10 July 2018

Practical guide to beginning the low FODMAP diet

PANTRY

By Dr. CK Yao and Erin Dwyer - Research Dietitians

If you are familiar with this blog and our work at Monash FODMAP, you will know that that the low FODMAP diet is a therapeutic diet that should only be trialled after the diagnosis of IBS or under medical suggestion. The diet can be complex and tricky to navigate initially, and that is why seeking the advice and guidance of a FODMAP specialised dietitian is key.
However, after seeking the guidance of a dietitian here are some practical suggestions you can use to help make the transition from your regular diet to a low FODMAP diet a little smoother

  • Allow yourself time to get it right.

It will take a few days or a week to get everything sorted, that is ok. Take it slow to avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you slip up or relax the diet, it is not a problem, just get back on track for the next meal.

  • Audit your fridge and pantry

Use your Monash FODMAP app to go through your food stocks to find out which foods you need to put aside for the next 4-6 weeks and which foods you already have that you like and are low FODMAP. The Monash App has a shopping list function so you can click directly on the foods you need to buy and it add them all to a shopping list for when you hit the supermarket.

  • Swap your high FODMAP foods for low FODMAP alternatives.  

If you are avoiding lactose during the FODMAP restriction phase, search ‘milk’ on the Monash App to see ‘green’ alternatives and add any of these to your shopping list. Enjoy honey in your cup of tea? Search the ‘confectionary & sugars’ category for other ‘green’ options like maple syrup or rice malt syrup.

  • Familiarise yourself with products at your local supermarket or health food store

It is often handy to be aware of what low FODMAP products are available in the aisles of your local supermarket and also, where your nearest health food store is. You may also need to set aside a longer time for your first shopping trip to spend time reading ingredients list for high FODMAP-containing ingredients, e.g. garlic or onion. Another good tip is to check the Low FODMAP Certified foods section to see if any of the Monash certified products are available near you. Tap the food product in your app and scroll down to the ‘where to buy’ button  company for more information on where to purchase these products. 

  • Be organised and plan meals ahead

You may wish to allocate a small amount of time on the weekend or on your day off to plan a list of meals and snacks that are low FODMAP for the week. It may be as simple as having a few staples for breakfast, organising snacks to take to work, or to bulk-cooking & freezing a few dinner meals if you don’t have time to cook during the weekdays.

Being organised means you’re also less likely to get caught out without low FODMAP food options and more likely to consume foods that are low FODMAP.


Our blog also has plenty of tips and tricks for managing eating out, as well as many delicious low FODMAP recipes 
Check back on some of our old content to have a refresher, here are some good ones.

The most important tip is that there is no need to eliminate whole food groups. 

Remember, the low FODMAP diet has been successful by reducing your overall intake of FODMAPs across the day. You do not need to eliminate any of your food groups e.g. fruits, dairy or grains and cereals in order to achieve good symptom relief. You can still consume a wide variety of low FODMAP fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains. If in doubt, check with your dietitian to see if your low FODMAP diet is missing or inadequate in any key nutrients. 


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