If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you’re probably familiar with the low-FODMAP meal plan, which involves eliminating a laundry list of trigger foods from your diet. While everyone’s problem foods are different, the ones that fall into this category are particularly challenging for many people. Though we aren’t entirely sure why that is, we know that these foods are rich in highly fermentable carbohydrates that aren’t properly absorbed in the gut, which leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, pain and bloating.
When we talk about FODMAPs, we often look at trigger foods, otherwise known as high-FODMAP foods. This category includes sneaky irritants like onions, garlic, apples, wheat, pears and sugar-free gum. Today, we’re paying attention to the low-FODMAP foods that can serve as replacements or alternatives for those looking to cut back on the high-FODMAP foods that may be leading to gastric issues. We use many of these foods in our low-FODMAP meal delivery to create delicious options so you won’t even miss the triggers.
FODMAP-Friendly Dairy Products
The D in FODMAP stands for disaccharides, the category which contains the dairy carbohydrate lactose. For many people, dairy is one of the hardest high-FODMAP categories to alter. It’s also one of the most common triggers, which means there are tons of great alternatives available.
The key is to look for foods made with the right kind of replacement. Some products replace lactose with other IBS triggers, such as soy milk made with soybeans rather than soy protein extract. Some great options include:
- Lactose- and dairy-free milk. Some great FODMAP-friendly milks include almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk made from soy protein extract and hemp milk.
- Low-lactose cheeses, including most hard cheeses such as parmesan as well as Swiss, muenster, brie, gouda, blue and cheddar.
- Lactose-free yogurt, such as almond milk yogurt or cashew yogurt.
- Lactose-free ice cream or dairy-free options such as sorbet.
- Dairy-free butter or fat substitutes, such as olive or sunflower oil.
FODMAP-Friendly Fruits and Vegetables
For many people, the most surprising high-FODMAP foods fall under the fruits and veggies categories. When you’re following a low-FODMAP diet, you want to steer clear of foods that will ferment too quickly in the gut. Unfortunately, many of these foods are the tasty fruits and hearty veggies we consume to get our daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Luckily, there are some low-FODMAP fruits and veggies that provide essential nutrients minus the gut trouble.
FODMAP-Friendly Bread, Pasta and Baked Goods
We all know that gluten — a protein found in bread and baked goods — can cause gastric distress for many people, but the highly fermentable sugars found in these products can do some serious damage, too. Eliminating all bread products from your diet sounds easy in theory, but there’s no reason to do that when there are a few delicious and healthy low-FODMAP bread, pasta and baked good options to choose from.
- Breads made with low-FODMAP grains, such as buckwheat, corn flour or oats, as well as 100 percent spelt bread (made with spelt flour).
- Pastas made with low-FODMAP foods, such as chickpeas, corn or quinoa.
- Whole grains such as rice, quinoa, millet, polenta and oats.
- Slow-leavened sourdough. Be sure to look for options that are free of trigger foods such as wheat flour, honey or high-fructose corn syrup.
- Cereals made with low-FODMAP grains, such as corn, oats, quinoa, rice, etc.
Making Low-FODMAP Easy
Sure, a low-FODMAP diet plan involves some elimination. But, as you can see, there are still plenty of delicious and versatile foods on the good list. You shouldn’t have to feel deprived when following an IBS diet plan, and knowing a few essential replacements can help ensure that you feel full and satisfied without a flare-up. ModifyHealth is happy to help you discover your trigger foods and eliminate symptoms with our low-FODMAP meal delivery services.