten-free), and corn.

3.     Fruits: Blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, oranges, and bananas (ripe).

4.     Vegetables: Carrots, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes (small portions).

5.     Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, and clarified butter (ghee).


Foods to Avoid (High FODMAP Foods):

1.     Fruits: Apples, pears, cherries, peaches, watermelon, and mangoes.

2.     Vegetables: Onions, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, and sugar snap peas.

3.     Grains: Wheat and rye products, including bread, pasta, and some cereals.

4.     Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

5.     Dairy: Milk, yogurt, and soft cheeses (unless lactose-free).

6.     Sweeteners: Honey, agave nectar, and products containing high-fructose corn syrup.

7.     Artificial Sweeteners: Sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol.


Practical Tips to Implement a Low FODMAP Diet:


1.     Keep a Food Journal: Document your meals and any symptoms experienced. This will help track your progress and identify potential trigger foods.

2.     Meal Planning: Plan your meals ahead of time to ensure you have appropriate low FODMAP options available. Include a variety of permitted foods to maintain a balanced diet.

3.     Read Labels: Be vigilant about checking food labels for hidden FODMAPs in processed foods, sauces, and condiments.

4.     Cooking Methods: Opt for cooking methods such as baking, grilling, or steaming, as these are gentler on digestion compared to frying or heavy sauces.

5.     Experiment with Alternative Ingredients: Explore gluten-free and lactose-free alternatives to replace high FODMAP ingredients in your favorite recipes.


Low FODMAP Meal Ideas:

1.     Grilled Chicken with Quinoa Salad: Grilled chicken breast served with a quinoa salad featuring cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon dressing.

2.     Rice Noodles Stir-fry: Stir-fry rice noodles with tofu, carrots, bell peppers, and bok choy, flavoured with a tamari and sesame oil sauce.

3.     Baked Salmon with Herbed Potatoes: Baked salmon fillet paired with small roasted potatoes seasoned with rosemary and a side of steamed green beans.

4.     Lactose-Free Yoghurt Parfait: Layer lactose-free yoghurt with ripe banana slices and a handful of blueberries for a delicious and gut-friendly breakfast.

5.     Courgette and Carrot Frittata: Whisk eggs with grated courgette, carrots, and a sprinkle of lactose-free cheese, then bake until golden brown.


Remember to listen to your body and adjust portion sizes based on your tolerance to individual FODMAPs. Always consult with your experienced healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance throughout your low FODMAP journey.


Why a Low FODMAP Diet Can Be Helpful:


A low FODMAP diet can provide significant relief from symptoms of IBS like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and altered bowel movements. By reducing fermentable carbohydrates, we aim to create a more favourable environment in the gut and restore digestive harmony. Additionally, this approach can help identify specific trigger foods, allowing us to customise your diet more effectively for long-term symptom management.

Please remember that every individual's response to the low FODMAP diet is unique, and it's essential to monitor how you feel and make adjustments accordingly. I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions or concerns as we work together on your journey to improved digestive health.


Here are some reliable sources for FODMAP food lists, recipes, and more:

1.     Monash University FODMAP Diet: Monash University is at the forefront of FODMAP research and is considered the authority on the low FODMAP diet. Their website offers a comprehensive database of FODMAP foods, including updates and a mobile app for easy access. Website: https://www.monashfodmap.com/

2.     The FODMAP Friendly Program: This organization certifies products as low FODMAP, making it easier for individuals to find suitable food options. Their website includes a certified product list and other valuable resources. Website: https://fodmapfriendly.com/

3.     The FODMAP Formula: A website dedicated to providing valuable information on the low FODMAP diet, including food lists, recipes, meal plans, and practical tips for implementing the diet. Website: https://www.fodmapformula.com/

4.     Pinterest: Pinterest can be a great resource for finding a variety of low FODMAP recipes and meal ideas. You can search for specific ingredients or meals and find creative ways to incorporate low FODMAP foods into your diet.

5.     Low FODMAP Cookbooks: There are several cookbooks dedicated to the low FODMAP diet that can provide a wide range of delicious and gut-friendly recipes. Some popular options include "The Low-FODMAP Diet for Beginners" by Mollie Tunitsky and "The Low-FODMAP Cookbook" by Dianne Benjamin.


Please always refer back to your nutritionist or healthcare professional for personalised guidance to suit you and your symptoms, to get the best support throughout your low FODMAP journey.

 

I hope you find this useful and gives you some useful pointers about where to start. Should you try the low FODMAP diet and you find it suits you, then that may be an indication that further investigations around SIBO may be required, this can be done via a breathtest, but I usually do a comprehensive stool test which can give a very good indication of whether SIBO may be an issue but also other markers such as other gut inflammation, digestion and immune markers as well as full spectrum of commensal bacteria and overgrowths. Removing the food source of pathogens is step 1 on your healing journey.


To discuss how Nutritional Therapy would suit you and how Functional Medicine can provide the missing piece to your IBS puzzle, please message me here

 

Wishing you good health,

 

Lucy

07799 267953

48 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page