Here’s How a Low-FODMAP Diet Could Help Your GI Symptoms

“​​Some examples of foods that do not contain detectable FODMAPs include strawberries, pineapple, kale, spinach, carrots, oranges, cucumbers and parsnips, additionally, meat, poultry, fish and eggs—unless prepared with marinades, sauces, or seasonings that include high FODMAP ingredients,” says Lavy.If that’s not enough to get you meal planning, you can find a complete list of low-FODMAP foods here. If you need a little more direction, Scarlata adds that some of her low-to-moderate FODMAP grocery store staples include:OatsBrown riceQuinoaChia and pumpkin seedsSlow leavened sourdough breadPeanut butterLactose-free plain Greek yogurt and lactose-free milkFirm tofuPumpkinIf you’re looking for more of an on-the-go snack, there are low-FODMAP snack bars you can buy at the store or online, such as FODY foods, Go Macro, and Enjoy Life foods.High-FODMAP foods listWhen someone with IBS eats high-FODMAP foods, they will likely experience unpleasant side effects, like stomach pain, bloating, gas, and an urgency or a change in their bowel habits, according to Monash University. While researchers are still trying to understand what exactly is happening in the body and brains of people with IBS, they do think it has something to do with how the brain perceives these symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).“Our gut bacteria ferment these carbohydrates and this can produce gas and draw water into the intestines,” says Lavy. “While this process occurs in everyone, those with IBS typically tend to have visceral hypersensitivity, meaning their brain may perceive this normal reaction as painful.”Some commonly consumed high-FODMAP food triggers for IBS include:OnionGarlicMangoHoneyFoods rich in lactose, like milk and yogurtStone fruitsCauliflowerBroccoliWatermelonWheatRyeBarleyApples and pearsMost beansThe thought is that by avoiding these foods, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the painful GI symptoms associated with IBS.What is a typical shopping list for low-FODMAP recipe ideas?Although you may think your options are limited on a low-FODMAP diet, there are plenty of foods to add to your grocery cart. You just may need to get a little creative when it comes to your meals. To help, Scarlata has an extensive list of low-FODMAP foods that she shares with patients, and there are a number of easy tips and recipe ideas you can follow.One way to add flavor is with infusion, says Lavy. “Garlic-infused oil can be used in recipes to provide flavor without the FODMAPs, since FODMAPs are not fat soluble, meaning they cannot leach into fat,” says Lavy. Another tip is to swap onions for other flavor-producing vegetables. “Chives and the dark green parts of scallions and leeks are low-FODMAP, so these options can be used in place of onion,” she recommends.And don’t forget other high-flavor add-ins like citrus and herbs. For example, lemon juice or fresh orange slices can brighten a dish, and herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, oregano or paprika, add tons of flavor, says Lavy.

“​​Some examples of foods that do not contain detectable FODMAPs include strawberries, pineapple, kale, spinach, carrots, oranges, cucumbers and parsnips, additionally, meat, poultry, fish and eggs—unless prepared with marinades, sauces, or seasonings that include high FODMAP ingredients,” says Lavy.

If that’s not enough to get you meal planning, you can find a complete list of low-FODMAP foods here. If you need a little more direction, Scarlata adds that some of her low-to-moderate FODMAP grocery store staples include:

  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Chia and pumpkin seeds
  • Slow leavened sourdough bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Lactose-free plain Greek yogurt and lactose-free milk
  • Firm tofu
  • Pumpkin

If you’re looking for more of an on-the-go snack, there are low-FODMAP snack bars you can buy at the store or online, such as FODY foods, Go Macro, and Enjoy Life foods.

High-FODMAP foods list

When someone with IBS eats high-FODMAP foods, they will likely experience unpleasant side effects, like stomach pain, bloating, gas, and an urgency or a change in their bowel habits, according to Monash University. While researchers are still trying to understand what exactly is happening in the body and brains of people with IBS, they do think it has something to do with how the brain perceives these symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

“Our gut bacteria ferment these carbohydrates and this can produce gas and draw water into the intestines,” says Lavy. “While this process occurs in everyone, those with IBS typically tend to have visceral hypersensitivity, meaning their brain may perceive this normal reaction as painful.”

Some commonly consumed high-FODMAP food triggers for IBS include:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mango
  • Honey
  • Foods rich in lactose, like milk and yogurt
  • Stone fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Watermelon
  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Apples and pears
  • Most beans

The thought is that by avoiding these foods, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the painful GI symptoms associated with IBS.

What is a typical shopping list for low-FODMAP recipe ideas?

Although you may think your options are limited on a low-FODMAP diet, there are plenty of foods to add to your grocery cart. You just may need to get a little creative when it comes to your meals. To help, Scarlata has an extensive list of low-FODMAP foods that she shares with patients, and there are a number of easy tips and recipe ideas you can follow.

One way to add flavor is with infusion, says Lavy. “Garlic-infused oil can be used in recipes to provide flavor without the FODMAPs, since FODMAPs are not fat soluble, meaning they cannot leach into fat,” says Lavy. Another tip is to swap onions for other flavor-producing vegetables. “Chives and the dark green parts of scallions and leeks are low-FODMAP, so these options can be used in place of onion,” she recommends.

And don’t forget other high-flavor add-ins like citrus and herbs. For example, lemon juice or fresh orange slices can brighten a dish, and herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, oregano or paprika, add tons of flavor, says Lavy.

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