If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from digestive issues, you may have heard about the low FODMAP diet.
This diet is designed to help manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other gastrointestinal problems by eliminating foods that are known to cause problems for many people with digestive disorders.
The list of foods that are allowed on the low FODMAP diet is relatively short, but there are still plenty of delicious options available!
In this blog post, we discuss all you need to know about following a low FODMAP diet to manage your ongoing gut symptoms. And how you can use a food list to enjoy a diet low in FODMAPs for the elimination phase.
What Triggers Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common gastrointestinal disorder that can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
While the exact cause of IBS is not yet known, certain triggers can lead to symptoms in some people. Common triggers are certain foods, stress, and for women also hormones.
These triggers can vary from person to person, so it’s important to keep track of what foods and activities make your symptoms worse.
By identifying your triggers, you can learn what makes your IBS worse and make diet and lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms. If you are having difficulty managing your IBS symptoms, speak to your doctor for more advice.
Why do certain foods trigger IBS symptoms?
People with IBS may find that certain foods trigger their symptoms. Common trigger foods include milk and dairy products, caffeine, fat, alcohol, carbonated drinks, packaged foods, processed meats, foods that are high in sugar or additives, and spicy dishes.
Certain foods can trigger IBS symptoms because they are more difficult for the digestive system to break down. Foods that cause gas or bloating, such as beans and certain vegetables, can also trigger IBS symptoms. Dairy products and some artificial sweeteners may also be triggers.
The most common triggers of IBS symptoms are foods that contain certain carbohydrates called FODMAPs. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides disaccharides monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs).
How to find food triggers for IBS
Many people find that certain foods can cause an IBS flare-up or worsen their symptoms. Once you have been diagnosed with IBS, it’s important to identify the foods that trigger your digestive symptoms. By understanding which foods trigger IBS, you can manage your digestive symptoms, and improve your quality of life.
There are a few things you can do to get started; the first is by keeping a food diary. Track the foods and drinks you eat over several days and note any IBS symptoms that you experience.
Pay close attention to any foods or drinks that may contain high amounts of FODMAPs. High FODMAP foods are for example dairy products, onions, and garlic, certain fruits and vegetables, legumes kidney beans, and wheat-based products.
What should you do if you suspect that FODMAPs are causing your IBS symptoms?
If you think that FODMAPs may be causing your IBS symptoms, you can follow the low FODMAP diet protocol to identify which FODMAPs are triggering your symptoms.
It’s always recommended to talk to a dietitian, as they can help to interpret your response to the low FODMAP diet protocol. They can also provide additional information and support to help you manage your IBS more effectively.
You can use the Nutrive app together with a registered dietitian who is experienced in dealing with IBS, and help you set the dietary settings to use our app long-term.
How to find FODMAP triggers for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The low FODMAP elimination diet is a clinical diet, specifically designed to help people with IBS and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) find problematic foods.
The diet can be beneficial to try for anyone who has uncomfortable distention, excess gas, and difficult bowel movements including Inflammatory Bowel Disease (except celiac disease).
FODMAPs are a group of short-chain carbohydrates found in some food and drinks that may trigger digestive symptoms or be difficult for some individuals to digest
What is the low FODMAP diet protocol?
The low FODMAP diet protocol consists of three phases; elimination, re-challenge, and personalization of your long-term diet. The goal is to identify which high FODMAP foods are causing digestive symptoms.
What to expect during the Elimination Phase?
The first phase is called the elimination phase. During this phase, certain FODMAP-containing foods are temporarily omitted from your diet for some time, allowing your digestive system to rest and calm down.
Foods in your diet that contain high amounts of FODMAPs are for example dairy products, onions, garlic, certain fruits and vegetables, legumes, and wheat-based products.
You can use the Nutrive app to create your personal low FODMAP diet food list and find delicious recipes to eat during this phase of the low FODMAP diet.
If you need help following the low FODMAP elimination protocol, it’s best to consult a dietitian who is experienced in dealing with IBS.
When you're symptoms are improved, and preferably completely gone for 3-5 days in a row, you can move onto the re-challenge phase.
What to expect during the re-challenge Phase?
The goal of the re-challenge phase is to find out which FODMAPs are causing symptoms for you. This can help you determine which foods are problematic for you and adjust your diet long-term accordingly. Omitting high FODMAP foods you're intolerant to can help to reduce the severity of your IBS symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
The re-challenge phase is a systematic process that requires patience and dedication as it may take up to 6 weeks. During this phase, you will test your tolerance to each FODMAP group one by one, by slowly challenging your tolerance with small amounts of test foods. Examples of test foods are milk, honey, and apple, you can download a complete list here.
With this systematic approach, you will be able to determine which foods are causing your symptoms and adjust your diet accordingly. This process can help reduce the severity of IBS symptoms in the future.
