A few months ago my Irishman was in a really bad way.
Constant trips to the loo.
Lots of cramping.
Classic IBS symptoms.
After consulting his doctor and his naturopath he decided to give the low FODMAP diet a try.
Developed by researchers at Monash University in Australia, the low FODMAP diet is specifically designed to help people with gut problems. Especially IBS.
The results couldn’t have been more outstanding.
We’re talking night and day.
Definitely worth the hassle and restriction.
Surprisingly, it only took a little while to get my head around it.
Thankfully potatoes are fine for FODMAPs so it was pretty easy to keep my Irishman happy.
Except for the time I added some onions I’d cooked for myself to some leftovers and then gave them to my Irishman for lunch without thinking.
Immediate return of symptoms.
How to Eat Low FODMAP
1. Focus on what you can eat
As with any dietary restriction try and think about all the foods you can eat, rather than fixating on the big pile of ‘nos’. Even though that pile is very large (and hard to get your head around).
So for my Irishman it was potatoes (of course) and rice, and low FODMAP toast and pasta. So he didn’t feel too deprived missing out on brussels sprouts, celery and cauliflower.
2. Download the Monash Uni App
The tricky thing with FODMAPs is trying to remember which foods are OK. For example red cabbage and white cabbage are fine but savoy cabbage and brussels sprouts are a no. And broccoli florettes are yes. Broccoli stems are no. And peanuts are OK but cashews and almonds are no.
But after referring to the Monash University App constantly for a week or so, I got my head around it.
3. Plan ahead if you want to use garlic
Garlic is high in FODMAPS but there is good news. The FODMAPS are only soluble in water (not oil) so you can soak garlic in olive oil and then use the oil to get that delicious garlicy flavour without the symptoms.
Even marinating the garlic for 15 minutes will work. But longer is better. Just don’t store for longer than a day or so and keep it in the fridge because there is a low risk of botulisim with garlic in anaerobic situations (like being submerged in oil).
The other option is to cook the garlic gently in the oil and then strain out the solids. Or buy a commercial garlic oil.
4. Embrace chives and green onions
I’ve never used so many green onions (the green parts only) and chives as I have in the last few months.
They work a treat for adding some of the oniony complexity you’d normally get from softening an onion first. And as an added bonus they’re much quicker to cook!
5. Have fun experimenting on yourself
Gut problems are a very personal thing. So while cutting out all FODMAPS is a great place to start and allow your gut to heal, only you will know which FODMAPS are actually problematic for you.
The fun part (which we’re in now) is adding back foods slowly and seeing how you react.
More on special diets…
- 20 Best Foods to Improve Your Gut Health
- The Number 1. Way to Improve Your Gut Health
- My 3 Biggest Lessons from Paleo Month
- My Month of ‘Quitting’ Sugar…
- Vegetarian Month
- The Number 1 Mistake of New Vegetarians
- 3 Reasons I LOVE Eating Low Carb
What about you?
Have you tried eating low FODMAP? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below…
And as always have fun in the kitchen!