If you’ve ever dealt with:
- Irritable Bowel
- Acid Reflux
- Bloated Belly
- An Aching Abdomen
- Aches and pains (Fibromyalgia or Arthritis)
- Started Plant Based dietary guidelines and felt worse
- Gut feels worse after exercise
- Extreme Gas or Water in belly
- Loose Stools or Severe Constipation
Or any other Digestive Issues that keep you from feeling your BEST… then eating a LOW FODMAP DIET might be exactly what you need (not a ton of pills dumped into an already inflamed digestive system!)
What does FODMAP stand for?
FODMAP isn’t some weird new superfood or supplement… it’s an acronym for:
Monosaccharides – And
FODMAPs are small chains of carbohydrates that, by quirk of their structure or your physiology, don’t get absorbed in the small intestine, which is where most carbohydrates are absorbed. Because FODMAPs are carbohydrates, that means carbohydrate free foods such as meat or olive oil are naturally FODMAP free. (The problem is that meats and oils are VERY UNHEALTHY!)
So, these unabsorbed carbohydrates move past the small intestine into the large intestine, or colon. Because some, like lactose or fructose (both disaccharides), are osmotic sugars, they draw water to them in the gut space, loosening up your gut contents and leading to diarrhea. And all of the FODMAPs are fermentable to differing degrees, meaning that when they hit the colon, they become a bacterial buffet for all of the trillions of bacteria (or microbiota) living there. It is that fermentation that creates gas and contributes to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
When you reduce the amount of highly fermentable carbohydrates in your diet, you reduce the bloating, pain, constipation, diarrhea, efflux and overall discomfort.
Not all carbohydrates are bad for you… There are specific ones that cause the problems.
Have you ever noticed that you can eat one food one day and feel totally fine… but then feel horrible the next time you eat it?
As you begin to understand the FODMAP diet, you need to recognize that FODMAPs are dose-dependent. This means the higher the dose, the higher the likelihood that you’ll feel sick.
One day, your overall dose of FODMAPs may be low. So, that apple you ate or cheese or garlic or onions or pasta or whatever didn’t bother you. But the next day, your overall dose is just too high. Once you cross your personal threshold, symptoms are bound to follow.
This is unlike an allergy where any exposure will trigger a reaction, and also why going totally low FODMAP for a period of time more or less allows your body time to reset. If you’ve got a true allergy to a food, you need to always completely avoid that food.
Bottom line: It’s a specific approach to food that involves reducing the amount of FODMAPs in your diet in order to change the landscape of your digestive tract.
Many foods containing FODMAPs are in themselves healthy and good sources of fiber, nutrients and vegetable proteins. However, those suffering from symptoms will often avoid these foods and miss out on their health benefits.
A low-FODMAP diet decreases fermentable carbohydrates from the diet. There are five types of carbohydrates that are removed from the diet: lactose, fructose, polyols (mannitol and sorbitol), galactans and fructans. Foods that are high in FODMAPs pull water into the intestines and can lead to an increase in bloating and irregularity. Removing high FODMAP foods can help improve digestion imbalances especially in those who have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and IBS. Following a strict low-FODMAP diet is not something I would suggest for the long-term. Finding out what foods trigger you, why they trigger you and then building a more complex diet is the best for the long-term digestive health management.
When following a plant based diet one of the most important things to consider is your choice of protein. Sure you get plenty of protein from animal foods but their acidity and high fat-hormone-chemical content is not healthy! We want to be consuming food that tastes good with a similar nutrient profile.
What should we look for in plant based protein sources?
When following a vegan or vegetarian diet, making educated choices about your protein sources is essential. Plant based foods can be excellent sources of protein however some of the foods used to replace protein are not nutritionally equivalent. The key nutrients in animal-based protein are iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. These can all be found in plant-based protein sources except for vitamin B12. Therefore, if you are following a strict vegan diet, we would recommend supplementing with a proper form of vitamin B12.
What you need to know about low FODMAP legumes
When it comes to legumes and FODMAPs, it’s all about portion size, type and cooking method.
Contrary to popular belief, you can actually eat some legumes…but you need to swap in the canned variety. When buying canned legumes, be sure to drain and rinse them very well – the FODMAP gets removed even further.
Many legumes are high FODMAP, since they contain galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). You might be thinking it must be easier to exclude legumes altogether. However, legumes contain key nutrients including iron, zinc and fibre, therefore we want to include them in our diet wherever possible. The good news is canned legumes tend to be lower in FODMAPs than dried legumes. Below are some low FODMAP serves of legumes:
• 1/4 cup canned chickpeas, butter beans,
• 1/4 cup peanuts (organic) has almost 10g of protein
• 2/3 cup Tofu – regular (not silken)
• 2 tablespoons of help hearts are low FODMAP and a whopping 6.5gr of protein
We recommend including legumes in your diet (in FODMAP-friendly amounts) for the great gut-health benefits they offer. Legumes are a good source of pre-biotic fibre which can help to keep our gut microbes happy and healthy. Be sure to watch your portion sizes and the amount of GOS in the other foods you are consuming at the same time.
