So talking to Ellie over email after my last post, she had mentioned that she really enjoyed the What I Would Eat If posts when I highlighted a certain type of diet + gave you examples of what types of meals you could make with the included foods soooo I decided to bring those back. As I want to abide to the rules of Jen’s WIAW, I will keep these separate as of now.
This post will highlight a diet that most foodie blogs have touched on or experimented with themselves and that is the…
Low FODMAP diet.
Normally something that people turn to when they are having digestive issues (IBS related), this diet is one that avoids foods that include FODMAPs or fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols. Speaking very generally these are specific types of short chain carbohydrates that have been found to irritate the digestive track due to poor absorption in the small intestine which leads to your gut bacteria fermenting them instead. This then leads to unpleasant symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain and constipation/diarrhea.
Before I move forward, lets break those carbohydrates down real quick.
These are your simple sugars that make up long chains of carbohydrates or saccharides molecules. They include glucose, galactose and fructose. In this diet, the one that is of concern is fructose (commonly understood as fruit sugar), especially when a food contains a higher ratio of fructose then glucose.
Chains of 2 monosaccharides. For example, milk sugar, or lactose, is made up of the monosaccharides galactose and glucose. Other common ones include maltose (malt sugar) and sucrose (table sugar). Lactose is the main culprit here.
Chain of saccharides or mono-saccharides (simple sugars) that are said to be hard to digest. The ones that are highlighted in this diet are fructans, which are chains of fructose, and galacto-olgiosaccharides, which are chains of galactose molecules, as both are poorly digested and absorbed in the small intestine.
These guys are famous sugar alcohols that are used so that foods can advertise “low carb” and “sugar free” on their foods as a major selling strategy. The reason for this is because these are not well broken down by the body, so they don’t end up contributing many calories due to only being partially absorbed. They are generally less sweet then something like real sugar and are often in combination with other sweeteners in foods. Some commonly seen ones include maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, etc.
I will also mention that some of these are naturally found in some stone fruits such as peaches and plums and vegetables like cauliflower and mushrooms.
What is the diet?
As I already mentioned, this diet is often one that is commenced by individuals who are suffering from IBS or other related digestive issues (Crohns and other inflammatory bowel disorders, IBD) as a method of alleviating some of their symptoms. It is very useful in pinpointing specific trigger foods that may cause individuals issues.
Generally when you first start, there is a huge list of off-limit foods and then slowly over the course of diet, you gradually start re-introducing foods into your diet to see how they make you feel. If they create symptoms, then you know that your body doesn’t digest them well and they may be something to consider removing from your diet all together.
Now, from the terminology I listed above, it may seem as though there aren’t that many foods that would be considered off limits or high FODMAPs. They are all carbohydrate based right? So yea, just another low carbohydrate diet, yada yada…
This is not directed at loosing weight. This is also not meant to be a low carbohydrate diet. In fact, it states that if you remove something from your diet, you should find a nutritious alternative to avoid dietary losses.
Also, this is not a permanent diet. Of course, if you find that everything on this list upsets your stomach, well then maybe it is, but for most people, it will only cause the loss of a few foods if they wish to avoid their symptoms from returning.
So overall, this is meant to help you learn about what foods makes you feel your best.
So now that I have cleared that bit up, lets look at those high FODMAP foods that are to be strictly avoided vs. those friendly foods.
A more detailed list can be found here. This also lists the quantities of allowable foods if they have a limit.
Yeah, the ‘to be avoided’ list seems a bit extensive BUT REMEMBER that this is not permanent (unless you have issues with them). You will slowly re-introduce them back into your diet to gradually to see how you respond to them.
So to conclude the informative portion of this post, lets make a summary.
- This is not a permanent diet for most. Instead, this is a way to pinpoint the triggers of your symptoms and simply remove those foods from your diet. This resource said it best -> the intent is to lower the FODMAP load at each meal to help manage symptoms.
- This works best if a food log is kept (to monitor what food are introduced + feelings after consuming them a few times) AND is under doctor supervision.
