A diet low in fermentable carbs, the low FODMAP diet, has proven successful for people suffering from various digestive symptoms such as bloating and gas. If you are thinking about trying the low FODMAP diet, here are the steps you need to take to make sure it’s a success.
1. Keep a List
Have a list on you of something the foods you are able to eat. It can be hard when you’re starting out to remember which foods you can and can’t have, and looking everything up all the time can be a pain. Having a list on you or in your phone is a quick and easy way to get you started on this diet. Your list of foods you can eat on a low FODMAP diet might look something like this:
- Fruits: cantaloupe, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, grapes
- Grains: rice, oats, quinoa, gluten-free bread and pasta
- Vegetables: zucchini, eggplant, olives, cucumber, carrot
- Meat: eggs, poultry, fish, red meat
- Dairy alternatives: almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk
2. Be Careful About Portions
Portion control is important on the low FODMAP diet. Your gut is hypersensitive and won’t tolerate stretching very well. In addition, you could unwittingly turn it into a high FODMAP meal even though you’re sticking to you list of allowable foods.
For instance, if you eat all your fruits in one meal, the fructose in the blueberries and strawberries you ate will add up and you’ll be feeling the pain afterwards. Be sure to eat small, spaced out meals to avoid this problem.
3. Watch Your Fat and Fiber
When you’re suffering from gut issues, fat and fiber can be an irritant. For those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, it’s often recommended to monitor your intake of fat. It’s important to find the right levels that will work for you. They’re essential to your diet, but too much can trigger your symptoms. Test foods high in fat and fiber in small amounts and like we discussed earlier, space out your meals. Be sure to check foods nutrition values before diving in. A food with no FODMAPS, like salmon, can be really high in fat.
4. Write Everything Down
Keep a food journal! This is crucial especially in the beginning. You may find that your symptoms are triggered even though you’ve been good about avoid high FODMAP foods. If you always write down the foods you eat, it will be easier to determine the trigger food. It could be the oxalic acid in spinach or the salicylates in nuts.
This diet will be a work in progress in the beginning. But with these tips, you’ll be on your way to a healthier gut!