Friday, 23 June 2017

Double Chocolate and Teff Bliss Balls

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Are you craving some date packed bliss balls that are normally so problematic? Well, the problem is solved, so now you can indulge in these delicious, chocolaty treats from time to time without having to worry about FODMAPs! Teff is a cereal with the healthy benefits of dietary fibre, calcium, iron and protein. Toasting teff gives it a delectable crunch and makes it a perfect coating for these easy to make balls. These bliss balls keep well and are great snacks at any time of the day, good in lunch-boxes, go really well with coffee and kids will love them too.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Eating out on a Low FODMAP Diet – Italian, Chinese, French and Indian!

By Erin Dwyer – Research Dietitian
Last week we gave you 5 tips on how to eat out on low FODMAP diet. Today we investigate some go-to meals and tips for popular cuisines. Also, don’t forget to follow the tips from last week and most importantly, enjoy dining out!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Low FODMAP Vegetable and Chickpea Soup

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Vegetable soups are great favourites regardless of the season and they can be a terrific way to use up those odds and ends in the fridge! This mouth-watering recipe is very easy and healthy as just one serve provides more than half your daily recommended serves of vegetables. And don’t forget about all the dietary fibre! It’s also versatile as you can use whatever low FODMAP veggies you like and perhaps use what’s seasonal, cheap or growing in your garden. Also, if you are craving some legumes in your diet this soup recipe allows low FODMAP amounts.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Eating out on a Low FODMAP Diet

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

Eating out when you are on a Low FODMAP diet is definitely possible, here are our 5 tips you can use so that you don’t miss out on the fun of socialising over food!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Low FODMAP Thai Tom Yum Soup

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Delicious tom yum soup is very popular both in Thailand and in Thai restaurants everywhere. However, traditional home or restaurant made, packet and instant versions can be packed with high FODMAP garlic and onions and often have a lot of salt and additives! This recipe is worth the effort as it omits these problematic ingredients. However, it maintains the vibrant traditional flavour with all its wonderful, aromatic characteristics of this much loved soup.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Friday, 2 June 2017

Low FODMAP Oat & Banana Pancakes

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Pancakes, flapjacks or griddle cakes are an old favourite for breakfasts and snacks and the kids love them as well! They are quick and easy to make but the traditional recipes usually use high FODMAP wheat flours. This recipe is a delicious and simple alternative with the added benefits of extra fibre. There are many toppings that you can add depending on your mood and taste, the only limit is your imagination (see the tips below for some suggestions)!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Low FODMAP stock concentrate

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Used as a foundation for savoury recipes, good stocks can transform a recipe from ordinary to gourmet. Stocks are often used in dishes such as soups, sauces, gravies, stews, casseroles, risottos, tagines, biryanis or even steamboats. However, many commercial stocks are salty, expensive and often contain onion and/or garlic, making them unhealthy and high in FODMAPs. They can also have cuisine based limitations, making them unsuitable for the delicious Asian dishes you love.

Here are two very simple, but mouthwatering stock recipes. They also reduce well to make concentrates, meaning they can be frozen in ice-cube trays and pulled out next time you want to make a delectable dish that is bursting with natural umami!

Stocks require several hours of cooking time, making them perfect to prepare and freeze on the weekend, then pull out to use on busy work days.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Savoury Low FODMAP Muffins

By Trish Veitch (Professional research chef)

Low FODMAP muffins are great served as snacks or treats when entertaining. They also freeze and reheat well, meaning you can pull them out of the freezer whenever you’re hungry. Here is a delicious, easy recipe for savoury low FODMAP muffins that is easy to modify to suit your taste or inspiration (see the tips below)!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Update: Bananas Re-Tested!

By Shirley Webber & Lyndal McNamara (Research Dietitians)
From time-to-time, we re-test a food tested in the past, to ensure that the information we provide to app users is up-to-date. This is important as changes in agricultural and environmental factors can influence FODMAP levels in food. Our scientific testing methods have also become more advanced over time, allowing us to detect FODMAPs with even greater sensitivity and accuracy.
Our most recently re-tested food was banana. We chose banana in part, because many people had reported discomfort after eating ripe bananas. Our app has since been updated with these new data.

