By Marina Iacovou (PhD candidate and Accredited Practising Dietitian)
There is no reason why a low FODMAP diet cannot be a nutritionally balanced diet. There is a variety of foods to choose from in each of the five core food groups which are outlined in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating:
1) Grain foods
2) Vegetables and legumes/pulses
3) Dairy and dairy alternatives – milk, yoghurt, cheese
5) Meats and meat alternatives - lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/pulses
Our app breaks down each of the 5 core food groups for you, making it easier for you to find suitable foods in each group while trialling the low FODMAP diet. So if anyone has recently been diagnosed with IBS and is about to trial the low FODMAP diet, or you are simply trying to explain this diet to friends and family – it is not a fructose-free, dairy-free, nut-free, wheat-free, gluten-free diet or a diet that excludes a particular food group.
The first step is to see a dietitian to help you. This is something we always recommend to people and something we have written about before http://bit.ly/1BfAYNL and http://bit.ly/1HSJhRi. It is also important to remember it is not a ‘lifetime’ diet http://bit.ly/2ccWi4b and once your symptoms are well-controlled, the next step is to work with your dietitian to re-introduce foods back into your diet.
Also, if your symptoms are well-controlled and there are foods you want to eat but we are yet to test or you are unsure of, we recommend you try them in small amounts to begin with and then monitor your symptoms as you go. This is something we have also written about http://bit.ly/1Upsw8K, which your dietitian can help you with as well.
If you have a family, are entertaining at home, or have children with IBS there is no reason why everyone has to eat a low FODMAP meal, or for anyone to feel different/left-out. This can be done by creating meals where everyone can choose what they eat. This can be fun especially for children and a way of re-introducing moderate-high FODMAP containing foods back into your diet. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Antipasto platters http://bit.ly/1KXVI1S
- Baked potatoes http://bit.ly/1SzdxH2
The low FODMAP diet does not need to be plain and boring – we have that covered for you as well. Here is how to add some flavour without adding symptoms http://bit.ly/1EwLRy3 and some tips on adding the taste of onion and garlic http://bit.ly/1MnpAG7 into your meals.
If you are travelling or dining out this may need a bit more planning. For instance, when dining out you may want to source a menu from the restaurant beforehand or call ahead and ask what can be arranged for you. You may like to try some Asian cuisine, http://bit.ly/208AS8q or Greek cuisine http://bit.ly/1E2qSSh - whatever you prefer there will always be an option for you. When travelling you may need to organise a special meal on a flight or take some suitable snacks with you just in case. There are several tips and ideas to get you through while travelling, which you can read all about here http://bit.ly/1RnI7IM and http://bit.ly/1YqHvRL.
If you want to learn more about our team, our history, our resources, what research we are doing and more, here it all is http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/