A low FODMAP diet is one of the more difficult things to adjust to. But it’s not the end of the world. With these tips and tricks, you’ll soon learn how to live a normal life eating amazing food while still sticking to this diet.
I recently updated with a long post about my health issues that have been being investigated for the last nine months. This year has been crazy with all the frustrations of hospital visits, invasive tests and completely changing my eating habits. While I already knew that I was lactose intolerant and had Irritable Bowel Syndrome since I was a young child, I’ve been surprised to learn some of the newer issues that have come to light thanks to bloodwork and endless endoscopies, MRIs and CT Scans. Mapping my digestive system has opened my eyes to so many things!
While the investigations are still going on, the one good thing my doctors have done for me is to tell me about the Low FODMAP diet. If you’re unfamiliar, FODMAPs are a certain kind of carb/sugar that is difficult for some people to digest. Certain foods contain high FODMAPs, and they can make IBS and other digestive issues much worse than they need to be. So learning which foods are safe can be tricky. Thankfully, other professionals have done the work for us, so we just need to stick to the prescribed food lists, and we’re usually okay.
FODMAP stands for the following:
F – Fermentable – Quickly broken down by bacteria in the gut and produce gas
O – Oligosaccharides — Found in certain vegetables, legumes, fruits, grains, nuts and teas
D – Disaccharides (Lactose) – Found in select milk and milk products
M – Monosaccharides (Fructose) – Found in select fruits, vegetables and sweeteners
A – And
P – Polyols (Sugar Alcohols) – Found in select fruits, vegetables and artificial sweeteners
You can see why we just stick to calling it FODMAP.
There are a few tricks I’ve learned about eating a low FODMAP diet, and I want to share them with you.
Find The BEST Recipes And Have Them On Hand
As you can imagine, there are a TON of foods off limits in this diet, and it can be rather bland and boring for the uninitiated. Thankfully, there are a ton of awesome recipes on some great sites, and they are tasty, delicious and totally low FODMAP diet friendly!
Keep a Food List on Your Fridge
I always keep a printed out list of the most common low FODMAP diet-friendly foods on my fridge so I can refer to it if I’m unsure. You can find a downloadable food list here.
Plan for Your Vice
Everyone has a certain food that is their guilty pleasure. For some, it’s ice cream (usually a no-go on FODMAP), and for others its pretzels or other such salty treats. Whatever your vice, there is likely a better choice. There are some REALLY delicious wheat-free pretzels around now. I always have some in my pantry. Or, if you’re an ice cream sort, look for an alternative that is lactose free and wheat free without sugar alcohols. Since this can be tricky, a great choice is to buy FODMAP friendly nutritional drinks (such as ProNourish), pouring them into a small bowl and freezing them. Then, it’s like digging into a bowl of ice cream!
BEWARE Hiding Spots!
While you may do your best to eliminate FODMAPs from your diet, they are really good at hiding in places you might not expect. For instance, salad dressings! It’s easy enough to check ingredient labels for wheat or lactose, but don’t forget to check for less common culprits such as onions or garlic! Both are big no-nos on the FODMAP diet.
FODMAP is NOT the Same as Gluten Free
While FODMAP diet doesn’t allow wheat, it does allow some glutens. Though a lot of the time, wheat-free items are also gluten-free, it’s important to realize that many gluten-free items add other non-FODMAP-friendly ingredients to help flavor them. Things like honey, onions, or pear juice may be slipped in, which can wreak havoc on your diet. It goes back to checking for hiding spots!
You CAN Still Dine Out
While eating a low FODMAP diet in a restaurant is more difficult, it CAN be done. It just takes a bit of planning. The biggest trick is really simple – order a salad. Most restaurants are happy to prepare a nice salad to your specifications. Keep it simple by dressing it with a lemon or some vinegar and olive oil. If you’re more hungry, bring your own slices of gluten-free bread and order yourself a grilled chicken breast. If you want a burger instead, just make sure you ask if they add breadcrumbs to the mixture, as this can be a problem. Choose brown rice or gluten-free pasta with butter and parmesan cheese if you want comfort food. And I find it handy to carry a thermos of almond milk or rice milk with me in case I want to stop for a coffee along the way!
Eating low-FODMAP is definitely a difficult thing to get used to. When your doctor or dietician tells you to make the switch, the road can be bumpy. If you suffer from digestive sensitivities YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Over 80 million US adults 18+ suffer digestive sensitivities. If you’re finding sticking to a FODMAP diet tricky, might I suggested trying out the new ProNourish™ Nutritional Drink? It is a unique nutritional option specifically formulated with the nutrition you are looking for.
Its TruComfort™ digestive care blend has ingredients carefully selected to be low in FODMAPs plus 3 g of low FODMAP fiber to support digestive health.
• Low in FODMAPs*
• 3 g Fiber
• 15 g High Quality Protein
• 25 Essential Vitamins & Minerals
• Suitable for Lactose Intolerance**
• NO Gluten
• NO High Fructose Corn Syrup
• NO Sugar Alcohols or Artificial Colors
*Formulated to be low in specific carbs (called FODMAPs) that can be difficult for some people to digest.
**Not for individuals with Galactosemia.
ProNourish™ Drink is available at Kroger brand stores, and it comes in 2 delicious flavors, French Vanilla and Strawberry Banana. It’s the perfect snack or mini-meal, whether you’re at home, at work, or doing errands—just right for your busy lifestyle.
Find it in the Nutritional Drink aisle!
Right now you can save $2 by printing out the coupon and heading to your nearest Kroger store (I got mine as Smith’s).
Remember, if you are starting out on the low FODMAP diet, there are some amazing resources for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctor or nutritionist, and check out all the amazing resources available online.