New FODMAP ratings of common ripe bananas versus unripe bananas

Ripe banana


Unripe banana


Why has the FODMAP rating of bananas changed so significantly?
We know that agricultural and environmental factors influence FODMAP levels in food and believe that the changes in our FODMAP results may reflect this.
From published research we know that plants naturally tend to accumulate fructans in response to environmental stressors such as cold temperatures and drought.(1) Fructans provide plant cells with greater structural integrity, making them more hardy and resistant to damage from environmental changes and disease.(1)

Studies investigating bananas specifically have found that their fructan content increases when they are stored and ripened in cold storage, which is now relatively common practice by supermarket chains to prevent spoilage and guarantee even ripening.(2, 3) Farmers may also be selectively breeding varieties of crops with a higher fructan content, as they tend to be more resilient to pests and diseases.(1)
As our findings have confirmed, simple changes in how we grow or even store food over time can have a significant effect on their FODMAP content by the time they reach consumers. This emphasises just how important it is to test and retest foods to ensure that the FODMAP composition data provided in our app is consistent with the foods currently in the food supply.
To reflect these new findings, we have updated the banana listings in the app and revised the banana recipes. Remember to check the app for this updated information, including serving size information. When you look at the serving size information, you will see that you can still have a small serve of ripe banana (1/3 banana). It is important to remember that if you currently tolerate ripe bananas well, then there is no need to remove them from your diet. Remember, your diet only needs to be as strict as your symptoms require!

  1. Valluru R, Van den Ende W. Plant fructans in stress environments: emerging concepts and future prospects. J Exp Bot 2008; 59 (11): 2905-2916. Shalini R, Antony U.
  2. Agopian R G D, Purgatto E, Cordenunsi B R, Lajolo F M, Paulo U D S. Synthesis of fructooligosaccharides in banana `prata` and its relation to invertase activity and sucrose accumulation. Amer Chemical Soc. 2009.
  3. Fructan distribution in banana cultivars and effect of ripening and processing on Nendran banana. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2015;52(12):8244-8251.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Macadamia Nut Dukkah

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Dukkah is a delicious, versatile, Middle Eastern sprinkle and there are many variations available! However, commercial dukkahs are often expensive and it can be tricky to source low FODMAP varieties. Here is an easy recipe that you can make and freeze so it is quick and easy to use whenever you like. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Mechanism series - Introduction

By Shirley Webber (Research Dietitian)

This month we will explore research into the mechanisms involved in inducing and exacerbating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We will delve deeper and unpack the reasons why a particular meal may be well tolerated in one person and bring on symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, discomfort, and flatulence in another.

If you haven’t seen this animation yet, now would be a good time to take a look as it explains the mechanisms underlying IBS and the role of FODMAPs in triggering symptoms.


Friday, 28 April 2017

Vegan banana & dark choc protein 'doughnuts'

Looking for a healthier, low FODMAP sweet treat? Our very creative Facebook friend Adriana has shared her delicious recipe for vegan 'doughnuts' with a healthy twist! 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Research Update: The evidence base for efficacy of the Low FODMAP diet in IBS: is it ready for prime time as a first line therapy?

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

Professor Peter Gibson from the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University, recently published a review article in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, questioning whether a low FODMAP diet should be used as a first line treatment for IBS?

The paper reviewed 9 studies, including:
  • Placebo controlled, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that used the gold standard technique of providing all food (either low or high in FODMAPs) to participants
  • Placebo controlled RCTs that tested the more ‘real world’ effect of dietitian-led low FODMAP diet education
  • Studies that compared the effect of a low FODMAP diet with other therapies, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines diet and gut-directed hypnotherapy
The paper reports that all studies found that between 50 and 72% of participants improved in response to a low FODMAP diet. It also notes that the potential benefits of using a low FODMAP diet (for symptom control and quality of life) should be balanced against the risks, these being:
  • The possible adverse effects of a low FODMAP diet on the gut microbiota
  • The implications of using a restrictive diet in people at risk of disordered eating
Take home messages:
  • The low FODMAP diet is effective in approximately 70% of patients and is ready to be used as a first line therapy for IBS
  • The low FODMAP diet works best when it is dietitian-led
  • When dietitian-led, the effectiveness of the diet is still maintained even when re-challenging
  • More research is needed to monitor the long term efficacy and implications of the diet

Gibson P. R. (2017). “The evidence base for efficacy for the low FODMAP diet in irritable bowel syndrome: is it ready for prime time as a first-line therapy?” J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 32 Suppl.1: 32-35

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Low FODMAP Hot Cross Buns

By Trish Veitch (Professional research chef)

In many countries, hot cross buns are a delicious must for Easter time. Despite this recipe being a bit time consuming you can enjoy these tasty low FODMAP buns that still have a truly traditional flavor. Enjoy, and have a happy Easter!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Let’s talk number twos – what’s ‘normal’ and when should I worry?

By Lyndal McNamara (Dietitian)

When it comes to number twos, there is surprisingly large variation in what might be considered ‘normal’. In fact one individual’s ‘normal’ is often very different to another’s, even if they are healthy, live in the same household, eat the same food and are part of the same family.
IBS is a condition where for reasons not fully understood, your toilet habits all of a sudden go haywire, and this is associated with significant abdominal pain. In fact, the ROME IV diagnostic criteria for IBS recognises the significance of altered bowel habits as a primary feature of the condition.(1) It is very important that IBS is NOT self-diagnosed, as many other, more serious conditions can also cause abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Speak to your local GP if you are concerned about your symptoms.