You may need guidance from a registered dietitian with experience in gastrointestinal health to ensure you are going through this process safely especially if you're struggling with disordered eating.
Once you have identified the foods that seem to trigger your IBS symptoms, it’s time to start reintroducing the eliminated foods. This will help you to stay nutritionally complete and eat as much variety of foods without flare-ups.
If you’re looking for more guidance and support, the Nutrive app provides personalized meal plans and access to a low FODMAPs food list based on your intolerances.
Download it now on Apple App Store or Google Play Store for free!
What to expect during the personalization Phase?
Once you have identified the FODMAP foods that trigger your symptoms, you can then create an individualized plan that is right for you. This will help you to avoid IBS flare-ups and stay healthy long-term
Your dietitian can also provide additional guidance and support to help you manage your IBS more effectively. They may suggest additional strategies such as increasing fiber intake, avoiding trigger foods, or taking nutritional supplements.
It’s important to remember that everyone is different when it comes to their individual needs and sensitivities. Finding the right dietary approach for you will require some trial and error, but you can find a dietary regimen that works for your individual needs.
If you’re looking to make changes to your diet and manage your IBS more effectively, download the Nutrive app today.
Symptoms and signs that you may be eating too much high FODMAP food?
Some common signs and symptoms that you may be eating too many high-FODMAP foods include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
Other symptoms may also be present depending on the type of FODMAPs consumed. For example, those with fructose intolerance may experience fatigue or headaches.
Additionally, some people may experience a worsening of asthma or other respiratory issues after consuming high-FODMAP foods.
As everyone’s body is different, it’s important to consult with your doctor and/or dietitian before starting any dietary changes to identify which FODMAP foods are triggering your symptoms.
What's the best way to monitor your intake of FODMAPs?
This is to make sure that you’re not exceeding your personal tolerance levels for specific FODMAPs and recommended amounts for food items that contain these.
You can use the Nutrive app, which has built-in FODMAP amounts to help you keep your intake in check. It also provides tips on how to reduce the amount of FODMAPs in your diet, as well as recipes that are tailored to your FODMAP tolerance levels.
Additionally, it can be helpful to look for foods that are labeled “low FODMAP” or “FODMAP friendly” as these are generally safe choices.
Finally, it’s important to remember that everyone is different – what works for one person may not work for another. So it’s important to be patient and experiment with different strategies to find what works best for you.
With the proper monitoring of your FODMAP intake, you can live a full and healthy life despite having IBS.
Low FODMAP Food List
If you're considering trying the low FODMAP diet, it can be confusing and frustrating to understand where to start.
Low FODMAP foods to enjoy instead include
The foods that are temporarily restricted on the low FODMAP diet include high-FODMAP fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products baked beans, legumes, and processed foods.
By incorporating low FODMAP foods and high FODMAP foods that you can tolerate into your diet, you can enjoy meals without the worry of exacerbating beneficial gut bacteria or depleting your body of micronutrients.
There are still plenty of healthy low FODMAP snacks and foods you can enjoy on the diet.
Here is a list of some of the best options:
- Low FODMAP vegetables such as carrots, spinach, kale, cucumber, arugula, and bean sprouts
- Low FODMAP fruits such as blueberries, kiwis, and one orange
- Gluten-free grains such as gluten-free pasta and grains naturally low in FODMAP such as quinoa, rice, rice cakes, and oats
- Dairy foods such as lactose-free yogurt and lactose-free milk, and some dairy alternatives such as soy milk from soy protein, almond milk, rice milk, quinoa milk, or macadamia milk up to 1 cup
- Low FODMAP nuts and seeds such pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil up to 1 tablespoon.
Some foods that you might think are low FODMAP but contain high FODMAPs, including fruit juice, onions, garlic, and high fructose fruits such as apples and mangoes.
The best low FODMAP recipes
It can be a daunting task to find recipes that suit your taste and tailor to your intolerances. the low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorites or compromise flavor.
Our app has plenty of delicious and easy-to-follow recipes that are both healthy and low FODMAP friendly. We make eating low FODMAP foods easy, from breakfast smoothie bowls to comforting soups and decadent desserts - there is something for everyone!
With the right tools, knowledge, and resources, you can find out which FODMAP foods are causing your IBS symptoms and take control of your health.
The low FODMAP diet is an effective way to manage gastrointestinal symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
If you are suffering from IBS, talk to your doctor about the possibility of starting a low FODMAP diet. With the right tools, knowledge, and resources, you can find out which FODMAP foods are causing your IBS symptoms and take control of your gut health.
Additionally, tracking your FODMAPs intake and experimenting with different low FODMAP recipes can help you find what works best for your body. With the proper monitoring of your FODMAP intake, you can live a full and healthy life despite having IBS.