One in seven Australians battle with the debilitating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. A bloated, windy tummy and inconsistent (although some might say inconsiderate) bowels are just some symptoms that disrupt the lives of many. The good news is, many IBS food culprits can be enjoyed… BUT it all comes down to the serve sizes, portions and keeping it all balanced. What we do know, thanks to the researchers from Monash University, is that the foods to be careful of contain FODMAPs.
What is FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols” – now you can understand the need for an acronym, right? They are (in simple terms) sugars and carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and as such cause digestive problems.
When I found out that FODMAP foods were giving me grief, I was initially devastated. My mind jumped to the thought of a brunch without avocado, a summer without fruit and a lifetime without yoghurt and pizza… but, let me reassure you, it’s not a NO FODMAP approach, it’s just about keeping them LOW or opting for some alternatives.
Let’s look at some of the most scrumptious FODMAP ingredients and how you can use them or swap them.
|FOOD||SAFE SERVE OR SWAP TO|
|Beetroot||2 slices fresh|
|Broccoli||1 cup florets|
|Corn||½ a cob|
|Button mushrooms||Swap to champignons|
|Shiitake mushrooms||Swap to oyster mushrooms|
|Onion||Swap to spring onion green tops|
|Snow peas||5 pods|
|Sweet potato||½ cup|
|Peaches||Swap for 1 cup chopped pineapple|
|Apples||Swap for 1 orange|
|Watermelon||Swap for ½ cup rockmelon|
|Pear||Swap for 2 peeled kiwi fruit|
|Figs||Swap for 1 cup of grapes|
|Milk||Swap for lactose free milk|
|Low fat yoghurt||Swap for 1 tub (125g) coconut yoghurt|
|Feta||½ cup crumbled|
|Lentils||½ cup canned, drained|
***All ingredients in the table sourced via Monash University Low FODMAP App.
With some thoughtful planning, you’ll find that following a low FODMAP approach is worth the effort and you can (hopefully) say goodbye to those pesky symptoms. A Low FODMAP diet has shown to help 4/5 people overcome their tummy discomfort.
Let’s put the LOW (not NO) into action!
2 poached eggs with 1 slice of bread topped with 20g avocado, served with a side of grilled tomato and wilted spinach sprinkled with feta.
A poached chicken salad with cucumber, tomato, ½ cup leftover roasted sweet potato dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and chives with 5 chopped almonds sprinkled on top.
Beef stir fry with spring onion tops, baby bok choy, coriander, peanut/sesame oil, carrot, capsicum, zucchini, a little celery and brown rice topped with some pine nuts.
Hard boiled egg and 1 cup grapes
2 rice cakes with 2 TBS peanut butter
1 tub coconut yoghurt with a sprinkle of blueberries
With the right tools in hand, you’ll have the knowledge to prepare delicious meals. I always recommend the Monash University Low FODMAP App, it’s fantastic. Getting the expertise of a low FODMAP dietitian will also give you that added support and reassurance.
You can also check out my Low FODMAP recipes in the 12WBT Recipe Index.
A low FODMAP life does not need to be a life sentence of bland food, it can be the most wonderful culinary adventure with the added bonus of no bloat! Just remember is it a low FODMAP approach, not a no FODMAP approach… and once you work out your triggers, you’ll have even more foods to choose from.