Signs You Should Try the Low FODMAP Diet
- Do You Sometimes Have These Symptoms?
- FODMAP Eating: High and Low Foods
- How to Fit Low FODMAP Foods into Your Meal Plan
Do You Sometimes Have These Symptoms?
When you start feeling ill after eating, fatigued, have cramps, or digestive issues, it is often related to what you eat and your gut health.
Whether you have irritable bowel syndrome or simply are concerned with how your digestive system is working, the low FODMAP diet might be for you.
Here are some common signs that it might be time to consider this elimination diet or at least talk to your doctor about it.
Most Common Symptoms of Digestive Issues
To start with the low FODMAP diet is great for people with IBS and related conditions, but that’s not all.
It can also help you with general digestive problems you might be experiencing since it temporarily eliminates foods that might be triggers for you.
Therefore, some common signs that you should try this diet are having any of the typical digestive symptoms. This might include:
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea or constipation
Food Makes You Bloat
Now for the more specific signs of needing a low FODMAP diet.
One of the biggest signs that you should at least attempt to eliminate some of the high FODMAP foods is having bloat.
Bloat is common during certain times of your life, from women having extra bloating during their menstrual cycle, to people experiencing it on days when they have a lot of water weight.
However, if you get bloated every time you eat a meal, it might be in what is in your food and you have an aversion to it.
You Don’t Know What Foods Make You Ill
You may also find that you know you are getting stomach upset after eating most foods, but can’t actually narrow down what the issue is.
This is because most people have meals of multiple ingredients or food groups, making it difficult to pinpoint what type of food is causing the symptoms.
It could be wheat, dairy, gluten, nuts, or any number of other things.
With FODMAP diets, you are removing a lot of the common food allergens so that you can then re-introduce them slowly and figure out which foods were triggering for you.
Digestive Issues Keep Worsening
It is possible that you have had some mild digestion or IBS issues for a few years, but they have been getting worse lately.
This can happen due to age and a gradual increase in how your body reacts to certain types of foods.
This is yet another reason to give the low FODMAP diet a try.
FODMAP Eating: High and Low Foods
If you are interested in healing your digestion and treating conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, then you have probably been looking into following a low FODMAP diet.
This is a type of elimination diet where you eat only foods on the low FODMAP list, then gradually add one food at a time to figure out what your body is sensitive to.
Before you can start this type of elimination diet, you need to know what foods you can eat, and which ones you can’t.
Here is a list of the high and low FODMAP foods so you know what to eat or avoid.
Avoid These High FODMAP Foods
First of all, you should know what foods you are avoiding or reducing.
Most people will skip them entirely, but depending on your circumstance, you might just want to reduce how much you consume them for a while.
To start with, you should avoid garlic and onions as much as you can.
These tend to affect your digestive system, so stick to other ways of seasoning your food.
Many fruits are on the high FODMAP list and should be avoided because they can be high in fructose. These include, but are not limited to:
There are many vegetables you can eat, but avoid some of them, like cauliflower, asparagus, artichoke, and larger stocks of celery.
Most meat is fine, though you want to avoid sausage and chorizo.
Avoid wheat products, including baked goods, pasta, bread, biscuits, and cereals.
Some nuts are not allowed, like walnuts and pistachios. You are also avoiding sweeteners and a variety of other foods.
Make sure you see a complete list of foods that you should not consume while following the low FODMAP diet.
Enjoy These Low FODMAP Foods
An easier way to plan your meals is to know the low FODMAP foods.
That way, you can print out a list of these foods and head to the grocery store, making sure you only pick foods from this list.
This is not a comprehensive list of low FODMAP foods, but they include some of the major options for you. Be sure to check out a full list for meal planning purposes.
Most vegetables are allowed – Luckily, you can continue eating most vegetables. Here are some favorites:
Broccoli, olives, pears, carrots, smaller stalks of celery, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, red peppers, and many others.
Low fructose fruit – If you are a fan of fruit, not to worry. There are still some you can enjoy, but you want to stick to the low fructose fruits, like cranberries (1 tbsp only), mandarin, passion fruit, oranges, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, papaya, and raspberries.
Meat and fish – Continue eating most of the meat and seafood you already enjoyed, including poultry, cold cuts, chicken, beef, lamb, salmon, canned tuna, shrimp, and crab.
Cereals and grains – With the baked goods and grains, just make sure they don’t contain wheat or gluten.
This includes foods made with buckwheat flour, brown or whole grain rice, corn or oats, rice bread, shortbread (limited amount) and potato bread.
Other foods and sweeteners – You can have some sweeteners, including aspartame, golden syrup, glucose, and most jams or jellies.
Condiments like peanut butter, mustard, mayonnaise (with no garlic or onion in ingredients), fish sauce, maple syrup, ketchup (limited amount), and many others are allowed.
For alcoholic drinks, stick to clear spirits, one beer or one glass of wine, or whiskey. You can have coffee as long as it is decaf or regular, and with lactose-free milk.
How to Fit Low FODMAP Foods into Your Meal Plan
Once you figure out what you can or can’t eat while on a Low FODMAP diet, the hard part is figuring out what meals you can eat.
It is very important that you not just pick and choose any foods and eat them randomly, but make sure you are eating enough and have well-balanced meals with the available foods in the diet.
This often requires meal planning. Here are some tips for working on a meal plan while on the low FODMAP diet.
Keep a List of the Low FODMAP Foods Handy
You should always have your list of approved low FODMAP foods whenever you are meal planning, or if you run out of time and need to just head to the grocery store.
This diet isn’t like others where it is easy to guess what might or might not be allowed.
Have multiple copies of the low FODMAP list so that you can plan meals and snacks wherever you are.
Start with Low FODMAP Foods You Already Enjoy
To start with your meal planning, don’t try to go crazy and try all foods you haven’t eaten before or force yourself to eat what you don’t like.
The low FODMAP foods list is very extensive, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fats, and lots more foods.
You should be able to find ones you already eat in your daily life.
Highlight the foods on the list that you enjoy consuming now and fit into some of your favorite meals. This is a great place to start.
Find Alternatives for High FODMAP Foods in Your Meals
Once you have chosen your favorite low FODMAP foods, it is time to put some meals together.
You will notice many of the ingredients you typically use are not allowed, so you just need to get a little creative. Start finding approved alternatives from the low list.
For example, use fresh herbs instead of garlic, or if you need a healthy fat in your salad aside from avocado, add some of the approved nuts and seeds.
Since many fruits aren’t allowed, increase your veggies instead.
Having a meal plan will help you stick to the diet, and not end up being malnutritioned.
It is extremely important that you have 3 well-balanced meals a day, and also plan for approved low FODMAP diet snacks as needed for when you are hungry or can’t get home to prepare a meal.