A very widely discussed topic in the world of grumpy guts is the Low FODMAP diet…but what exactly is the Low FODMAP diet? Read on to find out more about this evidence-based dietary strategy…
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are a group of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found naturally in foods and additives. FODMAPs include fructose, fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides, lactose and polyols. They have been linked to a variety of digestive issues common with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) such as gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pains and altered gut motility.
The low FODMAP diet for IBS
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders has estimated that 10-15% of the world’s population suffers from IBS, with most people being under the age of 50. The condition can have a huge burden on quality of life, with symptoms being unpredictable, often causing unwanted disruptions to personal and professional activities.
As such the low FODMAP diet was created to help control symptoms of IBS, and it can also be used if you have been diagnosed with FODMAP intolerance.
Working with a health professional, the low FODMAP dietary strategy usually involves a four phased response: clinical assessment, dietary assessment, education, followed by the reintroduction phase. The diet starts by restricting high FODMAP foods for 4-6 weeks, and ends by slowing re-introducing the high FODMAP foods. The end result is a diet that can be used long-term that is low in the individuals problematic FODMAPs.
What can you eat on a low FODMAP diet?
The types of foods that are restricted on a low FODMAP diet depends on the individual and that is why it is important to see a health professional to help you through the process.
High FODMAP foods include:
- Some fruits – apples, apricots, cherries, figs, mangoes, nectarines, peaches
- Some vegetables – asparagus, cauliflower, leeks, mushrooms, snow peas
- Legumes and pulses
- Nuts: cashews, pistachios
- Other grains - amaranth, barley and rye
- Some dairy products – cream cheese, cottage cheese, milk, yoghurt
- Some beverages – chai tea, chamomile tea, coconut water, rum, desert wine
Food composition knowledge is key to managing this diet, that’s why we created our low FODMAP meal plan to make it easier to eat low FODMAP (no more meal planning, ingredient research, or cooking!). Our low FODMAP dishes are gentle on the stomach and are cooked with maximum nutrition with the aim of healing and promoting gut health (improved gut health helps to ease digestive symptoms AND helps to support immunity – win win!)
Some of our absolute favourite low FODMAP dishes include:
- Roast Lamb with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Lemon & Herb Quinoa and Gravy
- Roast Chicken with Mash Pumpkin, Green Beans and Savoury Jus
- Orange Spiced Chicken with Coconut and Carrot Rice
- Lentil Dahl with Lemon Spiced Rice, Green Beans & Tomato Chutney (also vegan!)