Onions are one of the biggest FODMAP offenders and so are one of the most critical ingredients to swap out. This includes white, brown and red onions, shallots and also the white parts of leeks and green onions. To give you some of that onion-y flavour, use the green tips of green onions, green leek leaves, fresh chives, fennel bulb or a pinch of asafetida powder.When using green onion tips or chives these are best added at the end of cooking – you’ll get a stronger onion flavour. Aim to use 1 cup of diced green leek leaves per medium onion.
Garlic is another big FODMAP offenders, but it’s also one of the easiest to swap out when you’re doing the cooking, just grab yourself a bottle of garlic infused oil. FODY Foods make a good one. You can also make garlic infused oil at home by frying whole garlic in oil over medium heat until it’s golden and fragrant. Then remove before cooking the rest of your meal. Onions and garlic are a high FODMAP food because they contain fructans, which are also found in grains. However, fructans are only soluble in water not oil, which is why we can use the infused oil for cooking without experiencing any symptoms.
Mushrooms can be high FODMAP so it’s best to replace them with tinned champignon mushrooms (drain and rinse well before using) or fresh oyster mushrooms, which are low FODMAP (and delicious!!). Alternatively try replacing mushrooms with roasted eggplant instead.
Applesauce is often used in baking and it’s high FODMAP. Swap it out for mashed unripe banana (ripe banana is high FODMAP), crushed pineapple or even pureed grapes.
If using less garlic and onions, you’ll need a few extra flavour enhancers! Enjoy ginger, hot sauce, dijon mustard, soy or fish sauce, fresh or dried herbs such as: rosemary, dill, oregano, basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, tarragon, or spices such as: paprika, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and red chili flakes. Truly there’s nothing better than fresh, locally grown herbs! These tiny tender leaves can elevate any home cooked dish by adding lots of flavour without the FODMAP hit.
Gluten-containing grains are mostly out on a low FODMAP diet; not because of the gluten they contain, but because of the fructans. One of my favourite low FODMAP grains is millet; it is very quick to cook but wheat-ier and fluffier than quinoa. You can consume a whole cup of cooked millet and it’s still low FODMAP.
- OATMEAL made with 1/2 cup rolled oats, hemps seeds, chia seeds and strawberries
- Spelt sourdough toast with peanut butter and tomato (give it a try – it’s delicious)
- Gluten-free Weet-Bix with coconut milk and sliced strawberries
- Spelt sourdough toast with scrambled firm tofu, with added low FODMAP vegetables, e.g. baby spinach and diced tomato
- Warm brown rice pudding with coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Berry and banana (slightly unripe) smoothie with coconut milk and chia seeds
Main meal ideas:
- Rice paper rolls with tofu, rice noodles, carrot, cucumber, coriander and capsicum with a homemade low FODMAP peanut butter and lime juice dipping sauce
- Sushi or sushi bowl with brown rice, tamari marinated tofu, capsicum, cucumber and carrot
- Gluten-free pasta with a homemade tomato sauce with grated carrot and baby spinach and crumbled firm tofu or 1/2 cup canned brown lentils (rinsed)
- Fried brown rice or quinoa with tamari-marinated tofu, chives, diced carrot, red capsicum and spinach
- Stri-fried tofu or tempeh with low FODMAP vegetables (e.g. bean sprouts, red capsicum, choy sum, bok choy, carrot, green beans) with homemade peanut satay dressing
- Grilled marinated tofu or tempeh (in a tamari, ginger, orange juice and maple syrup marinade), served with brown rice or quinoa and steamed low FODMAP vegetables
- Basic marinade tempeh over salad (with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and cucumber) and homemade dressing or balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Baked Seitan BBQ Sandwich (recipe to follow) with carrot sticks
- Quinoa and lentils over romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber
- Vegan “Chicken” Salad Sandwich (recipe to follow) with 1 cup cantaloupe
When eating a low FODMAP diet we strongly suggest two key supplements:
INTOLERANCE COMPLEX – an enzyme blend with specifically targeted enzymes for food sensitivities. (call 337-989-0572 or order)
GASTRO HEALTH – L-glutamine supplement to heal the small and large intestines. https://thatshealth.com/shop/gastro/gastro-health/
Legal: The information provided is not intended as a means of diagnosis or treating illness or as a replacement for any medicine or advice from a competent physician. Individuals having serious health problems should consult a competent licensed physician specializing in their condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. We assume no responsibility for anyone choosing to self-administer any suggestions in this publication; they do so on their own determinism. The information in this publication is for educational purposes only.
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