One of the most common questions I get asked is all about starting the low-FODMAP diet. Today, I thought I’d round up lots of useful tips into one blog post-should you be considering starting the low-FODMAP diet yourself.
I hope these tips are useful. The low FODMAP diet is a complex diet so always make sure you do your research before beginning and see if it works for you and your gut.
1.Remember it’s not a forever diet. The low FODMAP diet has a reintroduction phase, which is really important to ensure you’re having a balanced diet. A lot of people stay in the elimination phase permanently and this isn’t the aim of the low FODMAP diet. The elimination phase is usually no longer than six weeks.
2. Work with a professional. Lots of people begin with the low-FODMAP diet without support and this can be really dangerous. Not only is it restrictive but many people with IBS are already prone to nutritional deficiencies or weight loss and a sudden shift in diet can make this worse. Work with a qualified dietician.
3. Don’t neglect your microbiome. As I discussed in this post, the low FODMAP diet has become something of a fad in that it is seen as the only solution to gut health. In fact, a study showed that the gut microbiome in patients altered for the worse when on the low FODMAP diet. So it’s really important to try and vary your foods and consider a probiotic.
4. This post is a great guide to probiotics and the low FODMAP diet.
5. Need dinner ideas? Give these 10 low FODMAP dinner ideas a read.
7. Instagram is your friend: I recommend following @beckyexcel, @fittiefodmapldn and @shecanteatwhat (oh and me of course!)
8. A blog reader recommends a course with the Happy Pear called The Happy Gut Course which is a six-week low-FODMAP course.
9. For garlic and onion replacements, try garlic-infused olive oil and chives. Both are low FODMAP!
10. If you haven’t already, check out low-FODMAP brands to make cooking that bit easier. In the UK, these are Bay’s Kitchen, FODYlicious, Belly Goodness and Fody.
11. Something that’s healthy can be high in FODMAPs and similarly, something that’s low in FODMAP might be healthy. For example, I avoid sweetener as it plays havoc with my gut but aspartame is low FODMAP. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for your digestion though!
12. Pay close attention to portion sizes. You’ll need to be precise to ensure you don’t end up with a high FODMAP dish.
13. Spices are your friend. There are so many low FODMAP friendly spices: from cinnamon to turmeric, from thyme to paprika. Spices and herbs can liven up plain chicken and veg dishes. This is a great guide to low FODMAP herbs and spices.
14. Use a food diary to keep track; especially when reintroducing. Remember you may find that some high FODMAP foods are okay for you straight away whilst some are a no-go. You might also have additional triggers: for example something may be low FODMAP but contains dairy which might also be an issue. You can download my free 7 day food diary template.
15. For on the go, one of my readers recommended creating mini revision cards with reminders of what you can and can’t eat. She even highlighted the edge of each card: pink for no and green for okay! Alternatively, download the Monash app for something more high tech.