How to Eat a Low FODMAP Diet for Better DigestionSeptember 9th, 2019
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:
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:
- Brussels sprouts
- 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.
a low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up. This salsa is made with tomatoes, water, cilantro, cider vinegar, and other diet-safe ingredients so you can snack away.
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.
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.
Yes, you can still cook Italian while eating low FODMAP. This zesty seasoning blend combines organic oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage.
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.
Roasted over an open flame, diced tomatoes will add delicious smoky flavor to your next sauce or stew.
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.
If you thought garlic was off limits, give this oil a try. It’s the first of its kind to be tested and certified low FODMAP by Monash University, which means it’s less likely to cause IBS symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
These bars are filled with rich dark chocolate, crunchy nuts, and a hint of sea salt. This treat is low FODMAP indulging at its finest!
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.
Made with grass-fed ghee, each buttery handful of this popcorn will feel indulgent, but the gluten-free, certified organic ingredients say otherwise.
The satisfying crunch of sheets of seaweed (nori) roasted with safflower oil and lightly sprinkled with salt will make this your new snack obsession.
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.
Take your tastebuds to Thailand with this satisfying main course. The coconut milk-based broth gets its flavor from tomatoes, fresh ginger, and carrots.
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.
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).