FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo- Di- Mono- saccharides and Polys, a group of short chain carbohydrates that if eaten in excess may worsen symptoms of gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation in some individuals, specifically those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Learn more about FODMAPs.
There can be some challenges to implementing the FODMAP elimination diet. So, here are a few tips to help!
If you are constipated while following the low FODMAP diet it will be beneficial to increase your fiber and water intake. Increase water to 64oz (8, 8oz. cups) daily. Increase fiber gradually. Here are some ways to increase fiber:
- Make sure you are eating the low FODMAP fruits and vegetables daily. You may have had to cut out some of your high FODMAP favorites such as broccoli or apples which are high in fiber, so make sure to replace them with the low FODMAP options, such as green beans and oranges. Aim for at least 3 servings of fruit (1 ½ cups) and 4 servings (2 cups) of vegetables daily.
- Choose low FODMAP whole grains: oatmeal, brown or wild rice, quinoa, popcorn, gluten free breads, pastas, and cereals made with whole grains (look for >2.5gm fiber/serving) but watch out for other added FODMAPs in gluten free products.
- Include 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed, chia seed, or oat bran or 2 Tablespoons of nuts (not pistachio or cashew) to foods such as oatmeal, cereals, lactose free yogurt, or smoothies.
Are you underweight or are losing weight unintentionally on the FODMAP diet? Here are a few tips to help increase your calories:
- Drizzle olive oil or spread butter on your low FODMAP vegetables, grains and starches, and meats.
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of peanut butter to your snacks or meals. Top rice cakes or crackers with peanut butter. Enjoy a banana with peanut butter. Add peanut butter to your oatmeal or low FODMAP smoothie.
- Snack on a small handful of nuts.
- Drink Ensure Live, a supplemental drink that is low in FODMAPs.
- Add an egg to your snack or meal. Look for the egg boost oatmeal recipe on this website. Enjoy hard boiled eggs for a convenient snack or to add to a salad.
- Cook your oats with lactose free milk instead of water.
- Add hard cheeses to meals and snacks. Enjoy cheese and Nut Thins crackers as a snack. Top salad, soup, or any dish with shredded cheese.
Ingredients to Avoid
Label reading is important while following the FODMAP elimination diet. Here are a few ingredients to look for and AVOID if you see them:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (common ingredient in sodas, Kool aide, and condiments)
- Honey (common in cereals, breads, granola bars, peanut butter)
- Molasses (common in peanut butter, cereals, granola bars)
- Fruit Juices
- Dried fruit (common in cereal, granola, oats)
- Inulin (Common in yogurts, alternative milks, ice cream)
- Chicory Root (Common in cereals, granola bars)
- Sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol (common in sugar free gum, syrup, jelly, candy)
- Onion (all forms) (common in salad dressings, broths, flavored rice mixes, crackers, soups)
- Garlic (all forms) (common in salad dressings, broths, flavored rice mixes, crackers, soups)
Do your meals taste a little bland? Here are suggestions for flavoring your foods:
- Use spices such as cinnamon in your oatmeal or cumin in your Mexican dish.
- Use fresh or dried herbs such as basil in your gluten free pasta meal or cilantro on tacos.
- Use vinegars to liven up a dish such as squeezing lemon juice over steamed green beans, fish, or chicken. Drizzle tomatoes or a salad with balsamic vinegar. Add rice vinegar to a stir fry.
- Drizzle a small amount of oil on a dish such as extra virgin olive oil over veggies or sesame oil in your stir fry.
- Spice it up with adding ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to any dish.
Try some new low FODMAP recipes
Check out these websites for ideas.
- Well Balanced by Kate Scarlata
- Nutrition Services at Digestive Care Center
- DCC’s Simply Made Meals video series
- IBS – Free At Last