An IBS diagnosis can be further broken down into sub-types, depending on whether constipation, diarrhoea, neither or both is the main bowel symptom.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

IBS Awareness Month - Win One of 10 App Promo Codes!

Send us a picture of your favourite low FODMAP meal or snack and tell us why you love it for your chance to...

Monday, 3 April 2017

A low FODMAP diet in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

By Dr. Jane Varney

Ever wondered if a low FODMAP diet could be used to manage gastrointestinal conditions other than IBS?  Here is a brief summary of a review paper published by Professor Peter Gibson from the Monash FODMAP Team on the use of a low FODMAP diet in IBD, namely Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sprouting – does it reduce the FODMAP content of foods?

By Caroline Tuck

Our department at Monash University gets many requests for FODMAP food analysis. One that is commonly asked for is whether sprouting can affect the FODMAP content of foods – we have recently undertaken some studies on sprouting and wanted to share our results. Popular sprouted products include grains (such as wheat or rye) and legumes (such as chickpeas). Sprouted grains and legumes are in transition between the seed and new plant phases. While they’re marketed for their superior nutrient profile, there is limited evidence to support the benefit of these products over non-sprouted alternatives.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Endometriosis and IBS - The Importance of Getting the Right Diagnosis

By Judy Moore (PhD candidate) and Dr Jane Varney

March is endometriosis awareness month, so we thought what better time than to talk about the overlapping symptoms between IBS and endometriosis, and the need for a proper diagnosis.

Monday, 13 March 2017

IBS and THAT Time of the Month...

By Lyndal McNamara (Research Dietitian)

That’s right ladies, you have not been imagining things. IBS symptoms really can and often do worsen around the time of your period. Over our next few blogs we will explore why this is the case and also discuss some practical strategies to help you better manage symptoms around your period.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Roasted Pumpkin and Carrot Soup

By Erin Dwyer

As the weather gets cooler it's nice to curl up with a warm bowl of nourishing soup. This recipe has been adapted from a recipe to be low in FODMAPs but high in flavour! Serve this meal with some natural yoghurt (lactose free if needed) and a piece of low FODMAP bread for a tasty meal!

Monday, 20 February 2017

A New Look for the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet

A new year, a new look! We are very proud to formally introduce you to our new icon. This icon will now feature across all Monash FODMAP products and services. This includes our Monash University low FODMAP diet smartphone app, food certification program (including packaged products) and website.

Look out for the new icon today!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A new take on Bircher muesli

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

It needs to be remembered that a Low FODMAP diet is:
  1. Not for life, and
  2. For people with IBS
It is not a weight loss diet.

That being said – It is Australia’s Healthy Weight Week this week and to celebrate we have created a Bircher muesli recipe that is both low FODMAP and also a nutritionally balanced, quick and easy breakfast. Studies have shown that including breakfast as part of a healthy diet contributes to maintaining a healthy weight, so a great option for those on a Low FODMAP diet who are concerned about their weight

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Salad – Mealtime Saviours

By Shirley Webber (Research dietitian)

I absolutely love a good salad and it is possibly one of the easiest dishes to make. One thing I love about summer is having lots of barbeques with friends and there is just nothing better than impressing their sock off with these healthy treats. See below for my go-to salad recipes:

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Food Processing and FODMAPs - What You Need to Know

As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, laboratory analysis is the only way to accurately determine the FODMAP content of food products. This is because FODMAP content is influenced by a large number of factors. For instance, in plants, ripeness, plant variety, climate, soil conditions, storage time and storage temperature may all affect FODMAP content. FODMAP levels can even vary within the same plant, depending on the part sampled, for instance the root, stem, bulb, leaves, or whole plant.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Fermented foods and FODMAPS

By Shirley Webber (Research Dietitian)

Over the last few years, a number of “it” words have emerged in the area of gut health, such as microbiome, gut microbiota, prebiotics, probiotics, culture and fermented foods. With this emergence has come an increasing interest in fermented foods.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Lactose and Dairy Products on a Low FODMAP Diet

By Lyndal McNamara (Dietitian)

It is a common misconception that dairy products should be eliminated when following a low FODMAP diet. The reason for this? Regular dairy products do contain a type of natural sugar called lactose, which yes, is also a type of FODMAP.

The good news is that if you have IBS and are following a low FODMAP diet, you only need to limit lactose if you suffer from lactose intolerance (speak to your dietitian about how this is diagnosed). Not sure what this means? You can learn more about lactose intolerance here.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

New Year goals to improve your IBS and overall health

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

A new year is always a good time to re-evaluate your situation and develop goals that you would like to achieve within the year. One of those goals may be improving your IBS symptoms and so we want to encourage and guide you in 2017 to continue to take steps to improve your gastrointestinal symptoms as well as your overall health. The below suggestions are targeted at those with IBS, however apart from the rechallenging, all the other suggestions can be used long term by anyone to increase your health overall