Gut Problems? How to Eat Low FODMAP

low fodmap

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #00adef;”] A[/dropcap] 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…

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!

With love,
Jules x

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  • Monas Uni Low fodmap diet has been a lifesaver for me.Previously had very bad gut ache and terrible diaroea I haven’t yet started adding things in (it’s only been three weeks) but I’m finding lots of delicious things to eat anyway. Do miss onions but green tops of spring onions and leeks are a reasonable substitute

  • I discovered the Fodmap diet about 5 years ago, and it made such a difference. Although I can now eat almost anything without discomfort, the fodmap basics are firmly lodged in the back of my mind, and if I do have a small return of symptoms I can work out why (such a relief, IBS used to be so mystifying) and make temporary changes till I’ve recovered.
    Also going through chemotherapy at the moment, and the fodmap information is invaluable in managing some of the side effects such as heartburn and gas and nausea.

    • Glad the Low FODMAP has helped you Jesse

      And good to know it’s also useful for chemotherapy – I hope that all works out well for you :)

  • So grateful FODMAP sensivity is finally being recognized as a medical condition and delighted to come across your website to learn about Monash Univ. low FODMAP diet. But, try living in a retirement /assisted living home to get anything cooked without onions and garlic ! I keep hoping someday, someone will do a whole cooking show without using onions and garlic. Get that cookbook going ! RAOS and FODY Foods are now making excellent pasta sauces .
    Thanks for the info. about garlic in oil – I never knew that ( but, I can’t even handle green onion tops !)

    • Glad you found o this helpful Debby!

      It’s funny but many of my recipes don’t use garlic or onions because I focus on only 6 ingredients. So you’re pretty safe on Stonesoup – and in my recent recipes I’ve been including variations to make them low FODMAP.

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