Years ago, when I was advised by my gastroenterologist to avoid high FODMAPs foods, I cried.
Huge, salty tears complete with loud sobs. There may even have been foot stamping ...
Life seemed tough enough being gluten, dairy and tomato free, without having to cut out a whole lot more of the noms.
Turned out that the gastro guy wasn't just being a jerk, and a low FODMAPs diet did actually help to reduce my tummy ouchies quite significantly.
So what the fod are FODMAPs?
The low FODMAPs diet was developed by Dr Sue Shepherd, as a way of treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The theory is that foods that are high in Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols are poorly absorbed by some people; and instead of the foods digesting, they hang out in the small intestine causing bacterial overgrowth and fermenting. This fermentation in the gut causes pain, diarrhea, constipation, wind and bloating - the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Image courtesy of http://www.nutridesk.com.au/
High FODMAPs foods include tasty noms such as garlic, onion, lactose, high fructose foods, chickpeas, lentils and wheat. Check out the full list of what to eat and what to avoid here.
Flavour without the FODMAPs
But fear not, life without FODMAPs doesn't mean you can't have flavour.
Here are some ingredients you can use to add flavour without triggering IBS:
- Golden or maple syrup
- Herbs such as basil and rosemary
- Lemon or lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- Spring onions (only the green part)
- Asafoetida powder - tastes like onion
You could also try making garlic infused oil - yum!
Good news for FODMAP-ers!
The good news about FODMAPs is that unlike a food allergy, which usually involves complete avoidance, many people on a low FODMAPs diet can tolerate some high or moderate FODMAPs foods, or may not react at all to some high FODMAPs foods. For myself, I can tolerate a lot of avocado, can tolerate a small amount of garlic, but can't tolerate any mushrooms.
It's a case of trial and error with FODMAPs to find out what you can tolerate. And as with any diet, it's recommended you do this with the help of a medical specialist.
If you're ever in Melbourne ...
And finally, I'd like to show off this AMAZING place that I recently visited while visiting my sister in Melbourne.
Fox in the Box does FODMAPs friendly, gluten-free and lactose-free meals. And it all tastes amazing!
If you're in Melbourne, check them out! They even have a discount for members of the Victorian and Tasmanian Coeliac Society. AWESOME!!!!