Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)
We know eating enough fibre on a low FODMAP diet can be challenging and that getting the right mix of fibres is very important, so let’s discuss prebiotic fibre.
There has been a lot of talk recently about prebiotics and probiotics and how they can affect the gut, but what really are they?
Prebiotics (including resistant starch) are non-digestible fibres found in certain foods that can stimulate the growth of some bacteria. This means that instead of being broken down within the gut the prebiotic fibre travels through the gut, stimulating growth and/or activity of probiotics i.e. the good bacteria!
Here's a list of foods that are high in prebiotics that have a 'green serve’ size – take a look at the Monash low FODMAP App to find out more!
Fruits and Vegetables
Grains and Cereals
Legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds
Wheat free Gnocchi
Nuts – Almonds and hazelnuts
Dried paw paw
Pasta (wheat/spelt), cooked and cooled
If you are following or have followed a low FODMAP diet you may notice many of the foods listed above are high in FODMAPs. This is because fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are prebiotic fibres.
So if prebiotics are often high in FODMAPS, but considered part of a healthy diet, how can they be included on a low FODMAP diet?
Here are a few ideas to get you started
· Firstly, remember that a low FODMAP diet is only meant to be LOW in FODMAPs, not completely depleted of FODMAPs
· Also, after the initial strict phase of the diet, you may find through the rechallenge phase that you actually tolerate moderate serves of fructan and GOS rich foods quite well
· Certain canned legumes that have been rinsed and drained are lower in FODMAPs - you can find a safe ‘green serve’ of legumes and lentils in the Monash FODMAP App. Try this recipe http://fodmapmonash.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/low-fodmap-vegan-coconut-pumpkin-curry.html
· You can purchase wheat free Gnocchi for a low FODMAP option, serve it with a low FODMAP pasta sauce and salad – You can try this recipe http://fodmapmonash.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/low-fodmap-chicken-and-gnocchi-pasta.html
· Add ¼ cup (green serve) of pomegranate seeds to your salad for great texture and a little sweetness
· Snack on some almonds or hazelnuts (10 for a green serve)
It is also important to remember to continually test your tolerance to FODMAP containing foods, you may find you can tolerate different prebiotics in varying amounts. For some guidance in reintroduction you can look back on this past blog post: