How to Eat a Low FODMAP Diet for IBS

February 27, 2018
by Jillian Gordon for Thrive Market
How to Eat a Low FODMAP Diet for IBS

If you’re routinely plagued by digestive discomfort and have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), FODMAPs may be to blame. Not sure what this fancy acronym means or how to adjust your diet accordingly? Not to worry! We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about eating a low FODMAP diet, compiled a shopping list, and even threw in some incredible low FODMAP recipes to get you and your digestion back on track.

What Are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs is an acronym for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligo-
  • Di-
  • Mono-saccharides,
  • And
  • Polyols

It’s used to describe a group of carbs found in certain foods that can trigger uncomfortable digestive issues.

Where Are FODMAPs found?

FODMAPs are found in most foods, so eliminating them entirely isn’t entirely realistic. However, some foods are particularly high in FODMAPs, and they include the following:

  • Wheat
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fruit
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichoke
  • Mushrooms
  • Legumes and pulses
  • Lactose (milk, ice cream, soft cheeses, yogurt)
  • Sweeteners like agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, and honey

The Three Phases of a Low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP diet is essentially dietary therapy and involves restricting the number of FODMAP foods you eat, then reintroducing them to better identify what types of food your system can tolerate. The diet involves three phases that aim to help you systematically add foods back into your diet over time.

Phase 1: Elimination

Phase 1 of the low FODMAP Diet involves restricting all FODMAP foods for 4 to 6 weeks and noting your body’s response.

Phase 2: Challenge

Phase 2 of the low FODMAP Diet gradually reintroduces the restricted FODMAP foods to determine the amount of the food that can be tolerated before causing digestive discomfort. The goal is to create a long-term diet that’s not entirely FODMAP-restricted, but lowers the problematic foods.

Phase 3: Re-Challenge

Phase 3 of the low FODMAP Diet focuses on re-challenging your system over time with foods that you may be able to tolerate after your body is given the chance to reset.

Regardless of what phase you’re in, one of the keys to low FODMAP eating is staying mindful of serving sizes. The best resource is the Monash University Smartphone Low FODMAP app. It’s $7.99 to download, but provides the most up-to-date info on foods that Monash University has lab tested to know what’s in every product. The app also includes dietary guidance, tips, recipes, lists of certified low FODMAP products, plus essential info on FODMAP levels in foods. No smartphone? No problem? Monash also offers a hard-copy version.

Stock Your Pantry

Ready to start Phase 1 of your low FODMAP diet? Load up on these pantry staples.

Flavor Without Garlic and Onions

Believe it or not, you can enjoy flavorful dishes without garlic or onions. Here are some seasonings and tasty additions to spice things up.

Spiceology Thai Peanut Sweet Spice Curry Blend

Dehydrated peanut butter, coconut flakes, coconut palm sugar, Himalayan pink salt, and red curry create the perfect layering of sweet and savory flavors.

Red Boat Fish Sauce

If you haven’t tried fish sauce, you’re in for a treat. This traditional Asian condiment adds saltiness and a slightly sweet, umami flavor to your dish.

Thrive Market Italian Seasoning

Yes, you can still cook Italian while eating low FODMAP. This zesty seasoning blend combines organic oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage.

Crown Prince Smoked Oysters

Perfect on crackers or all on their own, these smoked oysters are hand-packed in olive oil and deliver 1200 mg of omega-3s per serving.

Thrive Market Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted over an open flame, diced tomatoes will add delicious smoky flavor to your next sauce or stew.

Eden Foods Seaweed Gomasio Sesame Salt Condiment

Meet your new go-to salt swap! Mixed with dulse, nori, and kombu sea vegetables along with sesame seeds and sea salt, a little sprinkle of gomasio instantly adds a Japanese influence to your meal.

Superfoods

With so many superfoods that work with a low FODMAP diet, it’s easy to work additional nutrients into your daily routine. Here’s a short list of superfood must-haves.

Thrive Market Coconut Oil

Coconut oil might be the superfood superhero since it can be used for just about anything, from cooking to at-home beauty. Our version of the multi-tasker is organic, cold-pressed, and ethically sourced from a small farm in the Philippines.

Coconut oil

Thrive Market Spirulina Powder

Made from blue-green algae, spirulina powder is a great source of amino acids, chlorophyll, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, E, and B-12.

Sources of Non-Meat Protein

Want to incorporate more protein into your low FODMAP diet without upping your meat intake? Try these plant-based protein sources.

Thrive Market Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter

This isn’t your average PB! Our crunchy peanut butter is made from only hand-selected dry roasted peanuts for exceptional quality in every bite.

Thrive Market Organic Sprouted Quinoa

Not only does quinoa deliver an added dose of protein, but this ancient grain is incredibly versatile. Try it as a side, a salad-topper, or even as a delicious breakfast porridge.

Go Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Add crunch and protein to your next dish with these lightly salted, sprouted pumpkin seeds, which are cooked at a low temperature to preserve their potent nutritional content.

Thrive Market Organic Chia Seeds

Not only do chia seeds have the highest plant content of omega-3 fatty acids, but they can be enjoyed whole, ground, or submerged in nut milk as a comforting pudding.

Chia seeds

Thrive Market Organic Sunflower Seeds

You might know them as a yummy snack, but sunflower seeds are also a source of vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium—not to mention a great way to add protein into your low FODMAP diet.

Low FODMAP Snacks

Satisfy those midday cravings with these low FODMAP snacks!

Dang Unsweetened Toasted Coconut Chips Lightly Salted

Oh dang! These lightly salted coconut chips are so good it’s tough not to down the whole bag, but the natural energy boost will make you feel less guilty.

Lesser Evil Oh My Ghee Popcorn

Made with grass-fed ghee, each buttery handful of this popcorn will feel indulgent, but the gluten-free, certified organic ingredients say otherwise.

Thrive Market Sea Salt Seaweed Snack

The satisfying crunch of sheets of seaweed (nori) roasted with safflower oil and lightly sprinkled with salt will make this your new snack obsession.

Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins Crackers

No wheat, no gluten, no problem! These delightfully snackable crackers are made with just rice flour, almonds, potato starch, and safflower oil.

Low FODMAP Recipes

Fresh, flavorful, and delicious, these three low FODMAP recipes will hardly leave you feeling deprived. Hungry for more? Visit this recipe collection for Monash University Certified low FODMAP dishes for every meal.    

Coconut Tofu Curry

Take your tastebuds to Thailand with this satisfying main course. The coconut milk-based broth gets its flavor from tomatoes, fresh ginger, and carrots.

Green Bean, Chickpea, and Jicama Salad

This salad packs a satisfying crunch thanks to veggies like green beans and jicama. Chickpeas deliver protein, and a light salad dressing finishes it off.

Pumpkin Pie-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are an ideal low FODMAP snack, and are made all the more enjoyable when baked with coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, and pure maple syrup (a low FODMAP swap for raw honey).

Roasted pumpkin seeds

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This article is related to: Healthy Choices, FODMAP, Healthy Cooking

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