- This is not meant to be a means for weight loss. Ensure you are getting sufficient calories from those accepted foods.
For more information, check out these great sites!
So now onto the goodies.
If you were to start this diet, what the heck would you eat?
Let me help ya out with some blog love eh?
Oh and I will attempt to show you more creative recipes rather then just keeping it simple because that’s more fun.
For the sake of keeping things different and original, I will loose my beloved oats even though they are allowed for low FODMAP. Instead, something I have seen that looks quite interesting is this..
This is a super simple recipe (only 3 ingredients!) by Purely Twins that is quick to make and can have humpteen different uses. You could use it as bread (maybe think of adding some savory herbs in blend…no garlic though as that’s something to avoid. :-() or you can make it like this..
Which would be how my breakfast would be (replace the chocolate chips, you could use unsweetened carob if you wanted to, with nanner) because when it comes to breakfast, there always has to be a sweet or desserty like thing and there also must be a vessel for nut butter because breakfast without nut butter…
I have no words. It’s just not right.
Or you could do coconut butter + cacao nibs and a homemade chocolate sauce a la Powercakes if coconut is your thang.
Confession. I hate the taste of coconut. I tried to like it, I really did, but I cannot.
Other cool ideas to try:
Scrambled Egg Stuffed Baked Potatoes. Limit or omit cheese and leave onion out.
How about some pizza?
No wheat? No problem, thank the sweet tater.
And Sweet Chili Mango.
The sweet potato acts a the main constituent of the pizza ‘dough’ with amaranth and quinoa flours, psyllium husk and egg whites holding it together.
Sweet potato is a moderate FODMAP food so perhaps do half sweet potato and half squash.
Go crazy with the veggie and protein toppings but watch which cheese you choose and don’t over-do it. Goat and sheep cheeses and aged varieties in general are often safe in limited quantities as they have lower lactose. I still don’t advocate the use of ‘fake cheese’ like Daiya and other vegan cheeses because 1. they are filled with chemicals, fillers and weird binders that are bad for you and 2. those ingredients probably contribute to your symptoms.
Other Cool Ideas:
Sweet Potato Spring Rolls. I would add a protein to these like shrimp
Ginger-Curry Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Omit the scallions (no onions sorry) and make your own ginger sauce, unless you can purchase one without anything you can’t eat.
This caught my eye…
Warm Seared Scallops Over Zucchini Noodles. Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat
I mean it’s my loves…Scallops. I also really love the idea of zucchini noodles because they just seem fun and I’m all about a plate of veggies.
One problem for me though…
I need more carbohydrates. Enter again the sweet potato.
Mmmm Pho. This site also gave some interesting information regarding bone broth and gut health. If beef is too hard to digest, or if you are removing beef in the beginning to give your system a digestion break, use shrimp or another form of seafood as they are easier to digest. Also sad fact, you cannot have the mushrooms. Sigh.
Other Cool Ideas.
Stacked Polenta with Bolognese Sauce. It’s like lil mini lasagnas without the noodles and the cheese. Add some veggies to the layers and you can add a small amount of goat or sheep cheese, just ensure you are under the maximum quantities described in the charts.
Winter Vegetable Ragout. Omit garlic.
Fresh Summer Vegetable Cod Pockets. Follow her substitutions.
Sometimes better digestion comes with less frequent meals throughout the day, which is something I have found for myself, but some still need something in between so here are some options for ya!
Nanner Bread from FODMAP Fun
Lemony-Kale Hummus from Well Balanced.
Well there ya go guys. I hope that was an interesting read for you and can be helpful to anyone with problematic tummies like myself.
I will say that a few things I would have a really hard time giving up for that lil while would be:
- Garlic and Onions. Flavour base for errryyythang
- Avocado. Because..fatty goodness.
- Mushrooms. Tears my heart.
What would you be most sad about removing from your diet temporarily?
Anyone follow the low FODMAP diet already? Tried it?
What’s another diet you are interested in hearing about?