What is a low FODMAP diet used for?
In some individuals, certain carbohydrates (FODMAPS) may be poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Consequently, malabsorbed carbohydrates (FODMAPS) are fermented by gut bacteria and produce gas and other irritable bowel related symptoms. Thus, avoidance of FODMAP containing foods may improve the symptoms of IBS in some individuals.
What does Low FODMAP stand for?
Fermentable - The process through which gut bacteria degrade undigested carbohydrate to produce gases (hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide)
Oligo-saccharides - Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) found in; wheat, rye, onions and garlic
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) found in; legumes/pulses
Disaccharides - Lactose found in; milk, soft cheese, yoghurts
Mono-saccharide - Fructose (in excess of glucose) found in honey, apples, high fructose corn syrups
Polyols - Sugar polyols (eg. sorbitol, mannitol) found in some fruit and vegetables and used as artificial sweeteners, chewing gums
What are common foods low and high in FODMAPs?
Ok: banana, blueberries, lemons, limes, grapes, honeydew melon, passionfruit, oranges, pawpaw, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, rockmelon and tomato
Avoid: apples, blackberry, cherries, figs, lychee, mango, nectarines, peaches, pear, watermelon, dried fruit except for banana
Ok: bok choy, broccoli (1/2 cup), capsicum, carrot, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, olives, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato (1/2 cup), zucchini, rocket, all herbs
Avoid: garlic, onion, artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, leek, mushrooms, peas, sweet potato, snow peas, sugar snap peas
Ok: lactose-free milk, rice milk, hard cheese (eg Swiss/parmesan), lactose-free yoghurt, 2 tbsp. ricotta, almond milk, rice, milk, feta cheese (1/2 cup), 4 tbsp. cottage cheese, 1/2 cup goat cheese
Avoid: butter milk, cream cheese, cream, sour cream, custard, ice-cream, non-lactose milk, non-lactose yoghurt and soy milk
Ok: gluten-free bread and traditional sourdough, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa/flakes, rice, rice bran, rice cakes, mungbean noodles, rice noodles, rice vermicilli, soba noodles, brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, gluten-free pasta, corn tortillas.
Avoid: rye bread, gluten-containing bread, wheat containing cereals, spelt flour, pearl barley, wheat bran, burghal, cous cous, freekeh, wheat noodles, gnocchi from wheat, spelt pasta.
Ok: 10 almonds, 10 hazelnuts, 20 macadamia nuts, 2 brazil nuts, 10 pecans, 1 tbsp. pinenuts, 10 walnuts, 1/2 cup canned lentils, tempeh, tofu, 1 tbsp. tahini paste
Avoid: cashews, pistachios, butter beans, black beans, chickpeas, soybeans, falafel
Majority fine except sausages and processed meats.
Ok: dark chocolate, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, cacao and stevia
Avoid: milk chocolate, honey, agave syrup, golden syrup
Tip: consult Monash University Low FODMAP app for a more comprehensive guide and allowed serving sizes.
How does the low FODMAP diet work?
The low FODMAP diet has two phases:
Phase 1: complete restriction of all high FODMAP foods for 4-8 weeks
Phase 2: gradual re-introduction of FODMAP-containing foods dependent upon individual case whilst monitoring of IBS symptoms. The aim here is to find a tolerance level to manage symptoms.
What happens if I still get symptoms despite elimination?
Further dietary triggers may need to be investigated if symptoms continue to exist after elimination and/or gradual re-introduction of FODMAP-containing foods.
What else other than the Low FODMAP can I do for my symptoms?
The underlying cause of gut symptoms and dysfunction always needs to be addressed. If reaction to FODMAP containing foods was triggered by a gut infection including parasites, then making sure the bad bags/parasites are cleared and the gut is repaired must be looked at to resolve symptoms for the long term!
What does a daily diet on LOW FODMAP look like?
- Porridge using rolled rice flakes, mashed banana and rice milk
- Smoothie using 1 cup lactose-free milk, 1 frozen banana, 1/4 tbsp. oat bran, 1/2 tbsp. nut butter and optional ice
- Scrambled eggs with spinach, tomato, shaved parmesan and 1 slice FODMAP friendly bread
- brown rice or quinoa based salad with 1-2 boiled eggs or 100-120g baked/roast chicken, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and roasted capsicum – olive oil and lemon juice dressing
- Zucchini and roast Jap pumpkin frittata with home-made salad
- Eye fillet with quinoa pasta
- Baked fish with roast tomato, capsicum and zucchini salad and brown rice
- Stir-fry with quinoa/rice noodles
- Smoothie made from rice milk, banana and LSA
- Vegetable sticks with tahini
- Handful of raw nuts with orange or mandarin
- 1 small packet popcorn
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Low FODMAP Diet, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance